Jack Schafer (@jackschafer) is a retired FBI special agent, current assistant professor at Western Illinois University, and co-author of The Truth Detector: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide for Getting People to Reveal the Truth. [This is part two of a two-part episode. Catch up with part one here!]
What We Discuss with Jack Schafer:
- Elicitation versus interrogation: why one is usually more effective in extracting truth than the other.
- How the elicitation techniques used by the FBI to uncover secrets from foreign spies can be applied to buying used cars, negotiating better salaries, and finding out if your teenager is throwing parties when you’re out of town.
- Three friend signals we display when we want to establish rapport and trust with someone we’ve just met (and might be used against us by con artists and other disreputable types).
- How presumptive statements can be used to play upon our insecurities and get us to easily reveal truths we’d otherwise keep guarded — and what we can do to avoid spilling the beans when they’re used against us.
- How to use a third-party perspective to discover what people are really thinking.
- And much more…
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
It’s been said that you’ll attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. As to why anyone might want to attract flies in the first place is largely a mystery, but it illustrates a simple point: one way is more effective than the other. When the FBI wants a ne’er-do-well to fess up to the part they’ve played in a crime, it’s understood that torture or other means of forceful coercion just aren’t very effective (or ethical) tools for extracting this information. Far better is elicitation — a field-tested technique for encouraging people to provide information they would otherwise keep secret.
On this two-part episode, we talk to Jack Schafer, co-author (with Marvin Karlins) of The Truth Detector: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide for Getting People to Reveal the Truth, and the expert who created this technique and pioneered it for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program. You’ll get a front-row seat to understanding how elicitation works to gain trust and rapport with others — and get liars to reveal the truth. 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!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
Purple is the best mattress tech advancement in 80 years; its mattresses and pillows come with free delivery, free returns, and a 100-night trial. Go to purple.com/jordan10 and use promo code Jordan10 for 10% off any order of $200 or more!
Better Help offers affordable, online counseling at your convenience. If you’re coping with depression, stress, anxiety, addiction, or any number of issues, you’re not alone. Talk with a licensed professional therapist for 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan!
Need custom graphics, logos, or Web design? Access a community of 600,000+ designers by registering at designcrowd.com/jordan and enjoy up to $150 off with The Jordan Harbinger Show bonus offer!
Fiverr has a mission to change how the world works together by connecting businesses with freelancers offering digital services in 250+ categories. Whether you’re looking for new copy and a design for your website or a voicemail message in an exotic accent from a faraway land, Fiverr can deliver at a price you can afford. Go to Fiverr.com and use code JORDAN at checkout to get 10% off!
On The Old Man & the Three (by Cadence13), New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick and his co-host Tommy Alter discuss current events and interview some of the biggest names in the NBA, entertainment, and political worlds. Listen here or wherever you enjoy podcasts!
Miss the conversation we had with Gift of Fear author and security legend Gavin de Becker? Catch up with episode 329: Gavin de Becker | The Gift of Fear Part One here!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- The Truth Detector: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide for Getting People to Reveal the Truth by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins
- The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over by Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins
- Jack Schafer | Twitter
- What Are Miranda Rights? | LegalZoom
- Channeling Mike Wallace: How to Manage Gotcha Journalism | PRSA
- The Presumptive Is a Powerful Truth Serum | Psychology Today
- Larry Lawton | From Jewel Thief to Honorary Cop Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Larry Lawton | From Jewel Thief to Honorary Cop Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
- Fooling Your Ego (with a Third-Person Perspective) | Psychology Today
- The Friendship Formula | Psychology Today
- What Is Cognitive Dissonance? | Verywell Mind
Transcript for Jack Schafer | Getting People to Reveal the Truth Part Two (Episode 468)
Jordan Harbinger: Coming up on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:02] Jack Schafer: I said, "Why did you even get started in this?" He said, "Well, I read a spy book in my country when I was eight or 10 years old." And he said, "That's all I wanted to do in my life was to be a spy." And he said, "And I was a spy. It was very exciting." And I said, "But it's not so exciting now, is it?" He said, "Well, the book ended a little happy — had a happier ending than this chapter I'm living."
[00:00:27] 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 and entrepreneurs, spies and psychologists, even the occasional neuroscientists, Russian spy, or Russian spy hunter in our case here today, or an organized crime figure. You get the idea, a lot of amazing and interesting people here on the show. 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.
[00:01:01] If you're new to the show or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about the show, which I always do appreciate, we have episodes starter packs now. These are collections of your favorite episodes, organized by popular topics to help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started or to help somebody else get started with us, which again, always appreciate it.
[00:01:24] Today, part two with Dr. Jack Schafer — elicitation, persuasion, influence — this guy was one of our chief spy recruiters, one of our spy hunters as well. So you're definitely going to want to make sure that you're absorbing all of this. I won't belabor the point. You've already heard part one. If you haven't, go back and listen to that, because otherwise you're going to miss out on the first half. And nobody wants that.
[00:01:44] If you're wondering how I managed to book all these amazing folks, it's my network, I'm telling you. I'm teaching you how to build your network for free. So like LeVar Burton, you don't have to take my word for it, go and build your own. Jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find it for free. And by the way, most of the guests on the show, they're in the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you obviously belong. Now here's part two with Dr. Jack Schafer.
[00:02:10] What if the target is narcissistic? Then they'll feel they deserve that status. Does that limit cognitive dissonance that you can create through status elevation? Because what if I'm like, "Yeah, I am great. I am amazing at everything. I do deserve all of these accolades. My first book is better than Jane Austen or as good as."
[00:02:26] Jack Schafer: What I'll do is capitalize on that and start feeding your ego by allowing you to flatter yourself. "Well, of course, I recognize it right away. You're the next famous author here." So what are the next steps?
[00:02:39] Jordan Harbinger: "Yeah. You're taking the world by storm. What's the next thing you're working on?" Yeah.
[00:02:44] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:02:44] Jordan Harbinger: "Who are you working with? Oh, you shouldn't work with them. You should work with this better agency. Let me introduce you." Yeah.
[00:02:49] Jack Schafer: So those people are easy to work with.
[00:02:51] Jordan Harbinger: Narcissistic people are inherently very easy to manipulate, right? I see this all the time with guests on this show. Obviously not yourself, I'm not trying to imply anything here — but when somebody says, "Oh, I'm very busy." "Oh, this person is extremely busy." "I don't have much time or I don't do much media." The response is never, "Well, here's why you should do my show," unless they're a very logical scientist or something like that, usually it's, "Oh, well, I understand that. I don't know why you would waste your time with much media. In fact, the best use of your time for media is merely to get your amazing ideas out to as many people as possible. You should not be wasting your time with small outlets that don't understand what you're trying to do and understand your mission." And then usually — it depends how grandiose I have to get, but usually within the next two or three emails, it's, "When are we doing the interview?" Right?
[00:03:39] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:03:39] Jordan Harbinger: Because it's all about them. I try not to do that because it feels a little icky, but I guess it's — you know, does it feel gross when you do this? You're doing it for national security and I'm doing it to get people to do an interview on a podcast. So the stakes are really a lot different between what you're doing and what I'm doing.
