Jack Schafer (@jackschafer) is a retired FBI special agent, current assistant professor at Western Illinois University, and co-author of The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over. [This is part two of a two-part episode. Catch up with part one here!]
What We Discuss with Jack Schafer:
- How undercover cops get made just by the way they look at people.
- The spotlight effect: why we all overestimate how much other people notice about us, and how we can use this to our advantage when trying to spot a lie (or not get caught in a lie ourselves).
- What Jack has to gain by making minor mistakes deliberately when he’s teaching a class.
- What people are really telling us when they’re angry, and how we can stealthily defuse them before they go off.
- If you make people feel good about themselves, they will seek to be around you to get those feelings again.
- And much more…
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We all know someone who can step into a party of strangers and leave with a room of new friends. We might even envy how effortlessly they deploy this unstoppable charisma and lament that we, ourselves, were deprived of such a wondrous gift when we entered this world. But lament no more: the ability to turn strangers into friends isn’t some magically inherited talent, but a skillset that anyone can learn.
On this episode, we’re rejoined by retired FBI special agent Jack Schafer to discuss the techniques presented in his book The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over. Here, we’ll discover how we can use something called the Friendship Formula to establish rapport in any human interaction — whether we’re recruiting spies, trying to buy a car, going on a first date, or hoping to land a job interview. Listen, learn, and enjoy! [This is part two of a two-part episode. Catch up with part one here!]
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
- Public Rec: Get 10% off with code HARBINGER
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Thanks, Jack Schafer!
If you enjoyed this session with Jack Schafer, 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 email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins | Amazon
- The Truth Detector: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide for Getting People to Reveal the Truth by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins | Amazon
- Jack Schafer | Twitter
- Jack Schafer | Getting People to Reveal the Truth Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Jack Schafer | Getting People to Reveal the Truth Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Ten Best Movie Scenes Where the Undercover Cop Gets Made | Denver Westword
- The Spotlight Effect and Social Anxiety | Verywell Mind
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD | Author
- Robert Cialdini | A New Look at the Science of Influence | Jordan Harbinger
- The Benjamin Franklin Effect: How to Build Rapport by Asking for Favors | Effectiviology
558: Jack Schafer | Flipping the Like Switch Part Two
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:03] Jack Schafer: Basically, what it does is I'll make an innocuous mistake. I'll mispronounce the name deliberately, a malaprop, just say something that's a little off to students will inevitably — because there's a human predisposition to correct others. So they will correct me. The first thing it does is make me human. It doesn't hurt my credibility, but it makes me human. People like when people are human when they're presenting to them. And the other thing it does is that if I made one or two mistakes early in the lecture, the students are more likely to contribute without the fear of being wrong because I've already been wrong. So it gives them a comfort zone to be wrong, so that they contribute more.
[00:00:55] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts, entrepreneurs, spies, and psychologists — well, in this case, spy catchers, as we have today. We also have the occasional four-star general, rocket scientist, or former Jihadi. And each episode turns our guests' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
[00:01:24] If you're new to the show and you want to tell your friends about it — and I love that. I love when you do that. That's how we grow. We've got the starter packs. Those are collections of your favorite episodes, organized by topic. That'll help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show. It also is great if you yourself are new to the show. Those were at jordanharbinger.com/start.
[00:01:44] Today, part two with Dr. Jack Schafer, if you haven't heard part one, we're talking about getting people to like and trust us. Dr. Jack Schafer is always a huge hit here on the show. So I'm not going to delay the point too much. We'll dive right in.
[00:01:55] And by the way, if you're wondering how I managed to have all these folks in my orbit, It's because my network is, well, the result of years of hard work, and I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. By the way, most of the guests you hear on this show, they subscribe to the course and contribute to the course. So come join us, you'll be in smart company where you, no doubt, belong.
[00:02:16] Now, here's part two with Dr. Jack Schafer.
[00:02:23] You mentioned some foe signals in the book. And one thing I thought was particularly interesting was how I gaze, a specific type of eye-gaze, gives away undercover officers. Can you take us through that? That's something that I'd never heard before.
[00:02:36] Jack Schafer: Yeah. What happens is a lot of ISO-train undercover officers, how to say, enter a bar, bar with gang members in it, motorcycle gang members, or other gang members. And what cops do is they walk into a bar and they look around the bar. And then they go to the bar and they order a drink and they're constantly looking around. And that's a sure sign that you're a police officer. Because if you walk into a bar, the first time you walk into a bar, you have not earned the right to look into that bar. So the proper way to go into a bar and how you learn this is watch strangers going to bars. What do they do? They walk straight in. They don't look around, they walk to the bar, they order a drink, and then they suddenly start what? sideward glancing around the place. You get somebody that's a member of the bar that goes to the bar a lot, they can walk in and they can scan that bar and they can look for their friends or who's there because they've earned the right to look at that bar because of constantly being there. And a good example of this is, has anybody ever pulled alongside a police car?
[00:03:45] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah.
[00:03:45] Jack Schafer: And the driver is looking over at the car and as soon as the cop turns to look at the driver, the driver goes and snaps his head back and look straight ahead.
[00:03:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:03:57] Jack Schafer: But the cop doesn't have to do that.
[00:03:59] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:04:00] Jack Schafer: Because when I was a police officer, I was staring at people's car and they would look at me and I would stare back and I wouldn't give up to stare. Because I earned the right, because I'm a cop I stare into them. And that gives you an idea of, yeah, you earned the right to look. Even in personal relationships, if you walk into a room, and I always tell my students, I always pick out a female student, I'd say, "What if you walk into the room on the first day of class and I give you one of those elevator eye looks?
