Bob Burg (@BobBurg) is the co-author of The Go-Giver Influencer: A Little Story About a Most Persuasive Idea, a parable about the power of genuine influence in business and beyond.
What We Discuss with Bob Burg:
- Disagreement — especially online — is more common than persuasion or advancing the conversation. What can we do to change this?
- How “listening with the back of the neck” helps us find common understanding with others.
- The seatbelt principle of emotions and how we can work on our ability to react in ways that result in more productive disagreements.
- Setting the right frames and responding to negative ones.
- How to say “no” in a way that doesn’t end up getting us in trouble later down the line.
- And much more…
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In this divisive day and age, knowing how to influence others gives you a rare edge. But how can you ensure you’re approaching influence from a place of persuasion rather than manipulation?
In this episode, The Go-Giver Influencer: A Little Story About a Most Persuasive Idea co-author Bob Burg explains the five secrets of ultimate influence — master your emotions, listen with the back of your neck, set the frame, communicate with tact and empathy, and let go of having to be right — and how to make them work. Listen, learn and enjoy!
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More About This Show
How often do we see disagreements — especially online — result in one party changing the mind of another? At best, it’s rarely — but even more likely: never. So many of us have gotten caught up in the grind of trying to prove each other wrong that we’re no longer concerned with influencing the way others think or advancing an overall conversation.
But for those of us who actually would like to get others to consider the world from our perspective without being overcome by emotion in the process, The Go-Giver Influencer: A Little Story About a Most Persuasive Idea co-author Bob Burg gives us this exercise:
Picture a time when someone pushed your buttons and you lost your cool. Remember how it made you feel afterwards? Probably not good.
Now, imagine the same scenario but instead of losing your cool, you handled it with calm and comfortable control. You said the right words and didn’t let emotion affect the outcome. Picture how that would make you feel.
Bob shares one of his favorite passages from Orison Swett Marden’s Peace, Power and Plenty that sums this up nicely:
“Self-control is the very essence of character. To be able to look a man straight in the eye, calmly and deliberately, without the slightest ruffle of temper under extreme provocation, gives a sense of power which nothing else can give. To feel that you are always, not sometimes, master of yourself gives a dignity and strength to character, buttresses it, supports it on every side, as nothing else can. This is the culmination of thought mastery.”
Bob reminds us that meeting people who challenge this self-control is an inevitability, so we’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice conversations that end in the more favorable outcome. But we can also drill with this mental exercise as much as we like internally before entering the fray in real time.
“Just like an astronaut, before they go up into space on a mission, they will run through hundreds and hundreds of simulations so that by the time they get into space — heaven forbid something bad happens up there — they’ve already been there,” says Bob. “They’ve done that. They can respond perfectly right away because they’ve seen it a hundred times.”
Consider, too, how we tend to feel about people who can keep their cool when the world seems to be falling apart around them. We often respect them even if we disagree with what they have to say, which gives them the edge when it comes to trying to change our minds. They’re influential.
It stands to reason that if we can be the ones who keep our cool under pressure, we have an edge in influencing others.
To Influence is to Pull, Not Push
What does it really mean to be influential? To answer that, it helps to first define what influence is.
“On a very basic level,” says Bob, “influence can be defined as simply the ability to move a person or persons to a desired action, usually within the context of a specific goal. That’s its definition. However, I don’t believe that that is its substance, or its essence. The essence of influence is pull — pull as opposed to push…how far can you push a rope? We know the answer’s not very far — at least not very fast or very effectively — which is why great influencers don’t push.
“You rarely hear someone say, ‘Wow, that Dave — he is so influential! He has a lot of push with people! He sure is pushy. We’ll follow him anywhere!’ No. They say he’s influential. He has a lot of pull…it’s an attraction. Great influencers attract people — first to themselves, and then to their ideas.”
An effective influencer also knows that people are motivated by their own reasons, not the influencer’s reasons, so it’s important to constantly appraise our own intentions if we want to influence others in a way that aligns with their goals over ours. This leads to outcomes that genuinely benefit both parties in the long run rather than manipulations that only serve the influencer in the short term.
“Now we’ve come a lot closer to earning that person’s commitment as opposed to depending on some type of compliance — which, at best, is never sustainable,” says Bob.
Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about the differences between manipulators and persuaders, why it’s better (for you and who you’re trying to influence) to be a persuader than a manipulator, what it means to listen with the back of your neck (and why that helps in terms of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes), setting and resetting frames, what we gain when we let go of having to be right, and lots more.
THANKS, BOB BURG!
If you enjoyed this session with Bob Burg, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- The Go-Giver Influencer: A Little Story About a Most Persuasive Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann
- Other books by Bob Burg and John David Mann
- The Go-Giver Podcast with Bob Burg
- Bob Burg’s website
- Bob Burg at Facebook
- Bob Burg at Twitter
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- TJHS 16: Tali Sharot | Unpacking the Science of the Influential Mind
- The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon
- The Art of Influence: Persuading Others Begins With You by Chris Widener
- The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews
- Designed For Success: The 10 Commandments for Women in the Workplace by Dondi Scumaci
- Peace, Power and Plenty by Orison Swett Marden
- The Art of Talking So That People Will Listen: Getting Through to Family, Friends & Business Associates by Paul W. Swets
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Utilize the “Steel Man” Tactic to Argue More Effectively by Eric Ravenscraft, Lifehacker
Transcript for Bob Burg| The Five Secrets of Ultimate Influence (Episode 31)
Bob Burg: [00:00:00] To be empathetic does not necessarily mean you have to understand exactly how they feel. You simply have to understand and be able to communicate that you understand they're feeling something, and that this something is an issue, this something is distressing or disturbing to them and that you are there to help them through that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:24] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger, and as always I'm here with my producer Jason DeFillippo. On this episode, we'll be talking with my friend, Bob Burg. Bob, man, this guy, he wrote essentially an instant classic called the Go-Giver, and also the Go-Giver Leader, him and John David Mann. Really, it's like a modern parable for being a great networker and being very giving and everything and it's this, they've just sold hundreds and hundreds of thousands of copies of these books. His latest book, the Go-Giver Influencer as well. A parable about a achieving what you want by focusing on the other person's interests in a way that's not self-sacrificial and these little nuggets of wisdom included in these parables are really useful. And to some of us, we might think, okay, I already know all this stuff and I understand why people think that. I understand why a lot of people ignore things like this, but it goes along with what I said about Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, where we might know the concepts, but whether or not we're applying them is a totally different story.