[00:03:57] Jack Schafer: Well, it doesn't feel icky to me because I'm not going to abuse it. The thing is people often say, "Well, you use this stuff — you're really manipulating people." And I'm saying, "You may be predisposing people to talk to you and reveal things you're not supposed to reveal, but anytime you have any technique, people will abuse it. So wouldn't it be good to arm yourself with this information so that you can recognize when somebody is taking advantage of you"? So you have to look at both sides. If you don't feel comfortable using it don't. But you have to learn these techniques, so you're not a victim of identity theft or worse.
[00:04:36] Jordan Harbinger: I think what makes me a little bit annoyed with myself is that I am totally comfortable using it. I don't use it very often. I'd like to think I'm convincing enough and that the show is good enough to stand on its own merits, but I don't feel that bad about doing it. I mean, it's just sort of me figuring out what someone's personality type is like. And then taking the requisite steps. I'm not doing anything that's against their interests. Further, I think if someone's excessively complimentary, it can come off as manipulative. And a lot of the time, instead of just outright flattery, I simply give people an opportunity to flatter themselves. Does that make sense?
[00:05:10] Jack Schafer: That's one of the techniques. I rarely use compliments, direct compliments. I always allow people to flatter themselves. Or I would ask for their advice.
[00:05:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yes. The Benjamin Franklin effect, right?
[00:05:21] Jack Schafer: Yes, absolutely. You want to ask for somebody's advice. Say, "Can I get your advice?" And booksellers often come by professors' offices — I remember, the one sales salesperson came by and she said, "This was the best book and it's better than the one you picked. And this is great. And you got to buy my book." The first thing I thought was, "You just told me my judgment on textbooks is very poor," and so shields go up. And I told her, "You know a better way to approach a professor?" Because professors often have a pretty high image of themselves. "And what you want to do is say, 'Professor, I'd like your advice.' Now, what does that do?"
[00:05:57] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:05:58] Jack Schafer: It doesn't challenge the professor. It elevates him. Allows him to flatter himself. They'll say, "Of course, they want my advice because I'm the person that has all the intelligence."
[00:06:08] Jordan Harbinger: Right. That's why it's Dr. Jack Schafer to you, buddy. Right?
[00:06:13] Jack Schafer: I rarely refer to myself as doctor, by the way.
[00:06:15] Jordan Harbinger: It's on the book title. It's on a book cover. I know I'm just ribbing you, yeah.
[00:06:21] Jack Schafer: But you know, what happens when I give speeches, I don't ever introduce myself or have myself introduced as doctor. But at the end of the training, they always refer to me as doctor. So I know at least, I've earned their respect versus forcing somebody to respect a piece of paper, basically.
[00:06:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:06:38] Jack Schafer: Because I'm a cop with a piece of paper. That's about it.
[00:06:41] Jordan Harbinger: A cop with a piece of paper, nice. How do we construct a dialogue that gets people to compliment themselves instead? We obviously don't want to overdo it. We want to be believable with anything like this. My wife is actually very sensitive to this. When people compliment us in a business setting, she'll often — after we're away from them, she'll go, "You know, I don't think we should work with them. I just, I don't like them. They were way too complimentary. And it doesn't seem genuine. I think we should run, not walk away from this deal." And I used to go, "Oh, you don't know, they're just being nice." And every time I've not listened to her on something like this, I've pretty much gotten burned because it's just a very sort of basic manipulation technique that a lot of — like greenbelt manipulators will use is compliments.
[00:07:25] Jack Schafer: Well, what you've learned over your experience is how to discern whether somebody is being genuine or not genuine. So you've gained a lot of that information just through hard work. And that's why you're successful because you learned how to do the right thing and be able to read people.
[00:07:43] Jordan Harbinger: No, my wife has, in any case. I might be a slow learner. We'll see.
[00:07:46] Jack Schafer: Well, I doubt you're a slow learner because you pick up on things pretty quickly.
[00:07:51] Jordan Harbinger: I know you're doing it to me right now and it's just — I can't do anything about it.
[00:08:01] Jack Schafer: Name it and claim it, right?
[00:08:02] Jordan Harbinger: That's right. What do you do? Just accept it. Keep it coming. Keep it coming, Jack. What else am I good at?
[00:08:12] Jack Schafer: You fell for it at the beginning.
[00:08:13] Jordan Harbinger: In the beginning, I was like, he's probably doing it. But I'm going to let this one go and then you kept doing it. And I was like, okay, he's waiting for my reaction.
[00:08:20] Jack Schafer: Yes, I am. I would say I made it more and more obvious as I went on. I said, if he doesn't pick it up now, he better go talk to his wife.
[00:08:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Are you sure you read the book, Jordan? You're not really — this has taken a little bit too much work.
[00:08:35] Jack Schafer: Your wife is far more intelligent than you are. You better rely on her judgement.
[00:08:39] Jordan Harbinger: That's exactly the plan. It's worked out well so far. Yeah.
[00:08:43] Jack Schafer: I may have been having way too much fun here.
[00:08:47] Jordan Harbinger: No, I love this. I love it. This is good. I mean, so far, I've hopefully redeemed my first impression where I made a comment about your headset. That set us off on the wrong path.
[00:08:59] Why is it better to elicit the truth rather than confront deception itself? We want to make sure that we are getting the truth in the first place, instead of waiting for people to lie to us and then saying, "Ah, I got you!" Is it a rapport thing?
[00:09:12] Jack Schafer: Well, it comes down to another psychological principle and that is the psychological principle of consistency. Once we articulate a position — and in this case it would be a lie, we have a very difficult time changing our position. Because we don't want to experience the anxiety of being wrong. So what the truth detector does in elicitation, it gives you the ability to get that information before people can articulate that lie. Because once you articulate a lie, it's very difficult to retract that lie in any other position. And that's why you want to get commitments from somebody. Because once they articulate that, then it's very difficult for them to go back on that because they want to be consistent with what they say.
[00:09:57] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, okay. So we get the truth first without them, knowing that they need to deceive us in order to get a certain point across. So we're sort of drawing the map, right? If this is an interrogation. I get your version of the story without you, knowing that I'm actually interrogating you. Right? I'm eliciting this. And then when I say, "So you were at this place at this time doing this activity." Then they can't go, "No. I was never there." "You just told me you were at this coffee shop looking at blueprints for three hours in the morning. What do you mean you weren't there?" Is that kind of what we're talking about? They've painted themselves into the corner.
[00:10:30] Jack Schafer: Yeah. That's exactly what we're talking about because people are more apt to tell the truth when they're not defensive when they're in an environment where they're very comfortable talking to somebody. So that's what we're aiming for. Put people in a very comfortable environment that predisposes them to talk freely.
[00:10:46] Jordan Harbinger: You mentioned status elevation. Is there the inverse of this? Is there status demotion? And if so, how do we use that? Because that seems like something that is probably equally useful, if not slightly less friendly.