[00:04:27] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah.
[00:04:29] Jack Schafer: And she always says, "That would be very creepy." I said, "Yes. So let's just pretend we know each other as in the biblical-to-know."
[00:04:37] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:04:38] Jack Schafer: She said, "Well, that would be different because I know you, we have a relationship, an intimate relationship, and I would probably enjoy the look." So people accept those elevator glances when they are comfortable with that particular person. And so let's give you a good example. I like it when there's little Chris in the office, you know, who's kind of having a little affair with whom and you see him at the water cooler proximity, the frequency increases, duration increases. You see the intensity increases, and then all of a sudden everything stops. One of two things happened. They either did the deed or they ceased to be in a relationship with one another. So, what you look for then is when that person walks into the room and if the other person gives them that elevator look and they accept it. That means the deed is done. That's when you crank the rumor mill.
[00:05:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. "Based on my expert opinion as a behavioral analysis expert, those two are definitely banging." Yeah. Maybe don't do that at the college where you work. Just saying, just throwing it out there. I don't want you to get canceled.
[00:05:48] Jack Schafer: So I'm just saying that it's difficult to escape that personal relationship index. You can't have a relationship without that personal relationship index element. So if you look for the elements, you know there's a relationship going on or not a relationship.
[00:06:04] Jordan Harbinger: And the way that This ends up sort of outing undercover cops is instead of looking like an actual criminal who walks into the bar and goes, "All right, I don't know anyone here, I'm minding my own business because that's what criminals do when they're in no criminal environment that's unfamiliar." The cop walks in and looks around at everybody and says, "I'm here. And I'm an authority," and they go, "Well, I bet you are," right?
[00:06:23] Jack Schafer: Yeah, that's right. So that's the one thing we really have to counsel them on and get them to practice. You can't look at people as though you were a cop. And you have the right to look at people because you don't have the right as a crook. Unless, you develop relationships with those people.
[00:06:42] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:06:42] Jack Schafer: If you've been in the bar a long time, then you can walk in and look at people and interact with people. But it typically doesn't happen right away so they know.
[00:06:50] Jordan Harbinger: Right. And also if they're on my turf, if I'm supposed to be an arms dealer and you're coming to meet me at my establishment, then maybe I can pull that on you. Or if I'm with my entourage, I can pull that on you. But if I'm on your turf and I'm looking like a little too comfortable, then that's the tell. What's going on? Why are you so comfortable? You shouldn't be that comfortable. You're in a hell's angels bar and you're some punk, right? Why are you so confident?
[00:07:15] Jack Schafer: But you know, it's interesting. How do we know that?
[00:07:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:07:18] Jack Schafer: Well, I asked. I asked the criminals. How do you know when a cop, undercover cop walks into the bar? And they said it's the way they look. They look around and they're looking for danger. They're looking for, you know, who's a threat in the bar and what do I have to do? Do I put my back to the corner? Where do I look? What should I do? So cops do that. They like to sit in corners so nobody can get behind them. So if you sit in a corner and you look excessively, then there's a big problem.
[00:07:50] Jordan Harbinger: Do you think experienced criminals would do that or not?
[00:07:53] Jack Schafer: Not in the bar situation. No, they wouldn't.
[00:07:56] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Because I'm thinking of that, like what is it? Like the mafia tip that everybody knows when you live in New York for five minutes. They're like, "Oh yeah, always face the door," right? That's the thing you've learned from like Godfather Part Two or something like that.
[00:08:08] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:08:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:08:09] Jack Schafer: You can, but if you're comfortable in a bar. Then you're not going to take those precautions.
[00:08:15] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:08:15] Jack Schafer: But undercover cops will.
[00:08:17] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, okay.
[00:08:18] Jack Schafer: There's a lot of nonverbals because people don't realize that the bad guys are very, very good at reading people. And because if they don't read somebody the right way, they're either dead or they're in jail. And if we read somebody wrong as police officer, we just go, "Oh, well, better luck next time. Let's go have a beer." And there's no real consequences if we don't do it correctly.
[00:08:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, depending on the context, right, I guess, you know?
[00:08:44] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:08:44] Jordan Harbinger: That makes sense. That totally makes sense. Tell me about the spotlight effect, because this is — I've heard of this before. Of course, if we can define that and talk about how it negatively affects our nonverbal communication. Because I feel like a lot of us, our tells come about because of the spotlight effect as well.
[00:09:00] Jack Schafer: Yeah. The spotlight effect occurs when we know we're doing something wrong or we know we're doing something we're not supposed to be doing. What that does is it heightens our sensitivity to the fact that we think the other person can see right through the lie or the story we're telling. So we have heightened sensitivity. And a good example of this is — have you ever had a little spot on your tie?
[00:09:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Or just on my chin? I don't wear ties a lot.
[00:09:26] Jack Schafer: Yeah, on your chin. Nobody notices it, but you're saying, "Everybody notices that spot on my tie. Everybody can see that."
[00:09:33] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I see. Right. So I notice it and I go, "Oh crap. I've got to go back to the office with this on my shirt. Everyone's going to see it." And the truth is no one's going — okay. I see what you're saying.
