Lafayette author Brandy Mychals wrote the book on getting a first read on someone.
It's called How to Read a Client from Across the Room, published this year by McGraw Hill. The book by Mychals, a business coach and networking expert, combines an explanation of her Character Code system of connecting with people with a story of personal renewal. Its sub-headline is "Win More Business with the Proven Character Code System to Decode Verbal & Nonverbal Communication."
A decade ago, Mychals had built up a chiropractic practice so successful that it enabled the family to own eight homes. In 2003, she was rear-ended in a Berkeley auto accident in 2003. The resulting brain injury was later diagnosed as causing a form of epilepsy, migraines and post-traumatic stress disorder, as explained in the book's introduction.
Her marriage did not survive the accident and aftermath. Mychals, unable to work and read, moved back in with her mother and was the single mom of toddler Bella. The introduction tells the story of breaking back into the world with a simple jewelry sales job, during which she thought about reading communication styles and quickly understand what motivates someone you've just met.
When she started, Mychals said she was bad. "At one point, I read from a handout for 30 minutes," she said, shaking her head.
"Not being able to read was a gift to improve my own powers of observation and interpret visual cues to read the people in the room to make my own best impact," Mychals added. She worked at it, thought about character codes and developed herself into a marketing and sales branding coach.
In teaching herself to read again, Mychals waded deeply into children's literature such as Harry Potter and Narnia.
In the book (and in speaking engagements) she outlines her Character Code System. "I examine it in obnoxious detail," joked Mychals, who calls herself a perfectionist. (Take the character code quiz here.)
She wrote the first draft of the book in the spring, and rewrote it in July. The book launched in November. The book has been number 1 in nine different categories on Amazon.com, Mychals said with pride.
All this has led to a lot of travel, which made Mychals realize "this is the best place to live — I always come back here. I love the town and the people and the weather and the views. I like the pace. Walnut Creek, Berkeley, San Francisco are minutes away but they're not literally in your backyard." She is a fan of Lafayette restaurant Amarin Thai.
Her daughter Bella, to whom the book is dedicated, goes to Lafayette Elementary School (where Mychals herself went).