Managing social interactions with colleagues at work can make the difference between success or failure in a career and organisations are placing an increasing emphasis on interpersonal as well as technical skills when they recruit. This is because no matter how adept you are in your particular area of expertise, if you can’t get on effectively with others, your work will have little impact. Whole bookshelves are given over to volumes with advice on how to create rapport and ‘read’ people.

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) provides instructions on matching: subtly mimicking the other person’s body language and tonality to create rapport. It also provides tips on eye accessing cues which indicate thinking styles and personality types (visuals look up when trying to access thoughts; auditory types look sideways and kinesthetics look down). A subtler area worthy of your attention is how to manage your psychological reactions in work-based social situations and their effects on your mood and behaviour.