[00:09:41] Jack Schafer: Nobody cares about the spot on your tie. And then you're so sensitive, you point it out to them, "Look at the spot on my tie," and they go like, "Where? Oh, there it is." So they don't notice it. So that's the spotlight effect. A lot of people went on surveillance. They think they've been made when they're not made, because they think that the other guy can see what they're doing, when in fact the bad guy can't see them.
[00:10:04] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Because they're looking for that to happen. So he went outside and smoked and he stayed out there for 20 minutes and then he made a phone call. They know we're here. Or he went outside sick of sitting on his butt inside and made a phone call. It doesn't mean he sees you.
[00:10:18] Jack Schafer: Yeah, no he doesn't, but that's what we think. So it typically happens when you lie to somebody, when you lie to somebody, you think, "Oh, they see right through that lie." When in fact people don't see through that lie. So if you're interviewing a crook and they're lying to you, or your kids for that matter, and they're lying to you, what you can do is — and I was telling the crooks, I say, "You're a bad liar. You have a neon sign on your forehead that lights up every time you lie." So they became very hypersensitive. I'm intensifying that spotlight. So I go, "Oh, that light just went on and your forehead. I know you're lying." And so because of the hypersensitivity, they then think, "Oh my gosh, okay, you got me, you know I'm lying."
[00:11:01] Jordan Harbinger: Right. We want to make them self-conscious by thinking, you might even say, like, "You're touching your face a lot. Are you alright? Are you comfortable?" "I'm not touching my face a lot. Am I touching my face a lot? I'm not touching my face a lot."
[00:11:12] Jack Schafer: Yeah. Similar to that, yeah.
[00:11:14] Jordan Harbinger: I've thought about that too. I remember like fibbing as a kid and going, I'd probably read, you know, a book like Cialdini's Influence and I'm telling my parents some BS and I'm going, "No, I wasn't. I wasn't, I wasn't there." And then I go, "Oh crap, I'm touching my nose a lot. Isn't that in the book? Okay. Don't touch your nose. Cross your arms, and then say you didn't do it. Wait, but now, do I look, I look really stiff right now. Right? So I got to sort of touch my face sometimes, but don't touch your nose, touch your hair." So then I'm going like, "No, I wasn't there. I wasn't there. It turns off my normal switch and hits my weirdo switch, right?
[00:11:46] Jack Schafer: Yeah. And that's what happens. Especially if a spy is going operational, in other words, they're going to meet one of their assets or something and we're following them. You've looked for those things. Those things are outside the normal human behavior. You look for those things.
[00:12:03] Jordan Harbinger: How do we avoid the spotlight effect? If we're trying to keep our cool, if we're trying to get through that, is it just being aware that it exists? Is that kind of how we mitigate?
[00:12:13] Jack Schafer: Yeah. Name it and claim it, name it and claim it, say, "This is the spotlight effect." I always tell people, "I don't want you to turn off the spotlight, but you dim it." Be aware of it and dim it as low as possible. So you can still see where you're going and have some conscious awareness of what you're doing and where you're at.
[00:12:33] Jordan Harbinger: I know that you let people correct you in class when you make a mistake. I'm wondering if you make the mistake deliberately to let people correct you, but also why do you let people correct you in class or encourage people I should say to correct you in class? What does that do?
[00:12:47] Jack Schafer: Well, basically what it does is I'll make an innocuous mistake. I'll mispronounce the name.
[00:12:53] Jordan Harbinger: Deliberately though, right?
[00:12:54] Jack Schafer: Yeah, deliberately, a malaprop, just say something that's a little off, the students will inevitably — because there's a predisposed human predisposition to correct others. So they will correct me. And what it does is several things. The first thing it does is it makes me. And I said, "Oh, okay." I correct the mistake. It doesn't hurt my credibility, but it makes me human. People like when people are human, when they're presenting to them. And the other thing it does is that if I made one or two mistakes early in the lecture, then the students are more likely to contribute without the fear of being wrong because I've already been wrong. And I can't turn around and say, "Aha, you're wrong." And they'll turn around and say, "Well, you're wrong." So it gives them a comfort zone to be wrong so they contribute more.
[00:13:49] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So teachers can take note of that. I think this is probably a common teacher trick, but either way, take note, if you want. If you're teaching a workshop or something like that, maybe make the first mistake so that people feel comfortable enough to engage, correct the mistake. And then they say, "Ah, Jordan isn't going to think we're dumb if we don't understand this. He just misspelled malaprop."
[00:14:07] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:14:08] Jordan Harbinger: So you know, I'm comfortable correcting them there. Now, I'm going to be comfortable engaging in discussion, even if I get something wrong in front of the room.
[00:14:15] Jack Schafer: And the key to that is the more a person discusses in the class, the more they own it personally. And the more they own it, it becomes theirs. So when it comes time for your evaluation, who are they evaluating, the teacher or themselves? They're evaluating themselves because they own that lecture. They own a piece of that lecture. So they're more likely to say, "That's a very good lecture because I own part of it." So they're grading themselves.
[00:14:45] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Jack Schafer. We'll be right back.
[00:14:50] This episode is sponsored in part by Public Rec. In the past, I would never be cut out in public wearing sweatpants. Even if they're comfy, I just don't want to be seen with the saggy diaper butt look, looking like a scrub. I've got a reputation to maintain, even with my dad jeans. Thank goodness for Public Rec. They make leisure wear that looks great and feels good as well. My favorite is the all-day everyday pants, which are comfortable enough that you'll never take them off. I'd basically been living in these things during the pandemic. They're stylish enough that I can go out to the — well, nowhere in them, but, you know, I could, if I wanted to. They're comfortable on long flights and even at restaurants. Remember doing that? Public Rec are always my go-to pants. By some magic, they don't wrinkle. They always look near. They also have zipper pockets to no more having your phone or your wallet fall out when you sit down. I wear them so much. I need them in every one of the nine colors to keep them always on rotation.