[00:11:01] Jack Schafer: Typical example that I'm thinking right off the top of my head is if I'm talking to you about an older person, I'll say, "Well, that person's kind of stupid because they don't know Twitter. They don't know how to use Facebook. They don't know how to use a computer. What the heck?" So what you're doing is you're assigning qualities to that person that it's a demotion, you're demoting them, but obviously, somebody that's older like that they wouldn't know about Twitter. I barely know about Twitter and Facebook and all that. So what you're doing is you're demoting them, basically.
[00:11:32] The other example, what the Republican and Democrat thing, if you're a Democrat, I can demote you to a Republican. And you're not going to like that.
[00:11:39] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, right, so it causes that reaction, right? To try and regain status,
[00:11:43] Jack Schafer: Or like, "You know, your show isn't very good because you don't have the guests that you — I think by the way you described your show, you should have some pretty prominent guests. And I don't see those guests. So obviously your show is probably not—"
[00:11:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You may be right. I mean, that's why we have to pick from the bottom of the barrel, Dr. Schafer."
[00:12:07] Jack Schafer: Okay. I see where this is going.
[00:12:09] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, you set that one up for me, right? Okay. That one—
[00:12:13] Jack Schafer: Yes I did.
[00:12:13] Jordan Harbinger: That one was a gift.
[00:12:14] Jack Schafer: Yes. You're welcome. You're welcome. So, in other words—
[00:12:19] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah.
[00:12:19] Jack Schafer: —because you know this stuff now. If you didn't know it, then you would probably say, "No, I have good guests on the show. I've had so-and-so on. I've had so-and-so, and we've talked about some really good topics."
[00:12:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, we get defensive too. I'd say, "You didn't look at the website. The website has Howie Mandel, and Kobe Bryant. I mean, just because you haven't heard of these authors, maybe you're the one who needs to pick up a book buddy." Right, one of those, yeah.
[00:12:40] Jack Schafer: But because you recognize the techniques now, so you named it, claimed it and you counter attacked. I have to give you a lot of credit for that. That was very insightful.
[00:12:49] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you so much.
[00:12:53] How often do you counterattack in a real scenario? Right? Like we're having fun right now, but let's say I go to China to give a talk about all this top-secret podcasting information I've got these days and they're eliciting information from me. I name it in my head, right? I don't say, "Oh, you're trying to use flattery to get me to open up." It's not something that happens out loud, right? It's something that only happens in my—
[00:13:17] Jack Schafer: Right.
[00:13:17] Jordan Harbinger: —own head. And then with the counterattack that you mentioned, that's fun among friends or new friends, or, you know, the show guest and host banter, right? But I wouldn't necessarily want to do that with a Chinese intelligence agent. Do I want to let them think that they're getting away with it and then either just not give them anything and then break off the interaction, change the subject, or do I really want to punch back in some other way?
[00:13:40] Jack Schafer: No. What you want to do is use something called — I described it in the book called Bryan's loop. Number one, you want to decide what information am I going to reveal to the public? That I'm very comfortable with. And we should do this in our own lives. So when I'm out in the mall, what information am I going to give strangers? And then when strangers approach you and ask you something that's outside that realm of information you want to reveal, you answer — yes, no, I don't know. Tell them what you do know, and then put the conversation back on them.
[00:14:13] I used to teach this to state department officials. They often go to a lot of parties and they're trying to counter elicit and elicit and counter elicit and get information from everybody during these parties. And the diplomats said that it was very easy to use Bryan's room. I know what I'm going to reveal. I answer yes, no, I don't know. Tell him what I do know and then say, "Ah, but your job is more important than mine. You have a far more interesting life than me. I'm just a clerk." And then put it back on them.
[00:14:41] Jordan Harbinger: So essentially in order to avoid them triggering our ego, triggering cognitive dissonance, we kind of put everything we're willing to say into a mental box. And if they're trying to grab something that's outside the box, we don't let it happen because we've already decided I'm going to talk about this, this, this, and this or this project or this red herring thing that sounds important but isn't, and anything outside of that, I'm just going to claim ignorance. Because otherwise, if I'm eliciting information from a scientist, I might say, "Well, what about this?" And they're like, "Well, let me just tell you how smart I am and demonstrate this." But if they've decided beforehand, no matter what happens, I know that they're going to be eliciting if they try and get this information, so I just say, "I don't know," it affects my ego less because now I know that they're trying to get that information from me and I've already decided not to allow it.
[00:15:28] Jack Schafer: Right. That's exactly how it works. But how many of us go out into the public and have predetermined what we're going to release in a public forum.
[00:15:36] Jordan Harbinger: Nobody does that.
[00:15:37] Jack Schafer: I have.
[00:15:38] Jordan Harbinger: You have?
[00:15:38] Jack Schafer: I do it all the time. Yes, absolutely. Because I've been trained as an intelligence officer, counterintelligence officer.
[00:15:44] Jordan Harbinger: Well, that makes sense.
[00:15:45] Jack Schafer: So I know what I'm going to release. And if somebody asks me something outside the box, like you said, that I'm going to release, red flag goes up and then I automatically tell them, I don't know. And then I put it back on them.
[00:15:56] Jordan Harbinger: I do this on the phone, you know, someone will call and say, "Hey, this is Chase Bank. I'm verifying a few things." And it's like, "Okay, fine. You know, if you need my address, that's pretty much public information or something like that. Or you need my full name." I don't know, but usually I want to call them back, right? That way they can't just call me from whatever number. But then if somebody is like, "What's your social security number?" It's like, "Well, you have this. You know, you're the bank." And then immediately anything, that's not just your name, and even generally, if it is my name, I won't give out any information over the phone. But in real life, I think I'm probably a lot more — if I'm honest, I'm more susceptible to this kind of thing, because I'm not holding top secret state security secrets at all. I don't have anything confidential, but on the other hand, we all have confidential information. Our pin numbers, our social security numbers, our date of birth, maiden name, mother's maiden name, that kind of thing.
[00:16:46] Jack Schafer: Absolutely. And it was funny. Elicitation is so benign. We used to go to the same person in the same store, the same clerk and every three or four months, she would change her password. So we would keep up on all the password changes she made. She doesn't realize that she's given that information up and that's amazing. And it works so well when I was new at this, I used to practice in the grocery store. I'm standing in line waiting to get checked out. And I see somebody in front of me. I remember one in particular, there was a lady in front of me and I said, I'm going to get her date of birth before. We get to the checkout. I looked in her cart and I saw a bunch of Pampers. I said, "All those kids must keep you pretty busy." "Oh yeah. I got three kids." "Oh, you don't look — you know, you're pretty young to be married with three kids." "Oh no, I got married at this date and this time and I'm this old." You know, you put all the two and two together and bingo, you got her date of birth within minutes.
[00:17:39] Jordan Harbinger: Right. And then a day or two or a week later, I get some other bit of information and I'm working with you on cracking her bank account open. So then we get her maiden name, date of birth, address. And then suddenly we don't really need her to give up anything because she's given it all to us in pieces.
[00:17:55] Jack Schafer: Yeah. And she doesn't realize what she's done.
[00:18:00] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Jack Schafer. We'll be right back.