[00:01:26] So today, we'll discuss something called the seat belt principle of emotions and how we can work on our ability to react in ways that results in a more productive disagreement, if you can call it that. We'll also work on stepping into the other person's shoes in a more effective way, by something that Bob calls listening with the back of your neck and how this will help us find common understanding, common ground, and frames. I am a huge fan of frames, frame control. You've heard me talk a lot about this type of thing in the past several years. If you've been listening to us for a while, we'll talk about setting the right frames, responding to negative frames, a little bit of an overview there. And last but not least, how to say no in a way that doesn't end up getting us in trouble later on down the line.
[00:02:06] As usual, there are worksheets for today's episodes. You can make sure you solidify your understanding, get all the key takeaways here from Bob Burg. That link is in the show notes as always at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. Now, here's Bob Burg. Bob the Go-Giver is one of those books that it's like an instant, I don't know if it was an instant classic or if it's just the classic. Now that I've noticed it, not because I noticed it, that wouldn't make it a classic, but I mean, maybe I noticed it because it became one.
Bob Burg: [00:02:38] Oh, that would have helped. If you noticed it, my friend, that would have helped. You’re like the most network guy and one of the most loved guys I've ever seen. So absolutely that would be a part of it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:49] Well, I appreciate you saying as much. And I know that you've written a couple of other Go-Giver parables here, but before we get into all that stuff, I wanted to dive in to something a little apropos here. Very much apropos, is a lot of people are disagreeing a lot lately, which is sort of the focus of the new on here, and people are disagreeing a lot lately with political stuff especially. And it becomes almost like you can't even be in the same room with folks. So before we dive into the Go-Giver Influencer content per se, I would love to hear your opinion on this because I think a lot of people are in the same room and they're talking across each other, and it's just not working out.
Bob Burg: [00:03:25] Well, it can be in the same room physically or it can be in the same room in terms of online platforms. I mean, how often do we see on Twitter or Facebook, for example, someone post a thought about a politician or a policy, right? And someone writes back, hit send and it says, “You and people like you are disgusting human beings, if you're even human beings. Are you trying to ruin this country? You want people to, I don’t know whatever, the people write back, okay?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:57] Yeah.
Bob Burg: [00:03:58] And so when that happens, I would ask the question, does the person who has just been totally slammed and insulted, do they ever write back something like, “Oh, thank you for pointing out the error of my ways. I hadn't thought about it before, but now that you brought it up, I am totally wrong.”
[00:04:17] I am renouncing all my beliefs and joining your side. No, no.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:23] Unlikely.
Bob Burg: [00:04:24] Very unlikely. It's just going to, in fact, it's going to have the opposite effect. It's going to have them keep them even more glued to their position. In these days, people are not defending their principals. They are defending their teams or their sides, and that's dangerous. But the most dangerous part in terms of communication, because remember people are yelling at each other, people are accusing each other, people are imputing evil intent to others. What they're not doing is they're not influencing others. They're not persuading others. They're not causing a change in any kind of thought or even advancing the conversation. And so that's a major reason why the timing for this seems to be good. John David Mann, my awesome co-author, you know, we want to kind of do our part to get the world communicating again in a way that is productive.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:20] I like this, but it's a very tough challenge that you've decided to adopt for yourself here, because people are disagreeing a ton, especially with the political stuff. No minds are being changed. People are actually making enemies out of one another and shutting down dialogue. We had Tali Sharot on the show a couple of weeks ago, and she actually explained to us that the more intelligent people are, that hopefully includes everyone listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show here, the better we are at actually digging in our heels, rationalizing our current system of beliefs and then not changing our minds based on that rationalization. So essentially, not only is it really hard to change mind, it's actually harder to change a smart person's mind in many cases because like you said, we're sticking up for our team.
Bob Burg: [00:06:05] Exactly, exactly. And that's why the five laws or principles or secrets, whatever you want to say in the in the Go-Giver Influencer, these are -- although it's a business parable, it also absolutely is appropriate for political discussions as well. And we can go through how to respond to that vitriol over the internet, like as we just described in such a way that not only are you feeling better about yourself and the way you're doing it, but you're able to actually influence and be persuasive.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:37] Yeah, I would love to get into that as well, because the parable is always interesting and whenever anybody writes anything in a parable form, it's always a little easier to digest. Actually, I wondered about that. When you're writing a book like this and you come up with a parable to illustrate certain concepts, do you think that's easier or harder than just writing the concepts?