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[00:15:50] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online therapy. Is there something interfering with your happiness or preventing you from achieving your goals? I often end up recommending therapy for issues, large and small, as you've heard on feedback Friday. Better Help will assess your needs and match you with your own licensed professional therapist. You can start communicating in under 48 hours. It's not a crisis line. It's not self-help. Better Help is professional therapy done securely online. Better Help is committed to facilitating great therapeutic matches. They make it easy. They make it free to change therapists if you need to, and it's more affordable than traditional offline therapy. Financial aid is also available. You can also check out Better Help's online testimonials. There's a lot. And a lot of you have written into me to tell me how much you appreciate Better Help as well and how much it's working for you. So I'm really behind this one.
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[00:16:59] And don't forget, we've got worksheets for many episodes. So if you want some of the drills and exercises talked about during this show, those are all in one easy place as well. That link to the worksheets is also in the show notes, jordanharbinger.com/podcasts.
[00:17:12] Now back to Dr. Jack Schafer.
[00:17:16] One concept that you have that I think is — I don't want to say underrated, but possibly one of the most useful from the book is making people feel good about themselves so that they seek to be around you and get those feelings again. And I can imagine that coming in extremely handy when recruiting intelligence agents and making friends, making connections, generating rapport. Can we talk about those? Because you've got a game plan for this with empathic statements and allowing people to compliment themselves, I think it is pretty genius.
[00:17:47] Jack Schafer: Yeah. What you need to do is make the whole focus of that conversation about the other person, because we each think the world revolves around us. And if you put the focus on the other person, they're not going to think that's odd because they think the world revolves around them. And that finally somebody is — what?
[00:18:06] Jordan Harbinger: Realizing their genius.
[00:18:07] Jack Schafer: Yeah, realizing their genius. The way you can do that is, the first one is the empathic statement. What you want to do is take what that person said, how they feel, their emotional status, and just what? Used parallel language and mirror back to them. And the construct is, "so you". You want to begin your empathic statement with "so you". So you feel good today. An example of this is I was on an elevator and there was a student down there and she was smiling. She's obviously happy. And I said, "So you're having a good day." That's just mirroring back. She says, "Oh, I had a really good day. I took a test. I studied hard. I took a test and I passed it." So what is she saying? "So your hard work paid off?" She goes, "Yeah, it really did." And then she keeps going and going. So you can use this series of empathic statements to make the focus on the other person.
[00:19:03] And another way to do that is to flatter somebody. When you flatter somebody directly, "Oh, you have a nice this and nice that. And they said, "What do you want?"
[00:19:13] Jordan Harbinger: Right. What do you want? Yeah. What's your aim here?
[00:19:15] Jack Schafer: Students come into my office, "Oh, Professor Schafer, you're the best professor in the whole wide world." And I go, "What do you want?"
[00:19:22] Jordan Harbinger: I need an extension on my paper. Yeah.
[00:19:26] Jack Schafer: Yeah. They want something. So a better way to approach somebody is, "Can I get your advice?" "Professor, I'd like your advice." And then I'm thinking, "Of course, they want my advice. I'm the professor." So it makes me feel good about myself, doesn't it? So I'm more likely to listen to what that student has to say. If they asked for my advice versus using that flattery techniques.
[00:19:50] Jordan Harbinger: So this is kind of allowing people to compliment themselves, right? So instead of saying, "Oh, you're the best professor in the world. You're so interesting." You can just say, I want to make the context, do the complimenting. So I might come in and go, instead of saying, "You're so interesting. Your stories are so good." I might say, "I had to come back and get the rest of that story you were saying about the Russian agent, because you didn't really get a chance to finish. And I am dying to know what happened after you recruited Vladimir." And you're going, "Well, I must be really interesting. This guy is taking off his free time to come to my office hours to get the rest of that story. I'm interesting." So that's complimenting yourself, but I didn't tell you that I signaled it through my actions or through other questioning.
[00:20:31] Jack Schafer: Or an even more subtle way is to walk in and say, "Professor Schafer, I tried some of those techniques we talked about in class. Works like a charm. It saved me an argument with my girlfriend," or boyfriend. So I'm thinking, "Oh, yeah, I did a good job. So you're allowing yourself to flatter yourself and that makes you feel good. And the interesting thing is if you make somebody feel good about themselves, they're going to want to come back and see you again, to feel that same good feeling and they will think of an excuse to come back to see you. And it's interesting, you make it about somebody else and that person likes you more and they want to be around you more because you make them feel good about themselves.
[00:21:17] Jordan Harbinger: As long as we do it in a skillful enough way that they don't go, "All right, why is this person giving me—?" It can't be blatant enough that it hits their red flags, right? It can't hit their radar.
[00:21:29] Jack Schafer: So that's why you allow people to flatter themselves. So you just put out a statement. You know, you could say, "You know, Jordan, your show has given me so much insight into human behavior. It's incredible. I just enjoy learning new techniques," and you're going like, "Yeah, I did a good job." Very few people would resist patting themselves on the back.