[00:18:05] This episode is sponsored in part by Purple Mattress. Throw some betting on a bunch of different mattresses and sure they all look alike. The same goes for pillows, but peel away the layers look at what's inside and you'll see they aren't all created equal. And that's what makes every Purple Pillow and Mattress unlike anything you've ever slept on. The Purple Grid sets the Purple Mattress apart from every other mattress. It's a patented comfort technology that instantly adapts to your body's natural shape and sleep style. With over 1800 open air channels designed to neutralize body heat. Purple provides a cooling effect that other mattresses can't replicate. It's a lot of fancy talk for a very, very comfortable mattress. I'm using the Purple Harmony Pillow right now. It's got the Purple Grid, which is like this honeycomb shape — I don't even know what you'd call it — foam grid in the middle. It's literally the most comfortable pillow I've ever used in my entire life. It's breathable. It stays cool. It stays firm. It doesn't kind of do that sagging thing where you wake up and your head is totally engulfed by your soft pillow. I love the product. I'm getting more for my bed, so I can just surround myself with these things. You can try every Purple product risk-free with free shipping and returns. They've got zero APR for qualified customers as well.
[00:19:11] Jen Harbinger: Experience the Purple Grid and you'll sleep like never before. Go to purple.com/jordan10 and use promo code Jordan10. For a limited time, you'll get 10 percent off any order of $200 or more. That's purple.com/jordan10 promo code Jordan10 for 10 percent off any order of $200 or more. Terms apply.
[00:19:27] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online counseling. All human beings struggle from time to time. We're always changing, going through ups and downs of life, depending on our current circumstances with many other variables here. Therapy is a great place to learn about yourself, understand your past, how it impacts your current life decisions and set goals. I've talked about this a lot on Feedback Friday. How you've got to find your patterns, get to the root cause? Why are those templates in your life? Why do you keep repeating them? We exercise to stay physically fit. Keep our bodies on the right path. Why wouldn't we do the same for our minds and our hearts plus consider other successful individuals, like yours truly, who've had help from coaches, mentors, psychologists, including top athletes, executives, Nobel prize winners. A lot of these folks are heavy-duty into their — you don't have to be some sort of like damaged deranged person to get a lot of benefit out of therapy. If you're having trouble meeting your goals, you've got difficulty in your relationships, trouble sleeping, anything just about anything can be helped by therapy. Check out Better Help. I highly recommend it. Many of you have written to me how much you love this service. Give it a go.
[00:20:28] Jen Harbinger: The Jordan Harbinger Show listeners get 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan. Visit better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan. And join over a million people who have taken charge of the mental health with the help of an experienced better health professional.
[00:20:42] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Dr. Jack Schafer on the Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:20:47] What about empathetic statements? You mentioned these quite a bit in the book as well. That whenever we can't think of what we want to say, we fall back on the empathetic statement and the target will carry on the conversation and give us time. Can you tell us about these? These seem to be so ubiquitous and useful that it's probably something that we're already doing a lot of the time.
[00:21:06] Jack Schafer: I would say we're probably not doing it because we have to put the other person first and put the focus on the other person. Because we're all egotistical, we generally don't consider the other person. So an empathic statement is when you take what that person said, their physical status or their emotional status, and you mirror back to them using parallel language. And so that gives them the idea that you are actually paying attention to what they're saying. You're acknowledging them and their feelings and how they feel. So you're validating what they said or how they feel.
[00:21:43] So what you want to do is you want to start out with a simple empathic statement and that starts out with, "So you—" I always teach people to start out with, "So you—" Because when you say, "I know how you feel." The first thing you think is, "No, you don't. You don't know how I feel because you're not me."
[00:21:57] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:21:58] Jack Schafer: So if I say to you, "So you do this. So you do that." In other words, you're putting the focus on that other person away from you. They don't think that's unusual because we're all egocentric. We think people should pay attention to what we're saying. And once somebody finally does. Then you feel good about yourself. And the golden rule of friendship, if I make you feel good about you, you're going to like me. So the empathic statement is good for rapport building, and it's also good for elicitation. Because if I take what you say and I use an empathic statement, mirror back to you, you're going to add something to that statement. And then I'm going to take what you added turned that into an empathic statement. And send that back to you. You're going to add a little something, send it back to you.
[00:22:42] One time I talked to a lady on an airplane — that's before you could use your headphones all the time. And I talked to her probably for an hour and a half and I used nothing but empathic statements. And I told her at the end, I said, "Wow, you're such an interesting person. You're a person worth meeting. I'm glad I met you." She says, "Me too. I'm glad I met — I don't know anything about you."
[00:23:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:23:03] Jack Schafer: Because I was allowing her to reveal all this information about her life based on just empathic statements.
[00:23:11] Jordan Harbinger: There's a quote about this, and I've said this on the show even recently where this woman in the Victorian era went out with two would-be prime ministers or cabinet ministers in Great Britain. Have you heard this? One of them has Benjamin Disraeli. And the woman says, "When I went out with," whatever the other guy's name was, "I thought he was the most interesting person in all of Britain. But then I went out with Benjamin Disraeli and I thought I was the most interesting person in all of Britain," because he just kept throwing things back on her and making her feel good. And probably using empathetic or empathic statements to make her feel that way.
[00:23:44] Jack Schafer: Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, it's good for rapport building and it's good for elicitation. You can find out a lot about a person.
[00:23:51] Jordan Harbinger: So we recognize, validate status, show respect, indicate support from the other person's point of view, things like that. But this is different than mirroring, right? There's a lot of like this BS on YouTube where these body language coaches talk about mirroring and it's so weird, right? Like, "Oh, you're sitting like this. I'm going to sit like this. Oh, now you're crossing your legs that way. I'm going to cross my legs that way." And it just looks really obvious. And when people do it, it seems really clunky. Right? And it triggers defensiveness. This is different, right?
[00:24:19] Jack Schafer: Elicitation is different, but I'm going to have to call you on this mirroring. Mirroring is an effective technique because when we mirror each other, that's a sign that we're in good rapport. People who are not in good rapport will not mirror one another. And people don't realize that they're mirroring one another.
[00:24:38] Jordan Harbinger: I think then it has to be real, right? Because when somebody is deliberately trying to mirror me, it seems really clunky and obvious. And I guess the times when they do it well, and I don't notice, then it's fine.
[00:24:49] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:24:49] Jordan Harbinger: So bad mirroring is worse than not doing it at all. Is that safe to say?
[00:24:53] Jack Schafer: Yes, if you recognize it. But you can practice this stuff. Next time you're in a group of your people, your friends and you stand a certain way or sit a certain way, they're going to follow you if you're in good rapport, subconsciously. So you'll be able to see who's in good rapport and who's in not good rapport with you by mirroring.
[00:25:10] Jordan Harbinger: You've seen these body language videos right on YouTube where people try and teach this.
[00:25:14] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:25:14] Jordan Harbinger: What do you think of those? Do you think those are effective? Because some of them just look so weird and awkward to me.
[00:25:19] Jack Schafer: Some of them are good. Like all things, some techniques are good and some techniques are not as effective. So yeah, nonverbals do work.