Bob Burg: [00:06:55] Well, for me, much harder. Fortunately, for John David Mann, it's not hard at all. He's a brilliant writer. I mean, I'm telling, you know, we've been doing this for 10 years now. The first Go-Giver book came out in 2000 -- the very end of 2007, so real big 2008, and he just keeps getting better at the way he writes a story. So you know, I'm a how to, I'm step one, step two, step three, I can write a how to book. Anyone can write a how to book. You write down what you know. Writing a parable is a whole different, different thing. And so without John as the lead writer and storyteller, I'd be lost.
[00:07:33] But you know, there's so many people that both of us know, Jordan. And who write these parables all the time and they keep coming up. But let someone like a John Gordon or Chris Widener or Andy Andrews or some of these people. I don't know how they do it because to me -- because these are people who can write how to end parables, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:53] Yeah.
Bob Burg: [00:07:54] So yeah, so I don't know. So to me, it's a lot harder, so I'm very fortunate that I have a great co-author.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:02] Yeah, I think coming up with any sort of storyline to illustrate concepts such as these can be difficult. And the reason I'm bringing this up is because I think it's actually important for people to realize that the way that we program our brains isn't just by reading a concept and going, great, all right, step one, master our emotions, got it. Got a mastermind mode. It's like, okay, how does this actually work? So let's get into that. You do have what you call the seatbelt principle of emotions, and I would love to give people something to chew on.
Bob Burg: [00:08:34] Sure. Well, first, it's understanding that we have got to be able to master our emotions if we want any chance of being able to take a potentially negative situation or person, and turning it into a win for everyone involved. When we don't, when we allow our buttons to be pushed in and cause ourselves to be frustrated or disgusted or angry or what have you, not only are we not part of the solution, we're just as much a part of the problem as they are. And we know this yet, we allow ourselves to have that happen. Why? Well, because we're human beings and as human beings.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:11] Because I'm right in there rung. Dang it, that's why.
Bob Burg: [00:09:14] Yeah, well, exactly. And we're, you know, we're emotional creatures. And by the way, there's nothing wrong with that. It's how we're programmed and we don't suggest that anyone be some sort of a computer or robot without emotion. Emotions are a great part of life. They make life worthwhile, they bring us joy. No, we're just saying make sure you master your emotions as opposed to your emotions mastering you. One of my great friends, Dondi Scumaci, she said, and I love how she says this, and that is, “ By all means, take your emotions along for the ride, but make sure you are driving the car.” So yes, take your emotions with you, but make sure they're on the passenger side.
Okay, there safely, seatbelt fastened, and they're tucked in while you are driving the car. Otherwise, it's one of the mentors in the story, Judge Henshaw tells her protégé, Jackson, when you allow your emotions drive your car, you're actually at the mercy of a drunk driver.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:14] That's interesting. I can follow that logic as well, because you're really not using your logical brain, you're not navigating in the way that you should be. And you're also allowing by sort of definition, our emotions can steer us in a way where we go, “Oh, I wish I had not done that. Now I've got to fix that.”
Bob Burg: [00:10:30] Sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:31] And it can be very problematic. But how do we start to master our emotions? Because it's really easy to say, “All right, step one, master your emotions.” It's like, great, okay, I won't get mad next time somebody says, insults, everything I hold dear and true about the nation I love, I'll just stay calm. It's easier said than done.
Bob Burg: [00:10:47] We know how that works, right? So the first step is realizing that there's a different way of doing things. And so the person who just blows up and says, “Well, that's just me. Take it or leave it.” Well, they're probably not going to care about mastering their emotions and they're not going to take steps. But for those who do, here's what I suggest doing. Picture in your mind a time that someone has done something just as we've described. They've insulted you or they've said or done something that just really ticked you off and that you lost your cool. You had your buttons pushed and you lost it. And you know, think about how that feels afterwards because it's difficult to feel good after you lost your head, okay? And so picture that. But now what I want you to do is picture something different.
[00:11:31] Imagine that this person said or did that same thing. Nothing's changed as far as that, but now what I want you to do is imagine that you just handled it perfectly, that you are comfortable, you are calm, you are in control, that you said the right thing and don't worry about those words right now. We'll get to those later, but that you just handle it in such a way that you totally diffused the whole situation. Now, think about this Orison Swett Marden, who wrote the classic Peace, Power and Plenty, back in 1909.
[00:12:09] Here's what he said about this. Self-control is the very essence of character. To be able to look a person straight in the eye calmly and deliberately without the slightest ruffle of temper under extreme provocation gives a sense of power, which nothing else can give. To feel that you are always, not sometimes master of yourself gives a dignity and strength to character. It buttresses it, it supports it on every side as nothing else can. So picture what it feels like when you do that.
[00:12:41] Now, once you've got this, I want you to picture what will happen in the future. You will come across that annoying person or that person who insults you or that person who says something contrary to your beliefs about what's best for this country or something that really would bother you. And I want you to again go through picturing it in handling it. Just like Orison Swett Marden said, and just like we described a few moments ago. Really feel the feeling, run through it all. Listen calmly, don't interrupt, feel calm, diffuse the situation by saying the -- but just exactly what needs to be said. And then I want you to keep practicing it, because just like an astronaut before they go up into space on a mission, they will run through hundreds and hundreds of simulations. So that by the time they get into space and heaven forbid something bad happens up there, they've already been there, they've done that. They can respond perfectly right away because they've seen it a hundred times.
[00:13:47] Now we might say, well but being in space and doing those simulations isn't the exact same. Just like imagining the situation, handling it beautifully and actually having it happen isn't the same thing. No, but you know what, Jordan? You know this, of course, it’s close enough. The subconscious mind cannot distinguish between that which is real and that which is being suggested to it again and again and again. So when you do this, and you don't have to do it a hundred times, but just start practicing it, start doing it, and once the situation comes up in real life and you do handle it beautifully, I want you to just feel great about it and really think about that and know that if you can do it right that time, you actually could do it right every time.