[00:21:51] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:21:52] Jack Schafer: Unless you name it and claim it. So you're sitting there going like, "No, no, no, this is a trick. I know what you're up to. It's not working on me." Well, you just named it and claimed it. So it doesn't work on you. See how you can inoculate yourself from these things?
[00:22:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Bringing it to the level of conscious awareness is always, it seems to be a recurring theme here, but it makes sense that that's how you do that. Because otherwise, we know that these are going to work on us, these principles of influence. So we can't just say, "I'm not going to be influenced by this person being nice to me. It doesn't really work." But if we just say, "Yes, they're being nice to me, but they're also probably, possibly doing this because I have valuable information for them. So I'm going to enjoy that they're being nice to me, but I'm not going to delude myself into thinking it's because I'm such a genius and I'm so handsome."
[00:22:37] Jack Schafer: Right. Yes. That's exactly what you do.
[00:22:40] Jordan Harbinger: The asking for advice or the Benjamin Franklin sort of rule comes into play a lot here as well. You've mentioned that a few times. Even when correcting people, instead of having them lose face by telling them that they're wrong, we can ask them for advice there too. And you mentioned that in the book. So if we remember a couple of things from this episode of the show, it's going to be, name it and claim it. And instead of going head to head with them on something, ask them for advice to sort of redirect the conversation and save the rapport.
[00:23:07] Jack Schafer: Yeah. If I'm going to go see my supervisor or my chair in the department or supervisor in the FBI, and I want to influence that person, I always say, "Sir, you got a minute? I want your advice on something." And of course, they go, "Of course, I do." So they sit down and now you start using your techniques. And one of the techniques I use is something called the lip purse. And that is when you push your lips out a little bit. That means that person has already formed a negative opinion about what you just said. So if I asked my boss, "I have this plan I want to use and I need some money for it." And he purses his lips, well, obviously, the problem is going to be money. And so your job is to change that person's mind while it's still in his head, because once he articulates no, then it's very difficult to go back on no, and change the person's mind because of the psychological principle of consistency. What you say, you want to adhere to. So when I see the lip purse, I say, "Ah, money's a problem." So then I try techniques to get the boss to change his mind before he says no. Sales people use this a lot to look for those sales objections.
[00:24:24] Jordan Harbinger: This is underrated, maybe. I want to highlight this because this seems really useful. If we see someone who's resistant to an idea through the lip purse, or maybe, I don't know, you can probably do it through other ways, right? Like closed off body language or whatever sort of other menagerie of the nonverbals that show that somebody is not interested or a scowling or looking down and shaking their head, whatever it is you're saying we got to change their mind before they vocalize or verbalize their rejection or their concerns because once they verbalize it or vocalize those concerns, then it's harder to change their mind. Is that what you're saying?
[00:25:00] Jack Schafer: Right. That's exactly what I'm saying.
[00:25:02] Jordan Harbinger: And then the reason it's harder for us to change their mind is because since they verbalized it — it's more embarrassing for me to say, "Actually, you know, I know where your head's at, but this is not a good idea. Let me tell you why." And then I tell you five reasons. And now you're trying to change my idea after I've supposedly given you a well-thought-out rejection. It looks bad or feels bad for me to then go back on that and go, "Eh, maybe I'm wrong on all of those things."
[00:25:23] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:25:23] Jordan Harbinger: You've got to get it before it becomes a fully baked rejection in my head and then comes out of my mouth. And if you can change my mind before that you have an easier shot at doing so. Right?
[00:25:34] Jack Schafer: Right. And it's interesting in class when I give a lecture and I'll say something and a student will purse their lips and I'll just say, "Well, you don't agree with what I just said." "How did you know?" Because you told me with the lip purse.
[00:25:47] Jordan Harbinger: That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. Is that the primary piece of nonverbal communication you see when people are resistant to an idea?
[00:25:55] Jack Schafer: Yeah, that would be primary. The second one is a lip bite, which means they want to say something, but they're biting their lip to prevent themselves from saying it. So if I say something in class and I see a student biting, you know, like tug on their lip. I always say, "Oh, you have something to say." And they go like, "How did you know?" "Well, because I saw you tugging your lip," but they don't want to say it for some reason. So if you give them permission to talk, then they will talk. The other one is lip compression. And that means you're stronger because you're actually locking your lips between your teeth. That's because you don't want to say anything. That's my wife's tell, by the way. Whenever I say something, she doesn't like, she's—
[00:26:36] Jordan Harbinger: The inhale, getting ready.
[00:26:37] Jack Schafer: "I see you're doing that again. You're doing that again. You don't like what I just said. You have something that's not good to say about what I just said." She goes, "Yeah. And I'm keeping my mouth shut."
[00:26:50] Jordan Harbinger: There's a lot here. I'm sort of picking my next few points here in the interest at a time, but you mentioned a lot about anger towards the end of the book. And you've said that why people get angry and get frustrated is, it's not always for the most obvious reasons, right? We're frustrated because of a lack of communication or we're frustrated because of an underlying problem. A lot of people think that anger is the problem when anger is really the symptom of the underlying problem. Can you tell us about this a little bit and how empathic statements can address or should address the underlying issues?
[00:27:23] Jack Schafer: What happens is when people get angry their world doesn't make sense anymore. And people want to be able to predict their world. They want things to go a certain way. They want to go the way they think it should go. And that gives people comfort. When the world is out of sync, then they become frustrated. And if that world cannot be synced up again, then it grows into anger. So the first thing you want to do with an angry person is to provide an explanation that puts their world back in sync again. "The reason I'm doing this is because—" and then you give the reason and then all of a sudden, their world makes sense again. And they go like, "Oh, okay. That makes sense." They're no longer angry.