[00:25:27] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, of course. Yeah. Nonverbal communication. I'm a huge fan of nonverbals, but I just mean the manual mirroring of someone's language or body language.
[00:25:36] Jack Schafer: I find it works because I've used it. I know it works and we've done exercises where we're interviewing people. And we gave them a Post-it note and they said, "This is your objective. Get this information from that person." That's how we set the exercise up. And then what we do is we hand — the time to switch sides. So people switched, interviewer, interrogator, so they switch. And then we give them a notebook, a Post-it note to them and say, "Do nothing but mirror that person and use empathic statements." And nobody at the end of the exercise realized that they were being mirrored or the exchange was empathic statements. So it does work. Even when we train people to be aware of it, it still works.
[00:26:20] Jordan Harbinger: Even when you train people to be aware of it, it still works? That's—
[00:26:22] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:26:23] Jordan Harbinger: That's interesting. That sort of explains the power of this. So back to empathetic — is it empathic or empathetic? Because I swear in the book it said empathetic.
[00:26:31] Jack Schafer: Either way.
[00:26:31] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. I'm just making sure I didn't get it wrong.
[00:26:33] Jack Schafer: No, you can pronounce it either way.
[00:26:35] Jordan Harbinger: So in the book you do talk a lot about empathetic statements and there's quite a bit more to this, but one of the rules was when you can't think of what you want to say fall back on the empathetic statement—
[00:26:44] Jack Schafer: Right.
[00:26:44] Jordan Harbinger: —the target will carry on the conversation and give you time. We sort of started this section of the show with that. This is so useful because I think a lot of people run out of things to say, or they feel like they run out of things to say. They're trying to generate rapport. They're just trying to be nice or make friends. And these empathetic statements, they don't come across as abnormal, right? They have their intended effect. They can quickly be forgotten. They just register as normal in people's brains. And that's the way to get around the whole, "Ugh, when the conversation lulls, I always say things that are just weird and embarrassing or stupid." You know, there's people that blurt things out.
[00:27:19] Jack Schafer: Yeah.
[00:27:20] Jordan Harbinger: They can fall back on empathetic statements and then that just won't happen anymore.
[00:27:23] Jack Schafer: That's correct.
[00:27:24] Jordan Harbinger: In theory.
[00:27:25] Jack Schafer: Yeah. In theory, but again, like mirroring, it takes practice. If you start mirroring and you haven't mirrored people, of course, it's going to look awkward. So you do have to practice these skills to do them intentionally. Subconsciously, it's very easy for you to do. But when you want to intentionally use these things, it then becomes a little awkward until you get used to doing it. The same way you did it when you were doing it subconsciously.
[00:27:51] Jordan Harbinger: There's a lot of techniques in the book that I think are extremely useful. Presumptive statements, we touched on that a little bit earlier in the show. Positive versus negative versus neutral presumptive questions, which is sort of a take on that. This is something that I think everyone learns as a kid, but doesn't use manually, right? This will happen to you by accident at some point in your life.
[00:28:10] I remember when I first started learning some of these elicitation techniques. This is years ago now in law school, I ran into an old friend of mine at a party and she said something along the lines — it's been years now. She said something along the lines of, "Hey, how are you? I haven't seen you in a while." And I said, "Yeah. Do you still talk to—?" And insert, you know, mutual friends from high school that we used to hang out with and she goes, "Yeah, yeah. Did you hear from him lately? I just spoke with him recently," and I could tell there was something that she was trying to see if I knew what had happened. And I said, "Oh, you mean that his dad was secretly gay?" Because I always suspected that, but I was sort of drinking and probably shouldn't have said that. And anyway, she goes, "Yeah. I just can't believe that he left that he left so-and-so's mom for another guy." And I went, "Oh my God. I was just kidding." I blurted that out, right? Because I just didn't expect it to work. And I remember going, "Oh my gosh, this is fun — like, it's not even funny. I can't believe I nailed this." And she goes, "Oh God, I wasn't supposed to say anything. Don't tell anyone. I thought maybe he told you." And I said, "No, but I've known him for my whole life. And I always thought his dad was possibly in the closet and it turned out to be true."
[00:29:15] Jack Schafer: Yeah. Well, you used very effectively the presumptive statement and she affirmed it.
[00:29:21] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:29:21] Jack Schafer: And if it wasn't true, she said, "No, it's not that. It's something else."
[00:29:25] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah, "Oh, don't be mean," or something like, "Come on, Jordan." It would have been that. That's what I expected, but instead she just went, "I know, I can't believe it. It's unbelievable." And I went, "Oh my gosh. Wow. I accidentally hit it." I think probably when you first train people to use these techniques, I would imagine there's an element of calm down and don't get too excited when it first starts working, because that will alert the other person that you're talking to, that these are working on them, right?
[00:29:49] Jack Schafer: Yeah. After those students get back from the mall exercise and they're getting pin numbers and dates of birth, social security numbers, where they're walking six feet off the ground.
[00:29:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:29:58] Jack Schafer: They're saying, "I can't believe this stuff works. I can't believe how effective it is. I can't believe I could have been a victim of that if I didn't know these things." It sets their mind swirling because it's so powerful.
[00:30:10] Jordan Harbinger: There's a really good example of this in the book where you used presumptive statements to capture a double agent. Can you tell us about that?
[00:30:17] Jack Schafer: All right. Yeah. There was one occasion where I developed a spy who came to the United States to spy on the United States and I caught him and then I turned him into a double agent. In other words, I convinced him to work for the United States against the country that sent him to the United States as spy. We call that a double agent. And I often wondered if he was loyal to me because by nature, you're a traitor. You sell your information for the highest bidder. So there's a possibility he could be selling it to a third country. So over time, it's about six or seven months, I realized that this guy may be contacting another country. So I went to the phone book and I pulled out the public number to the embassy of that country. And then when I sat with them and were very comfortable and we had good rapport and I just pushed the piece of paper over to him, and I said, "Why did you call that number?" to test to see if he was being honest with me or not. And he says, "Ooh, I knew you were tapping my phones." And I said, "Oh my gosh, the guy did it."
[00:31:23] I didn't know whether he contacted the embassy or not. I just went to the idea, "How would you contact somebody at the embassy to offer your services as a spy?' The only way to do it is go to the phone book and I knew that you just don't call that number directly. You have to think about it. You ponder it, maybe half dial it a few times until you get enough courage to make that phone call. So that number is going to be burned into his mind. And that was my whole thought process by doing that and using that simple presumptive technique, I was able to elicit that he in fact, was spying against the United States for another country.
[00:31:58] Jordan Harbinger: In that situation, you would think that's somebody who is a trained intelligence agent, who's got to be on high alert for everything, would have at least seen some of this coming, but is their level of anxiety so high that they kind of — is there a relief in being caught? Like him saying, "I knew you were tapping my phones." It almost seems like he just wanted to get it over.