[00:14:33] Now that said, you won't, because we're human beings and we're all going to mess up from time to time. But I'll tell you what, if you can nail 98 percent of the time, then you're making a significant difference in your life. And I can tell you firsthand because I had real anger issues back in the day. This is something that I learned how to do. It's something I practiced and I turned a weakness into a strength and it made a significant difference in my life. And it can in anyone else's who will practice this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:04] So basically we're kind of, we're kind of doing reps, right?
Bob Burg: [00:15:07] We're retraining our brain, exactly. And we're doing reps. Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:11] Yeah. We're doing reps like, all right, this is really going to tick me off when this happens. So just visualize it, go through it, okay, and my reaction is this, this, this, and this. And then of course when it really happens, there's going to be an emotional response anyway, but maybe we can blunt it a little bit with the idea that we've, okay, we practiced this in our head. We knew this is going to be a thing and now I don't have to overreact and flip out and get all indignant and then say, send that text message off or say that thing, because I've already visualized this and we don't have to deal with that.
Bob Burg: [00:15:39] Once you start practicing this and getting proficient at it, I'm telling you it'll make such a difference not only in how you feel about yourself, but in how influential you are. Because remember to the degree that you can master your own emotions and help other people to work effectively within theirs, that's the degree that your influence goes sky high.
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[00:17:33] Like I said, let me know what you find in there when you find those gems. This episode is also sponsored by ZipRecruiter. This, how did this not exist before? That's, I always know something is a good business idea. When I think, “Wait, that doesn't exist?” As soon as I hear about it, ZipRecruiter is answering that problem of finding great talent and putting your job offer up on all those other sites or some sort of crappy free one and then getting just the riffiest ruffiest of the riff raff applying and you're filtering through them for five hours and you're sending them emails. “Hey, do this really simple thing,” and you never hear back. ZipRecruiter actually learns what you're looking for, identifies people with the right experience and invites them to apply to your job.
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[00:18:53] So once you sort of matched somebody or at least maybe we don't match them, maybe their emotional and we're not, we can gain a lot of respect by going, “All right, I'm listening to you.” And maybe in your head you're just fuming slowly but you can take control of it. I always respect people who do that because I feel like they're in a better position of self-control and I think at some level we're all kind of looking for that. So when someone can stay grounded in the face of that, I am always very impressed and that comes with a level of respect even if our opinions differ.
Bob Burg: [00:19:22] And exactly right. And that's why we have so much respect for that person who are just as Orison Swett Marden said, right? Who, how many sayings are there about people who can keep their heads about them whenever you want around them as losing theirs? We naturally have a respect for that person and that person has influence.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:41] Can we define what influence really is? Because that that's one of those words that gets tossed around a ton and I want to make sure that people are clear on what that really means, so that we're not talking across each other.
Bob Burg: [00:19:51] Oh, I think that's so very important to, you know, checking our premises, make sure we're coming from the same definition. He's always all right. Oh well, you know, on a very, very basic level, Jordan, influence can be defined as simply the ability to move a person or persons to a desired action. Usually within the context of a specific goal. That's its definition. However, I don't believe that that is its substance or its essence. The essence of influence is pull, pull as opposed to push. As in how far can you push a rope? And we know the answers not very far, at least not very fast or we're very effectively, which is why great influencers don't push. You rarely hear someone say, wow, that that Nancy or that Dave, he is so influential. He has a lot of push with people, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:46] Oh Right.
Bob Burg: [00:20:47] And he sure is pushy, right? We just will follow him anyway. No, they say he's influential. He has a lot of pull and that because that's what influence is. It's pull, it's an attraction. Great influencers attract people first to themselves and then to their ideas. And I think the best ones, the greatest influencers who we would call the genuine influencers, they really tap into a principle that, and I believe this was Dale Carnegie's underlying principle in his classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People. To me, it was the most brilliant phrase of a brilliant book and it's where he wrote out ultimately people do things for their reasons, not our reasons. So the great influencers constantly asking themselves questions to check their own intent. How does what I'm asking this person to do? How does it align with their goals, with their needs, their wants, their desires?
[00:21:43] How does what I want this, this other person to do? How does it align with their values? And when we ask ourselves these questions thoughtfully and intelligently, genuinely, authentically not as a way to manipulate another human being into doing our will, but as a way to build everyone in the process. Now we've come a lot closer to earning that person's commitment as opposed to depending on some type of compliance, which at best is never sustainable.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:14] I think that you brought up a kind of an interesting point that I was going to ask. Isn't this sort of a clever -- some people might think, and I obviously know you, and I know that this stuff works really well, and is also a win-win. But a lot of people might think, okay, put whatever sugarcoating you want on this. But this is some kind of clever manipulation to get what you want. You're not really asking yourself what other people want or what their alignment is. You're just doing that because you know that as a technique it works. But it sounds like that's not -- you don't agree with that?
Bob Burg: [00:22:45] No, but I think it's a natural question for people to have, especially if they -- if you know their belief system or if their experiences are that people who, who seem interested in them have done nothing but take advantage of them or manipulate them. So it's certainly a legitimate question. Influence is a principle. It’s a law if you will, or it's sort of like gravity, like the physical law of gravity. Gravity works. Now, is it good or bad? Well, neither. It just is, it results in good when it keeps us from floating aimlessly up into space. On the other hand, it manifests itself as bad when falling off a seven story building.