[00:28:06] Jordan Harbinger: Can you give us an example of this in action? I know in the book, there's one about your wife being busy with the kids and you being out of town. If you want to use that one, that's fine. Or if you have a new one, that's fine too.
[00:28:16] Jack Schafer: Yeah. The thing about being out of sync is when I was a cop, the rule was you handcuff everybody. And I handcuffed the guy in his house and he's saying like, "Why are you handcuffing me in front of my family? In front of my friends? I'm not dangerous. I'll walk out to the car with you. You can cuff me later." Because of that, he's kind of angry. Because his world now is out of sync. So I told him, I said, "Look, it's policy. We have to do this. And we can do it very quickly. And we could do it very nonchalantly and nobody has to know, or we can make a big deal out of it." So he says, "Okay, it's policy. You have to do it." So all of a sudden he comes into sync again. That makes sense, because I have no choice. So the guy goes, "Okay," so then we walk out real quickly and get in the car, be gone.
[00:29:16] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Jack Schafer. We'll be right back.
[00:29:21] This episode is sponsored in part by Everlane. Y'all know I love adventure, traveling to North Korea, Butan, the Amazon jungle, but I'm learning to enjoy everyday adventures as well. Like getting lost in a book, trying out a new brunch spot. That's how you know I'm old. Everlane is a premium essential that keeps me comfy every time. My Everlane linen shirt is soft, breathable. Keeps me breezy on those hot summer days when I'm taking Jayden out to the park. Everlane has made quality clothing with ethical factories and radically transparent pricing since 2010. They use ethical factories that provide fair wages and reasonable hours to the skilled people who craft their clothing. Even more impressive, while most retailers hide their markups, Everlane believes their customers have the right to know how much their clothes cost to make. So they share exactly how much their products cost to produce at each stage. Everlane's uniform line comes with a 365-day guarantee.
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[00:31:56] Jordan Harbinger: And now for the conclusion of my conversation with Jack Schafer.
[00:32:01] You're addressing like the underlying symptom using empathic statements. So that may be telling them the why — the example you gave in the book was your wife is angry because you're away for five days at a time doing undercover work or whatever it is. And instead of saying, "Oh, so you're angry because I haven't been around to help." And you're just highlighting the anger. Instead, say, "I know you really value your time with your friends and talking to other adults instead of just talking to two year olds." So you're showing that you understand the underlying symptom that causes the anger instead of just repeatedly highlighting the anger. I think that's the subtle genius of this.
[00:32:36] Jack Schafer: Yeah. Well, the first step is provide that explanation and if that explanation doesn't work, then you go into the anger side because this person is angry now. And when you're angry, you don't think logically. You let that person vent that anger without throwing fuel on the fire. And then, if you can do that, then that person once they vent all their anger, then they can start thinking logically again, and you can persuade them to do what you want them to do. So the first thing you want to is when a person's angry, you want to use an empathic statement. "So you're upset because I have to handcuff you in front of your family and your friends and your neighbors." And he'll say, "Well, yeah, that's why I'm upset because it makes me look bad and I'll look like I'm a criminal. It look makes me look this way or bad, you know, embarrassed is me." So I say, "So you don't want to be embarrassed. You've just made a minor mistake and you don't want to be embarrassed and you don't want attention being drawn to you to ruin your reputation or the way your family looks at you." "Well, yeah, that's exactly what I wanted." And so once you allow them to vent through a series of empathic statements, then they get to the point where you can see that physical relaxation in their shoulders and the breath — you ever think about the last time you're angry and you're done being angry? You just relax. At that point, that's when you introduce a presumptive statement or a course of action, which they have a very difficult time not going along with. So I've just told this guy you're embarrassed because of this. And he says, yes, and your family. And I say, "So why don't we just put the handcuffs down, we'll give you a long coat you can wear. And then we can just walk out to the car and leave." And what's he going to say? No.
[00:34:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, sure. Thank you.
[00:34:33] Jack Schafer: It's difficult.
[00:34:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's going to be tricky.
[00:34:36] Jack Schafer: Yeah. And if he does say no, then you get down to the point of, "You choose either we can do it quietly where nobody knows what's going on, or we can drag you out screaming and kicking, and everybody's going to know what's going on. So it's up to you, sir. What would you like? It's your choice. You choose."
[00:34:56] Jordan Harbinger: So giving them almost the illusion of choice, right? Like you're still going to put handcuffs on and come outside, but your choice is to either do it this way or do it this other way. And so now they feel like they're in control again—
[00:35:08] Jack Schafer: Yes.
[00:35:08] Jordan Harbinger: —even though they're not. All roads lead to them coming out in the car with handcuffs on.
[00:35:13] Jack Schafer: Yes. And you avoid a confrontation. So I think a lot of the stuff that's going on now between police and the communities is that the police aren't using, they're not using those psychological techniques that they could use to de-escalate things. And what gets in the way of this is ego. "You're doing it my way. I'm the cop. You're doing it my way or no way." And when I was a cop, I was taught this, especially being a cop, an FBI agent was. No, I'm going to give you the illusion you're in control or I will create power for you. And then I'll let you exercise this creative power. And then I take the power away. If I give you power, I can take it away. So who's ultimately in charge, I am. And if we use this anger cycle, who's ultimately in charge? I am, I am controlling. But you have to use a certain amount of ego suspension has to take place.