[00:32:20] Jack Schafer: No, what I think was he thought we were friends. He thought that we had this great relationship. He was very comfortable with me by this time. And so his shields were down, very relaxed, and he just spontaneously said that. I don't think he wanted to get caught because the consequences were not good for him. We deported them. And how long do you think he would survive? That country knew that he was spying on that country that sent them over to the United States.
[00:32:53] Jordan Harbinger: This is the Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Dr. Jack Schafer. We'll be right back.
[00:32:58] This episode is sponsored in part by DesignCrowd. Seeing your business idea come to life is part of the buzz for any entrepreneur. And nothing says you're up and running and ready to take on the market like a personalized logo, website, or business card. And DesignCrowd can help you get to that place. What you do is you post a brief describing the design that you need. DesignCrowd will invite 900,000-plus designers to submit. Within a few hours, you get your first design. Over the course of two to seven days, a typical project will receive 60 to 100 different designs from designers around the world. The hardest part of this thing is going to be choosing your favorite design. You rate all the designs. You can send the design links to your friends. You can send them to Jen. And they can vote on them. You can sort of get a tally of what people like best on social media or elsewhere. And once you've decided on the ones that you like, you approve payment to the designer and you'll be sent all of the design files. It's super fast, super easy. And we've been using these guys for a long time here.
[00:33:51] Jen Harbinger: Check out designcrowd.com/jordan. That's D-E-S-I-G-N-C-R-O-W-D.com/jordan to save $150 on your next project. Or enter code JORDAN when posting a project.
[00:34:02] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Fiverr. On Fiverr, you can find people that will literally do any kind of task. I think there's a lot of great business stuff here. I find myself using it a lot for business stuff. They also have some creative things. One that I really like is — and this is, you know, you maybe don't want to accept candy from every stranger. You got to look at their reviews, but there are people that will send you candy from pretty much anywhere in the world. You can find any sort of major city or country, and you can say, "Oh, I want to try candy from Africa or Russia." And they will send it to you. They can create and edit dating profiles. They can hand write or use calligraphy to write addresses for wedding invitations, business cards, things like that. They can test your website and show you any broken links or get a review. They can do data entry. It's really, really nice to be able to outsource just about anything. And the pricing is all upfront. You don't have to negotiate. There's no kind of like, "Well, you didn't say this, you didn't say that. This is extra." All of it is upfront. They have great customer support. So check out Fiverr. I highly recommend it if you've got a small business or a side hustle especially, or if you just want to try some unique outsourcing. Collaborating online has never really been this easy. Jen.
[00:35:07] Jen Harbinger: And right now, you can sign up for Fiverr Business absolutely free for the first year. Get one free year and save 10 percent on your purchase on Fiverr Business with promo code JORDAN. Go to fiverr.com/business, and don't forget promo code JORDAN.
[00:35:19] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by Cadence13. Many factors go into being successful, intelligence, experience, street-smarts, and luck. They all play a part, but there's always more to the story than what the public sees. There's a new series from JJ Redick's The Old Man & the Three podcast. The NBA veteran and his co-host, Tommy Alter sit down with some of the most successful people in business and beyond for an intimate look at how the world's leading innovators make their mark. They recently sat down with Disney executive chairman, Bob Iger, in a candid interview about his incredible journey to media mogul and the dangers of becoming overconfident. Join JJ and Tommy as they dig deep with some of the biggest names in business, entertainment, and politics like upcoming guest author, attorney, and activist, Bryan Stevenson on his incredible human rights work that inspired the blockbuster hit Just Mercy. The Old Man & the Three leadership series, illuminating conversations with leading thinkers and visionaries in business and beyond. To listen, search The Old Man & the Three on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, radio.com or wherever you get your shows.
[00:36:19] Thanks so much for supporting and listening to the show in the first place. We know you have choice when it comes to your podcasts. But for real, your support of our advertisers, that keeps us going. We put all the deals in one place at jordanharbinger.com/deals. So if you need to get a code or you want to find out who else sponsors the show so you can support them, please go to jordanharbinger.com/deals. You'll find them all there. And if you can't find it seriously, just shoot me an email. Happy to help you. If you want to get the worksheets for these episodes and I highly recommend for both part one and two, the worksheets are going to be clutch because it's all the drills and exercises kind of digested into a PDF. You can share it. I don't mind. I love it when you do. That link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. Now for the conclusion of our episode with Dr. Jack Schafer.
[00:37:04] Actually, this is a little bit of a tangent, but obviously if they get caught — let's say a Russian guy gets caught spying in the United States and gets deported, he comes back. "Hey, I got caught. It happens." Not ideal, but he's not a traitor. But he doesn't know that Russia necessarily might know that he's also spying on Russia for the United States. I assume you keep that under wraps, right? I mean, there's no reason to get the guy killed.
[00:37:27] Jack Schafer: Sometimes.
[00:37:28] Jordan Harbinger: Unless there's something else you can get from them and then you have leveraged forever.
[00:37:31] Jack Schafer: Right.
[00:37:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:37:32] Jack Schafer: Yes.
[00:37:33] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, what a stressful way to live.
[00:37:36] Jack Schafer: It's a fun game to play. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
[00:37:39] Jordan Harbinger: Did you ever feel bad for some of the people? Or are you thinking, "Look, you're in the spy game. These are the rules."
[00:37:45] Jack Schafer: As the guy was going out to the airplane, he was being escorted by the marshals to get deported and he kept shouting, "They're going to kill me. They're going to kill me." Well, it's part of the game.
[00:37:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That sucks, but he was spying on the United States and on his own country. For what? Money, I assume.
[00:38:02] Jack Schafer: Oh yeah, money, absolutely.
[00:38:03] Jordan Harbinger: It can't be enough money, right? It just can't be enough. Is it a lot of money when you betray your country? Like how much are we talking about here? It depends what you have, obviously.
[00:38:12] Jack Schafer: Well, it could get into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
[00:38:14] Jordan Harbinger: Not worth it at all.
[00:38:15] Jack Schafer: For me, it's not worth it.
[00:38:17] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:38:18] Jack Schafer: Not worth it at all. I'd rather be poor and a patriot than rich and a traitor.
[00:38:23] Jordan Harbinger: Even if you're a total scumbag — well, of course, yeah, I'd like to think I would make that choice too — but even if you're a total scumbag, it's got to be for your life. You got to be talking eight-plus figures, minimum.
[00:38:33] Jack Schafer: They sell out pretty cheap. And I got to know this guy pretty well. And I said, "Why did you even get started in this?" He says, "Well, I read a spy book in my country when I was eight or 10 years old." And he said, "That's all I wanted to do in my life was to be a spy." And he said, "And I was a spy fine. It was very exciting." And I said, "But it's not so exciting now, is it?" He says, "Well, the book ended a little happy — had a happier ending than this chapter I'm living."
[00:38:58] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:38:59] Jack Schafer: So—
[00:38:59] Jordan Harbinger: My goodness. Yikes. Yeah. Well, so they knew he was a double agent then when you sent him back.
[00:39:04] Jack Schafer: Yeah. Oh yeah. We arrested him and he called them and said, "I just got arrested by the FBI." And they said, "Who, who are you? What's your name? We don't recognize you."