[00:23:27] It's kind of the same with influence. Influence can be used for good or it can be used for evil. So what we do is we break it up into two different forms. There is certainly manipulation, right? And there's persuasion, both a manipulator and a persuader, both understand human nature. They understand human motivation, what drives people, what moves people. You could say the two are cousins, but ones the evil cousin manipulation and one is the good cousin persuasion. Perhaps the best explanation I ever read about the difference between the two was from a book I read in 19 -- or is published in 1987 by Paul W. Swets called The Art of Talking So That People Will Listen. Though it was much more about listening than it was about talking. And here's what he said -- he wrote that manipulation aims at control, not cooperation. It does not consider the good of the other party. It results in a win lose situation.
[00:24:32] Indirect contrast to the manipulator, the persuader always seeks to enhance the good of the other party. As a result, people respond more responsibly, act responsibly because they're treated as responsible response able self-directing individuals. See, Jordan, a manipulator may not necessarily want to or intend to hurt you, but if that's what it takes for them to get their way, they will. With a persuader that can never ever happen because in order for them to feel good about the situation, they've got to know that you benefited as well, that you feel good about it as well. And this is why we say that a manipulator can have employees but never a team. They can have customers but rarely loyal customers and hardly ever referral customers. They can even – hey, a manipulator, can even have a family who they love and who loves them, but rarely a happy functional family. So not only is it good life skill to be a persuader rather than a manipulator, it's actually good business as well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:38] That's interesting because I think a lot of people go, well, you know, the manipulation part or this maybe not even a majority, but there's definitely a certain contingent of people that think, I just need to get people to do what I want and that'll be for their own good. And then sort of long-term, everyone will realize that. That's not really how—
Bob Burg: [00:25:54] That's a rationalization, and is as you know, when we rationalize, we're simply telling ourselves rational lies.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:02] Ooh, I like that. I saw a mid-sentence where you were going, I liked it
Bob Burg: [00:26:06] And you know, and I'm sure I didn't make that. I must've heard that somewhere because I'm not that clever. I don't come up with those things like that. So I'm sure that been around, but really it's true. And so it doesn't matter that we might want to think that we're doing it for some greater good. No, the fact that, well, I say, you know, the fact is usually when someone says the fact is, what they're saying is, my opinion is so, but in my—
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:30] The fact is, I think this way.
Bob Burg: [00:26:32] Right, exactly. In my opinion, it really has to do with tapping into really what that other person wants, needs and desires, which is really what sales, what selling is all about and influence and persuasion is, is sales. On the other hand, manipulation is being a thief.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:55] Yeah, yeah. That's a good point. You really are. You're sort of tricking the -- it's like you're conning people out of their attention or effort instead of encouraging them, or like you said, persuading, I can't think of a better word than that. You also suggest, you and John both suggest that you should listen with the back of your neck. What does that mean?
Bob Burg: [00:27:17] That comes from the law number two, which is a step into the other person's shoes. But that's easier said than done, right? Because it sounds easy, right? But remember, most of us have different size feet. So stepping into their shoes may not be -- in other words, we all come from different beliefs, different ways of seeing the world. Our belief-- and a belief as a subjective truth. That's how we see the world, which doesn't mean it's how anyone else does. And so our belief system is a combination of upbringing, environments, schooling, television shows, movies, media, the whole thing. It's how we see the world. But we tend to think as human beings that most other people see the world basically the way we do. I mean, that's only natural, right? Because it's how we see it, and they don't and we don't.
[00:28:06] And so it's very -- it can be very difficult to understand another person's intent, to understand another person's likes and dislikes. We think what we find valuable about this product or service must be what they find valuable about this product or service. And that's one of the biggest spots where salespeople go awry, they're selling based on what they like, not what the prospect or customer does. So when we say listen with the back of your neck, what we're saying is if we have different size feet, if we don't know what this other person thinks or feels, the only way we can possibly know is by asking questions and then listening. And what the coach -- one of the mentors, there were two mentors in the story. One was a former coach and one was a former judge. And what the judge tells Jillian, his protégé is to listen, not just with your ears and not just with your nose, but with your whole being with the back of your neck.
[00:29:06] And I was just -- everyone listening, try this. Try this first with someone who you're comfortable with because it can be a different feeling when you do it, but actually listen, focus with the back of your neck. Just like when you're doing a -- when you're doing a curl, you actually do it with your bicep, right? Or you're doing an abs and you're actually doing with your abs, really placed the focus on the back of your neck when you're listening and what it does is it puts your entire being into the conversation focused on this person. Not only will you get a lot more information and really get to know more about what's going on with this person, but that person is going to feel listened to, and they're going to feel good about you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:51] Okay, so essentially, I can see myself doing this, leaning in way too far and then having focused on the back of my neck instead of what the person was saying, so maybe I should try this with somebody who's not going to think I'm a crazy person, at least the first few times around.
Bob Burg: [00:30:04] Yeah, that's what I was going to say. Do it once or twice with someone you're comfortable with practice and then go out and do it with others, you'll see it. It happens very quickly. Like most of this and the neat thing is, we say once you can master the kind of influence, persuasion, people skills we're talking about. Well, you suddenly have a more self-confidence. You become better like, more respected, highly trusted, far more influential, but you don't have to master it. Just once you begin to become proficient at it, which actually takes a very, very short period of time.
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[00:33:26] I love these persuasion skills and the practical things like this. And I've spoken before on the show about things like frames where you set a certain frame and one of your pieces of advice in the Go-Giver Influencer is set the frame and be ready to reset the other person's negative frame. I'd love to talk about framing and resetting other people's frames for that matter.