[00:36:11] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah, and a lot of people who are used to having power in all situations, especially at work and over other people, ego suspension might be a bit of a challenge.
[00:36:20] Jack Schafer: Yes. It takes practice.
[00:36:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Uncomfortable practice too, right? Because you actually have to do it in order to practice.
[00:36:26] Jack Schafer: Yes.
[00:36:27] Jordan Harbinger: If you became a cop so that you'd never have to surrender to anyone again. And there's a few of those in every force, right? Now, you've got to kind of a deadly mix, unfortunately.
[00:36:35] Jack Schafer: Yes, you do. Yeah. And that's where cops get into a lot of trouble.
[00:36:39] Jordan Harbinger: In closing here, last but not least, you've got this interesting technique probably from interrogations, which is, I guess, you'd just call it, "Why should I believe you?" Take us through this. Because I feel like I'm going to be using this a lot as a parent.
[00:36:51] Jack Schafer: Yeah. I used to call it my poor man's polygraph, but now I've had to change it to like poor human polygraph.
[00:36:56] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, yeah.
[00:36:57] Jack Schafer: So, but there's basically five techniques you can use to determine somebody is lying to you or not. And the first one is, why should I believe you? If you're telling me this story, why should I believe you? And honest people say, "Because I'm telling the truth." Dishonest people will say something other than that. So if you say, because I'm telling the truth or some form of it, they're probably telling you the truth. So what I do is I'll say, "Why should I believe you?" "Well, I'm an honest person." "Have you ever lied in your life?" "Yes." "When do you lie? To get out of trouble." So this would fall under the heading of when you would like.
[00:37:37] Jordan Harbinger: Only to the police, only to the police. Yeah.
[00:37:40] Jack Schafer: Yeah, only to the police. So ask that question. The second question is you ask them a yes-or-no question. If their first word out of their mouth is, "Well," then they are about to give you an answer. They know you're not expecting. Good example of this is, I send my kid off to the bedroom to do his homework. I hear nothing but shenanigans going on there, no homework. And when he comes out, I say, "Did you do your homework?" And my son says, "Well," that means he is about to give me an answer he knows I'm not expecting. And in this case, what answers does he think I'm expecting? "Yes, dad, I did my homework." So he's going to give you any answer, but yes, when he says, well.
[00:38:27] Jordan Harbinger: Well is the tell that says you're not getting a straight answer or you're getting an excuse. Yeah.
[00:38:32] Jack Schafer: Yeah, you're getting — so I say, "Boss, am I getting a raise this year?" "Well—" No, you're not getting a raise.
[00:38:38] Jordan Harbinger: There's a lot that I can see going from police work to parenting, to even just working in an office, right? Probably less interrogations from your bosses although hard to say. There is a lot in the book about recognizing a plight, knowing when to use empathic statements, physical and nonverbal communication, observing other people, and drills and exercises and how to do that. And I'll go over some of that in the show closed, but we'll put a little bit more in the worksheet.
[00:39:05] Dr. Jack Schafer, thank you so much. It's always fun to talk to you and we'll have to have you come back. Are you working on anything new or are you trying to retire at some point?
[00:39:13] Jack Schafer: Well, I'm slowing down a bit. I'm still teaching and maybe I have one more book in me.
[00:39:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. What would it be about if you were writing it right now?
[00:39:23] Jack Schafer: I don't know. Maybe it's short stories about some FBI cases that I had.
[00:39:28] Jordan Harbinger: I think there's a book there.
[00:39:29] Jack Schafer: Yeah. Most investigations are boring. So I would just highlight the exciting moments in the investigation.
[00:39:36] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:39:37] Jack Schafer: I think that's what people would be most interested in.
[00:39:39] Jordan Harbinger: Are you going to take concepts from The Like Switch and The Truth Detector and put those into the stories so that people can use them?
[00:39:44] Jack Schafer: Yeah, I probably will.
[00:39:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:39:46] Jack Schafer: Because that's where they all came from, The Like Switch and The Truth Detector all came from my experiences in law enforcement.
[00:39:53] Jordan Harbinger: Do you think that the US has gotten better at using these techniques in counterintelligence and in intelligence work? Or do you think we're relying a lot more on technology these days, to our detriment?
[00:40:04] Jack Schafer: I think we're moving a lot towards electronic surveillance and away from human, what we call HUMINT. But I think we're going to need HUMINT though. I mean, there's only so much you can get, we call it SIGINT, IMINT, HUMINT. You know, the electronic stuff, there's only so much you can get. There's nothing takes the place of having somebody inside an organization telling you exactly what's being said. So I think that the pendulum is going to swing back the other way.
[00:40:36] Jordan Harbinger: Well, hopefully, we'll be able to play a little bit of a part in that, and I'm sure you'll be one of the first people to know if the pendulum starts to swing the other way because they're going to have to call you back to work. You're never going to get a chance to retire, but hey, at least you'll get to work at a fun career.
[00:40:49] Jack Schafer: Yeah. Oh, it's been, it's been a very enjoyable career.
[00:40:52] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you very much for your time.
[00:40:55] If you want more from Dr. Jack Schafer, we did a two parter with him on elicitation. Here's a preview.