[00:39:13] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, yikes. Well, they knew he got caught, but they didn't know he was selling out his country.
[00:39:18] Jack Schafer: Yeah, they did.
[00:39:19] Jordan Harbinger: They did?
[00:39:19] Jack Schafer: Yeah, they did.
[00:39:20] Jordan Harbinger: They already knew then in the past.
[00:39:22] Jack Schafer: We had to do some things and they knew.
[00:39:24] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, that does suck. I think I would probably just have run into traffic then after that conversation, instead of going back and waiting for the shoe to drop.
[00:39:34] Jack Schafer: Yeah, I know. It's just a game. It's hard ball and you play for keeps.
[00:39:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I suppose. National security, it's no joke, right?
[00:39:41] Jack Schafer: Right. When you're a spy — I mean, it's not a clean game. It's not like a sporting event where you go home and have a beer if you lose, drowning your sorrows. I mean, it's dangerous.
[00:39:52] Jordan Harbinger: Are you glad to be doing something else now? Or do you miss the excitement sometimes of doing that?
[00:39:57] Jack Schafer: Ooh, I was hooked on adrenaline.
[00:39:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:39:59] Jack Schafer: I loved it. In fact, when I went to Western, I was just like shaking because it's just so boring down here and I'm dealing with students that don't really want to learn anything. They just want to check a box. They want to graduate. There's a big gap between what we do and what we think and our values. And my boss actually came to me and said, "You're quitting, aren't you? You want to go back to the excitement, in the real world." And I said, "Yeah, kind of." He was, "No, don't. Don't just hang out here. You'll get off adrenaline." And it took about six or eight months and I started settling, and going like, "This is kind of nice."
[00:40:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. "No one's trying to kill me."
[00:40:33] Jack Schafer: No, but I did enjoy the adrenaline.
[00:40:35] Jordan Harbinger: That makes sense. You hear that from war correspondence, spies, special forces operators. That's why, you know, a lot of these guys don't just go into designing shoes, they go into like taking people shooting from helicopters in Las Vegas or something, or they just trade one adrenaline pursuit for another that's slightly less deadly or slightly less risky.
[00:40:57] In closing here, there's another technique that I really wanted to get in here. You use curiosity traps. And I don't know if that's the term. But you use these curiosity traps to recruit a North Korea agent. And I'm really interested in this because I followed that story in the book where you left him different notes—
[00:41:15] Jack Schafer: Right.
[00:41:15] Jordan Harbinger: —on his door to get him to call you. And that makes sense, intuitively, but I'd love to have you explain what these are. Because it seems like this is another one where you go, "Come on. How did you not see this coming? Obviously, this was going to happen. You're a North Korean living," in what? New York or wherever he was at the time. I mean, where do North Koreans live in the United States? New York for the UN mission. That's pretty much it.
[00:41:37] Jack Schafer: He was a known intelligence officer, but he was undercover in Los Angeles.
[00:41:42] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I see. Okay.
[00:41:44] Jack Schafer: And they suspected that he was in my area, my area of operation. And they said, "We got information that there's a North Korean officer in your area. Go figure out what's going on. And maybe you can recruit him." And I thought, what's the best way to recruit him? If I walk up to him and say, "Hi, Jack Schafer, FBI." He'd go into fight-flight and it'd be over with. So I said, well, I'll use curiosity. Because he opened a little store because he had to survive and make a living too. So when he wasn't there and I knew he wasn't there, I went in and I just said, "Sorry, I missed you, Jack." Because I want him to approach me. So if he saw that note — in fact, when he did see it, he goes like, "Who's Jack? Oh, I don't know who that is. Why would he come here? You know, this is odd." And so then the next time he wasn't there, I said, "Sorry, I missed you, Jack Schafer." And so I can see him just going through his head, like, "What the heck? Who is this guy? Why did you want to talk to me? What's going on?" And then the third time I went, "Hi, sorry, I missed you, Jack Schafer." And I put my phone number down. And so immediately he called me.
[00:42:47] Before I got back to the office, he called me. And he says, "Whoa, what do you want?" I said, "Well, I wanted to come by and talk to you." So what I did is I deliberately went to his shop when I knew that he was very busy and I walked in and said, "Hi, Jack Schafer, FBI." And I knew he would go into the fight-flight response. So I said, well, let me give him time to get used to the idea. And then, he calmed down and then I went back when he wasn't busy. "So let's take a walk down to the nearby coffee shop." The reason I wanted to walk was to get him off his turf onto neutral turf. And then when people — this is another elicitation technique. When people stroll, they are predisposed to talk to one another. So as we're walking to the restaurant — I didn't drive, we walked two or three blocks to the restaurant and that predisposed him to talk.
[00:43:38] And then when we got to the restaurant, I bought the coffee. I paid for it and that established something called reciprocal response or reciprocity. So if you get somebody, something they're predisposed to give you something in return, so I'm setting him up. And so then we sit down and we take a few sips of coffee and he goes, "Why do you want to talk to me?" I said, "Well, I don't know, sir. You're the one who called me. You must want to talk to me about something. What is it you want to talk about?" And so then we started having a discussion.
[00:44:07] Jordan Harbinger: This seems like it would work if they are already — I mean, do you feel like there's an element of, "Okay. I got lucky this guy is ready to talk." Because if he's a hardcore DPRK North Korean, you know, cult of Kim Jong-un, he's not going to be like, "Okay, fine. You bought me coffee. Here's our nuclear program ambitions."
[00:44:25] Jack Schafer: He's human. And he knew the consequences, but he felt comfortable enough because I just didn't go in there and treat them harshly. So I treated him as a friend. I gave him that respect. I set up an environment where he was comfortable talking to me and therefore, he's more likely to work for me against North Korea.
[00:44:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:44:45] Jack Schafer: I can recruit him because he's comfortable with me.
[00:44:48] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So this wasn't to go after somebody and scare them into working with us. This was — look, as soon as he knows you're from the FBI, his first thought is the jig is up and his choices run or cooperate. You gave him space to process that where he came to the decision on his own.
[00:45:05] Jack Schafer: Yes.
[00:45:05] Jordan Harbinger: Cooperating was the best thing to do. And then...you're sitting, there drinking coffee, and having an omelet or whatever, and he's going, "Okay. I'm no longer in panic mode. Obviously, I don't want to go to prison in the United States for the rest of my life. I might even make some money. Then I can just defect and stay here. It's not so bad. I own a shoe store," or whatever he's doing, but he needed to come to that conclusion. You couldn't say, "Hey, look, you're going to Gitmo if you don't tell us what's going on and work for us, but I'll give you a hundred grand," right? Then he'd just be like, "Screw off. I'm out of here," right?
[00:45:35] Jack Schafer: Yeah. That typically doesn't work.
[00:45:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That would freak me out too if I was a North Korean agent.
[00:45:41] Jack Schafer: But If you'd liked me and I put you in a nice environment where there was a good rapport building, then you'd be more open because I did — and I typically like to do this. You're just going to go from being a patriot to a traitor. It doesn't happen overnight. It's a long process that you have to get used to thinking about. And then if you want to do it, then you're going to come to the realization. "Okay. All right. I can understand. Okay. Maybe I can do this." Then you think of ideas and once I get you thinking of an idea of being a traitor, I'm halfway home.