Bob Burg: [00:33:49] This is probably the most important part only because when you set a frame properly or reset someone else's negative frame properly, you're 80 percent there to the results that you desire. What is a frame? Well, again, let's define it. A frame is simply the foundation from which everything takes place. Can I give you a very quick example of one of the most powerful frames I've ever seen?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:17] Yeah, let's do it.
Bob Burg: [00:34:18] Okay, I'm in a Dunkin Donuts, and if you know me, you know I'm always in Dunkin Donuts, drinking coffee, reading every so often, eating a donut though, I try not to do often, but there was a little kid there, probably two, two and a half years old and he's a toddler, and he's running around the restaurant and suddenly his mom and dad, coming back over to the table. So he starts to run back over and suddenly he falls, he takes a spill on the floor. Now, he was not hurt, you could tell, but you could also tell he was very, very surprised. He was shocked. This was not what he expected. So what does he do? Well, the first thing is he looks at his mom and dad, the two people he trusts most in the world to get their opinion, their commentary on what just took place.
[00:35:05] Now, I totally believe that had his parents gotten panicky or upset or run over and, “Oh no, are you okay?” He would have started crying. But they just handled it so beautifully. They walked over, they had a smile on their face. They began to applaud and they said, “Oh that looks like so much fun. What a great trick!” And immediately he began laughing. Now what the parents did is they set a productive frame from which he could operate. And that's the same thing we can do whenever we have any kind of interpersonal dealing with another person. Now, it could be as simple as greeting that person with an inside out from the heart smile, or saying something that helps them to feel relaxed. Or it could be if you're with a group of people and someone walks in and you can tell they'd like to join your group, you kind of open up your body language so they feel welcomed. That’s pretty easy to set a frame like that. The question is, what about when someone comes to the situation already in a negative frame? Now, we've got to be able to reset it.
[00:36:20] Quick example, I was pulling into a parking space, in a parking lot and I was not paying attention as I should have been, and I nearly clipped the guy as he was getting out the driver's side of his car. Now I stopped. I stopped him plenty of time, but you know, he was startled. He was shaken up. Mainly he was ticked and the look he gave me, I got to tell you, Jordan, the nastiest look. His face was covered with ugly. I mean, he was really mad, okay?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:49] Yeah.
Bob Burg: [00:00:00] And it was an angry frame. Now, I'm not judging him. It was my fault actually, and different people react. He didn't respond, he reacted, and people react different ways to different stimuli, and that was his reaction. Now, he was in an anger frame. Had I bought into that frame, I could have gone, you know what? What are your then heated on watch where you're going, watch where you're going, blah, blah, blah, blah. I don't know about you, but I've never seen those situations end up in a good way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:17] No, I don't see two frames digging into each other like that and creating magic.
Bob Burg: [00:37:23] No, and personally, I don't want to be involved in anything like that if I don't have to. But what I did immediately, okay, by responding instead of reacting, what I did was I immediately put up my hand in a waving motion. I put a smile of friendly apology on my face and through the windshield I went, sorry. And he immediately responded by saying, no problem. That was it. We just changed frames right there. Instead of buying into his frame, we sort of reset it, that of adversaries now we're allies. That's really what we're talking about. So rather than buy into another person's frame, it's the person who -- let's say you have to speak to the supervisor for whatever reason, the front office, front desk person rather wasn't able to help.
[00:38:10] The managers, any supervisors, and Mr. Jones, he has to deal with people 10 times a day who either want something or have a problem. He comes out, he knows he has to be polite, but he's ready to quote the rule book. But he comes out looking for a knockdown drag out fight basically, because that's usually what he gets. The person insults them, offends him. But instead he comes out and you're there, and you have -- but you have a smile on your face. You should take a step toward him with your arm out, stretch with a smile. You say, hi Mr. Jones, Jordan Harbinger, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to come out and see me. I know you're very busy. Boom. You have just again, you've reframed it from, from two people who have some sort of issue with each other and are going to try to defeat the other person to two people who are just too good people looking for a solution that's going to work for everyone. You've now reframe this into becoming that customer who he wants to please.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:08] Right, because nobody wants to play into a negative frame. Everybody wants to play into a positive frame. So if you take a positive frame, thank you for your time, I'm really grateful to be here. No one's going to go, no, don't be thankful for my time. You should be annoyed that we're having this interaction. They're like, okay, well, if this person is going to be positive and upbeat about this, I have to be that way because we sort of play to characteristics that people want to believe about themselves.
Bob Burg: [00:39:34] Yeah, that's a great point. Absolutely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:36] Yeah, I can understand that. Okay, and this sort of bleeds nicely into communicating with empathy and sort of focusing on relating your feelings to the other person, setting up the types of feelings that you want to relate to the other person maybe so you can stay away from some of the -- some of the negativity that might be inherent in an interaction that might be an unpleasant by nature.
Bob Burg: [00:39:59] Yeah, this is communicate with tact and empathy, and you think about it, tact, and my dad has always defined tact as the language of strength. And I've always felt that was so accurate because again, just like the Orison Swett Marden quote is that person who can, who can think first, who can consider the other person, and who speaks in a way that is much more likely to have someone be less defensive and more accepting. That's the person who again, is influential. That's the person who has strength.
[00:40:31] Tact allows us to be able to correct or critique or dare I say, constructively criticized. Not that we want to do any of those things, but we're talking about the real world, not some fantasy world. And there are times we need to be able to again to, to help someone see a different way, a more effective way, a more productive way of doing things. So tact makes it so that this person not only is, is not defensive toward us and resistant to our ideas, but they become open to us and hopefully more accepting of our ideas. That's tack.