[00:41:02] Jack Schafer: We want the best out of life. We want the best business deals. We want the best personal relationships that we can get. A lot of that information that we need to get that best deal is often hidden with elicitation. People don't realize that you're using elicitation techniques on them. You're just setting up a psychological environment that predisposes them to want to tell you information they wouldn't otherwise tell you.
[00:41:27] Typically, elicitation doesn't use questions. If you asked me a direct question, I'm thinking, "What does he want? How's this information going to be used? Is it going to be used against me? Why is he saying this? What's his motivation?" And then of course, I'm going to come out with my sunshine answer and give you something that I think you want to hear. There's a human predisposition to correct others. If I want to get information from you, I will just give you what we call a presumptive statement. In other words, it's either a false statement or a true statement, but you're going to corroborate say, "Yes, that's true." Or you're going to say, "No, that's not true. It's this."
[00:42:06] We take our students after four hours of instruction in the morning, we take them typically to a public school. And we will assign them targets randomly throughout the mall. And we'll tell our students, "See that person over there, go get their date of birth, go get their social security number, go get their pin numbers for their computer, in their bank accounts." And the students can do that within three to five minutes of meeting a stranger.
[00:42:29] I can get some stranger to like me within five or 10 minutes. The brain automatically ascribes all the rights and privileges of a friendship that took maybe years to develop.
[00:42:42] Jordan Harbinger: For more on how you can use elicitation techniques used by the FBI to negotiate better salaries and more, check out episode 467 on The Jordan Harbinger Show with Jack Schafer.
[00:42:54] Always so fascinating with Jack Schafer. He mentioned a few more practicals from the book that we didn't get to cover here on the show. So we want to practice by observing others, especially couples. This is actually how I started and how I used to teach 15 years ago or so, when I was teaching a lot of this stuff. Practice observing others, and especially if you're observing couples, you're going to see a lot of amazing nonverbal stuff, just pop right out. A lot of rapport technique is just going to ooze out of your observations. It's a great way to learn. Of course, the best way to do this is to apply and to watch others applying this, whether they know they're applying it or not.
[00:43:27] The book also has lots of tips for servers to get higher tips. So if you're in the service industry or you're tipped by people, this is a great episode and a great book to double down and really learn well, because it will pay for itself. There's a lot more in the book as well about empathetic statements, how to use them, generating rapport, generating even romantic connections, depending on how you want to use that. I wouldn't say it's the kind of stuff you might use inside a marriage or inside a relationship but if you're dating a lot of this stuff can be very, very useful. Techniques, like recognizing a plight, right? Where you go to a restaurant, the servers are really having a hectic day and you say something like, "Boy, you must be busy. I could never keep up." Or the store is slammed and you say, "Wow, you must be on your feet all day. I couldn't do it." That will increase the quality of service and the quality of your rapport.
[00:44:10] There's a lot of little techniques like that in the book. Again, I do recommend this if you're in the service industry, especially because while some of the techniques like shared experiences, oh, we're from the same place. "Oh, we're doing the same course of study." "Oh, where you have the same type of religious faith," whatever that may be, those shared experiences, those techniques might seem obvious. There's also things like the misattribution principle that are less obvious, right? So you might anchor yourself to an experience they're having such as a workout or a beneficial event in their life. You don't have to work out with them. You just be around during or even after.
[00:44:45] And scary experiences can also bond, scary movies, for example, it doesn't have to be actual trauma. There's a lot of sort of non-obvious report generation techniques in the book. And again, if you're in the service industry, and even if you're not, if you just have clients as an attorney, I think this book will have a lot of things where you say, "Okay, great. I already knew that," but the stuff that you didn't know, that's where the gold always is. Right? It's always good when you're reading or learning, not to say, "Oh, I already knew this, this, and this," but to look for the stuff that you don't know, even if it's one or two little things that I would say is always worth the time invested in a book or in a podcast for that matter.
[00:45:17] So big thank you to Dr. Jack Schafer. The book title is The Like Switch. Links to all of his stuff, his books, his work will be in the show notes. Please use our website site links if you buy the books from our guests. That does help support the show. Worksheets for the episode in the show notes. Transcripts in the show notes. Video of this interview on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. Our clips channel with cuts that don't make it to the show or highlights from interviews that you can't see anywhere is jordanharbinger.com/clips. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or you can hit me on LinkedIn. I always love hearing from you.
[00:45:49] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using systems, software, tiny habits. That's our Six-Minute Networking course. If you're big on rapport like you should be after listening to this show, or if that's why you listened to the show, you're going to love Six-Minute Networking. And the price is right because it's free. Jordanharbinger.com/course is where it's at. Dig the well before you get thirsty. Most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course, they help contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you believe.
[00:46:17] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's in the service industry, is working on being more likable, trust-able, share this episode. I hope you find something great in every episode of the show. We do work so hard on it. Please share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:46:53] This episode is also sponsored in part by LifeLock. A massive potential leak involving Microsoft Power apps, a development tool for many public websites and mobile apps may have exposed 38 million records, including social security, numbers, addresses, phone numbers, even COVID-19 vaccination status. Don't get complacent with the increasing number of leaks. It's important to understand how cybercrime and identity theft are affecting our lives. Every day, we put our information at risk on the Internet. In an instant, a cyber criminal can harm what's yours, your finances, your credit. That's why we use LifeLock. LifeLock helps detect a wide range of identity threats, like your social security number for sale on the dark web. If they detect your information has potentially been compromised, they'll send you an alert. You have access to a dedicated restoration specialist if you become a victim of identity theft.
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