[00:41:04] Now empathy, which is kind of its partner. Empathy, which is defined as the identification of or identification with or vicarious experiencing of another person's feelings. Again, just like the stepping into another person's shoes, we don't know what they're thinking, right? Well, here with empathy, we don't necessarily know what they're feeling. However, to be empathetic does not necessarily mean you have to understand exactly how they feel. You simply have to understand and be able to communicate that you understand their feeling something and that this something is an issue, this something is distressing or disturbing to them, and that you are there to help them through that. And when you're able to do that, wow, you're -- you know, you're really nine steps ahead of the game in a 10 step game.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:57] Last but not least, you've got this concept of letting go of having to be right. And this is something that I think a lot of people struggle with because some people, one, we’re pretty darn attached to wanting to be right. The other half of us might think, well, I can't pretend that I don't care, or do I need to pretend that I don't care? Is that the same thing as not wanting or not caring whether or not I'm right. And whenever we battle egos like this, trying to not be attached to being right is really, really, really difficult. I mean, in the moment it is very hard to do and you can do all the reps you want about not being reactive emotionally, but you still might want to be right, chances are.
Bob Burg: [00:42:39] Sure. Well, and by the way, letting go of having to be right doesn't mean you don't want to be right. It doesn't mean you don't care about being right. It doesn't mean you don't prepare and do everything you can to be right and to be able to move that person to the desire to action. No, it just simply me, and you, you hit right on the word attachment. It means you're not emotionally attached to having to be right. But here's a thing, and just like with, with all our parables where we have five laws or five secrets or five principles, there are always four that sort of go together. And then the last one, the fifth one is typically very counterintuitive sounding and seems to almost be opposite, right? And yet, it's what we call the four fingers and a thumb, and but when you really dig deep, it actually makes sense.
[00:43:27] And so in this case, letting go of having to be right paradoxically will make you more right and much more influential, and here's why. There are basically two reasons. One is when you let go of having to be right, you go into learning mode. So rather than just taking your side and just disavowing anything that doesn't already agree with you, right? Rather than having that confirmation bias where you only let things register that already confirm or agree with your already held beliefs or biases, you go into learning mode and you're able to see the other person's point. That doesn't mean you have to agree with it. Absolutely not.
[00:44:13] But here's the thing, they say you don't truly understand an issue until you can argue it from the other side. And this is why it makes you so much, so much more effective. I tell people, if you are a political conservative, watch MSNBC sometimes. If you're a political progressive watch Fox sometimes. Don't watch them just to insult them or be snarky or look at all the reasons why they're wrong. But although you're also not watching it in order to agree, just watch it so you can understand where they're coming from, so you can understand why they're thinking as they think, okay? And so that's going to provide you with a lot more information.
[00:45:00] The other thing it does is when you approach a disagreement like that with someone, they understand that, that you're a person not just looking to be right, even if you're not, but that you are a person who is seeking truth. And when they understand that you're seeking truth, they're going to be much more likely to do the same thing. Remember at the beginning is when we began talking, we looked at the Facebook and Twitter situation where people post something really horrible and then the person or responds in kind and so forth. Can we look, go back to that and look at how we could use these five principles in order to actually be more persuasive?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:42] I kind of did want to come full circle with the political stuff because it's not just on Facebook or social media. I mean this stuff is happening at family parties, and people are writing in and asking me about this stuff all the time because this is happening at Easter dinner. Someone gets asked to leave and it's like, okay, come on people, get it together.
Bob Burg: [00:46:00] Exactly. So the following is going to be just as applicable on social media as in in-person, family dinner. So let me utilize Facebook right now just as one platform, but again, this works anywhere and everywhere. Let's say again, somebody posts something on Facebook and another person writes back and again says, “You people who think this way or just the worst scum of the earth, what are you trying to do? You don't care about me, blah, blah, whatever.” Okay? So you control your emotions instead of just writing back right away and insulting them, which is going to do nothing for anyone, okay? You try first to see their side and where they might be coming from. And the chances are other than the few outliers on either side, who really, most people want what's good for people. They just have a different way of seeing what that right way is. So you're stepping into their shoes and you're going to reset the frame here. You're going to speak with tact and empathy, and then number five, you're going to let go of having to be right. But let's put that aside for right now.
[00:47:05] So the person has just hurled an invective that it was just horrible. So here's what you write back, something along the lines of, let's say his name is Dave. “Dave, I've got to tell you, I really admire the passion you have for this topic, and it's obvious you really care about people.” So boom, you've just reset the frame right there. Now what you want to say is this. Like, you, I want to live in a country where people are able to, whatever it is that the point is being made that you'd want, okay? And then you'd say, I think our only sticking point or our only area of disagreement is actually what the best way is to go about making that happen.
[00:47:55] Now when you frame it like that, there's a couple things that are going to happen as far as this person's concerned, and believe it or not, I've had people apologize, and people who I've taught this to have had people apologize for the way they framed a saying, the way they talk to that person. But let's just say this person is so far out of it that they're not going to apologize for anything. Here's what we've got to understand. Whether we're at a family dinner or somewhere in public or online, it's not just the other person who's part of this. There are many people who are looking on, their not saying anything, but they're observing, and they're looking to see where this argument or discussion is going to go. There are some people who are very far to the left and very far to the right, and they're never going to change. It doesn't matter what said, but that's not most people. Most people are somewhere in the middle. They're either in the middle or they're kind of on one side or they're kind of on the other side, but they can be persuaded. They are open.
[00:49:01] Here's what they're looking at. They're looking first for the logical words, the actual right words. So we've got to obviously know our topic, but they're also on an emotional level. They're looking to see who is more likable, who can they relate to, who could they ask a question to without fearing that their head's going to get bitten off, because they don't totally agree, right? And so when we persuade or influence in a political type of discussion, let's realize it's not just that other person, it's everyone else there, who’s part of this, this sphere of influence, if you will.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:41] So all right, you're right busy person. You've got a lot of influence and persuasion tactics under your belt. I would love to hear this from you because I get this question a lot in my inbox. I have my own way of doing things, maybe less tactful and empathetic than what you would do. How do we use these techniques and ideas and concepts to say no to requests in a way that's kind and preserves the relationship but also is effective? Because I think a lot of people, we are used to saying yes to everything, especially if we own a business or something like that. We want to say yes because we don't want to get rid of or lose an opportunity. However, as we become more in demand, our time becomes more in demand. We have to say no, but we're afraid to. We don't want to build a relationship and then poke a hole in it with a no, or we don't want to be seen as disagreeable in some way. Do you have any way that we can apply what we've learned here today to that particular situation?
Bob Burg: [00:50:33] I believe this is one of the most important skills we need to learn, because the fact is as we get busier and busier, we are going to be asked by more people to do more things and it's appropriate. That's fine for them to ask, and we're often very appreciative that they do. But we need to typically say no, a lot more than we say yes ,just in order to be productive and do the things we need to do. There are different ways that are taught how to do this. I think some of them are less productive than others. I've heard people teach and I'm not meaning to disrespect anyone who teaches in a way that I disagree with, it's just my opinion.
[00:51:14] I've heard it said, in fact it's become very politically correct to say, well no is a complete sentence. And I've heard people hear that and nod their heads and empowerment as though they're going to do that from now on. And my question would be, “Really? Is that what you're going to do?” Someone asks you a question because they respect you, or they ask you to serve on a committee and you just, if for whatever reason you don't want to serve on this committee, that's fine. Are you really just going to say no? Is that really a complete sentence? No, of course not. First, it's not nice. Secondly, as you said, you're going to turn a person who's a friend into an enemy, and they're never going to ask you to do anything. And you may want to do something with them in the, in the future, but mainly you're not going to say no like that because it's incongruent with your values of treating people with kindness and respect.
[00:52:05] I don't believe that's the best way to do it. There's also a teaching that says, well, kind of tell a little thing of just say, well, I would, but I'm too busy. The challenge with that, Jordan, is that we know it's not that we're too busy, it's that we just don't want to do it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:22] Right, yeah.
Bob Burg: [00:52:23] As human beings, we don't have the time to do anything. We make the time to do what we value most. And so when we fib, yeah, we kind of feel a little yucky about it. But here's the other thing. The other person's used to hearing people say they don't have time. So they're going to answer this objection probably in a very persuasive way. And now you're painted into a corner where you either have to admit that you really just don't want to do it, and you were lying. They're going to resent you. You're not going to feel good about it. Or in order to save face, you have to say yes and do the thing you don't want to do. I also don't believe that's a good option.
[00:53:00] So here's a way of saying no in a way that honors this person, and again, is effective and respects your boundaries. Again, you're asked to serve on a committee and you simply say, thank you so much. While it's not something that I'd like to do, please know how honored I am to be asked, okay? Or depending upon your own style, you might say it a little differently, you might say, thank you so much for asking. While it's not something I choose to do, please know how deeply honored I am just to be asked. Boom.
[00:53:34] What you did is you, first, you were very kind. You honored that person, you let them know you are honored to be asked, but you did say no, and you didn't present an excuse. You didn't give them anything to hold on to an answer. Now, if they are the type that kind of they take it to that next step is, “Oh, come on, but please, we really need you to do this.” You simply listen without defensiveness. You don't interrupt and you just have positive energy and you wait till they're finished and then you simply say, “Ah, again, I thank you for asking. It's not something I would like to do. Thank you though.” Boom, that’s it. And be willing to do that and it will set you free, and you'll retrain people to know that they can ask you, but that when you say no, the answer's no.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:19] I love this because you're right. It doesn't give them anything to latch onto. Because whenever people say no, or I don't have time, especially when I do this, I try to think, okay, what am I really saying? Because we all have the same amount of time. What I'm saying is I'm not willing to prioritize this. So whenever anybody else says that to me, I just realized, okay, what they're saying is I'm not willing to prioritize this. It's kind of hard not to let that hurt your feelings in some way. You have feelings attached to it, which we all do. Yeah.
Bob Burg: [00:54:46] Sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:47] I love this. Bob, I know you've got to run. Thank you so much for your time with us today, and sharing your persuasive and influential techniques.
Bob Burg: [00:54:54] Always a pleasure to speak with you, Jordan. Thank you.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:59] Great. Big thank you to Bob Burg, the book title, the new book is the Go-Giver Influencer. You can find two free sample chapters at thegogiver.com, that's where he's got all of his good stuff there. If you enjoyed this one, don't forget to thank Bob on Twitter. That'll be linked up in the show notes for this episode, which can as always be found at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. I'd love it if you'd tweeted me your number one takeaway here from Bob. I'm at jordanharbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. And if you want to learn how to apply everything you learned here today from Bob, make sure you grab the worksheets in the show notes. Also at jordanharbinger.com/podcast.
[00:55:35] This episode was produced and edited by Jason DeFillippo, show notes are by Robert Fogarty. Booking back office last minute, miracles always by Jen Harbinger. And I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. Leave us a review in iTunes, and please show the show with other people, and those you love and even those you don't, frankly, because we've got a lot more like this in the pipeline. We're excited to bring it to you. And in the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear today on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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