[00:46:13] Jordan Harbinger: How long is that typically? Is that a multi-week, multi-month, or multi-year process?
[00:46:18] Jack Schafer: It's a multi-month.
[00:46:19] Jordan Harbinger: Uh-huh, yeah. Because it's a tough decision to make.
[00:46:23] Jack Schafer: Oh, yeah, absolutely. So I'm patient with people. I'm kind to them. I elicit information. And sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't work.
[00:46:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I suppose if it doesn't work, you find out because they vanish, right? That's the next step.
[00:46:34] Jack Schafer: Yeah. And then do you just, "Oh, well, let's let me work on somebody else.
[00:46:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Probably plenty of targets. In the United States, how many — you might not even know that. I don't know if anybody knows this. How many spies are there kind of on the radar at any given time? Obviously, we don't know who all of them are, but are there — I assume there's thousands of people spying on the United States from all over the world at any given time, just living here among us hanging out with their stores or their cafes.
[00:47:02] Jack Schafer: I don't know the number, but I know there's a lot of people.
[00:47:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it has to be thousands.
[00:47:06] Jack Schafer: I would imagine. I'm not privileged to any of that information anymore. I've been out of the Bureau so long.
[00:47:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I guess I was just curious because it seems like we're such a big place, there have to be thousands. The thing about that story that seems so strange is if he just works in LA and has a store, what's his game? He has access to virtually nothing. Was it like a regular retail store that he owned?
[00:47:27] Jack Schafer: Well, he did have access to the Korean population in Los Angeles, where he could find out who works for the government, who works at secret projects for the government, and then he could approach them and recruit them to give him information to send back.
[00:47:43] Jordan Harbinger: Got it. Okay. So he's there developing, inroads into the Korean community in K-Town or whatever. Yeah.
[00:47:49] Jack Schafer: Yeah. That's what people do. You send a spy over and they try to recruit people who have classified or secret information, who are vulnerable based on their ego or based on their necessity to lecture or give information away. And by the way, these elicitation techniques work in foreign languages. Because we were overseas a lot, I did a lot of training overseas and we would send our students out overseas and it works just as effectively overseas as it does in the United States.
[00:48:19] Jordan Harbinger: Well, that makes sense. This is super fascinating stuff. I definitely want to have you back sometime. We'll talk about your other book, The Like Switch, obviously I could take a page or two out of that one. I'm sure that you agree there. I could probably use a little polish myself. But thank you for your time.
[00:48:34] Jack Schafer: No, you're polished. You're polished, buddy.
[00:48:36] Jordan Harbinger: You're doing it again. Thank you very much. This has been great. I really, really do appreciate it. This is going to be a great episode for everybody to both get practical information and a couple of spy stories, which you can't go wrong with those.
[00:48:50] Of course, I've got some thoughts on this episode, but before I get into that, here's a sample of my interview with someone with decades of experience in protecting people at every level, from the top levels of government to victims of spousal abuse. Violence is a reality. If you're not prepared for its possibility, you'll be caught off guard by its eventuality. Learn how to hone your sixth sense for danger. Discover how to spot the red flags that signify someone's a likely abuser, con artist, or predator. Here's a bite.
[00:49:18] 16 years ago when I was 20, I got into a taxi cab in Mexico City and it turned out to be a fake taxi. And the guy was driving me further and further away from my destination, further and further away. And my brain went through this process. It said, "No, it's probably going to be fine. I know he said he was going to ask for directions. But he's a cabbie, he should know that. No, no, no, no, no, no, but I mean, I've never been kidnapped before, so that can't be what's happening. And then I remembered some guy on Oprah in 1994 or something like that, when I was a kid, sitting there with my mom, who said never go to the secondary location." And I only realized a decade and a half later when reading the book, The Gift of Fear, that that was you.,
[00:50:00] Gavin de Becker: Everybody with a normal functioning mind and body system does have intuition and what we have in varying degrees is our willingness to honor it and listen to it and learn about it. It's our most extraordinary mental and physical process. The stomach lining, as an example, has a hundred million neurons, a hundred million thoughts cells. That's more neurons than there are in a dog's brain. When you hear the word, our gut, you know, "I had a gut feeling." It's a very accurate description of what's going on. And these two brains in the gut and in the skull communicate with each other through the body. And so the whole mind-body system delivers intuition to you, which is knowing without knowing why. Knowing without having to stop at all the letters from A to Z on the way, just getting from A to Z automatically.
[00:50:49] It doesn't really matter how a thing should be. It only matters how it is and how it is in terms of reality in this moment. And reality is the highest ground you can get to. That's the place where you can see what's coming. I'm so glad to hear that story. And that makes my day. That means a lot to me, particularly as I'm about to hear, I hope, how well you prevail because I know we're here having a conversation, so you did well.
[00:51:13] Jordan Harbinger: For more, including the most important thing we can do to cut potentially threatening people out of our lives forever, check out episode 329 with Gavin de Becker.
[00:51:24] I love this episode two-parts, time well spent. Now again, it's good for doctors, medical personnel sales folks. There's no such thing as fair play in espionage. Of course, there's such a thing as fair play in the rest of those industries. So use these elicitation skills wisely.
[00:51:37] When I do the stuff in business, for example, I don't think of these techniques like elicitation. I think of it as trying to guide a conversation so that an acquaintance tells me something they might not, otherwise. It's not I'm just trying to get the secrets out of people. This type of information has actually made me candidly millions of dollars in business. And it just feels like opportunities present themselves because I know a lot more things about a lot of people. So it's deliberate, but it's not manipulative. And that distinction is important, deliberate but not manipulative. Does that make sense? I hope. Nobody leaves the interactions feeling burned because nobody actually gets burned. I'm not covering my tracks. It's with great power comes great responsibility. I think that's where I'm going with this.
[00:52:21] There's some other rules that we'll have to throw in the worksheets here. One, the golden rule, make others feel good, forego that ego and make them the center of attention. This is, of course, in the book, which I highly recommend. You'll find that link in the show notes. By the way, the way I learned a lot of this stuff, these basics especially — I'm a little rusty or now — by practicing daily in real life. If you're in sales, you have tons of opportunity for this. If you're not, try it at the phone store or the pharmacy or online with chat support people, depending on what company you're talking to. You know, it's easier when we can see people in real life. It's a little harder online, I find anyway. Properly conducted, good elicitation does not arouse suspicion either.
[00:52:59] So again, there's so much more in the book. One of the anecdotes was how stores encouraged people to touch fabric of clothing, because people are more likely to buy something they've touched and that feels good. That stuff is fascinating for me. It reminds me of the Jonah Berger episode on our show, which is episode 414, where we talked a lot about how marketers use psychology to market and sell. The book goes into reciprocation, which is kind of the Robert Cialdini stuff from back in the day. We're going to be doing something with him, hopefully, pretty soon.
[00:53:27] And I'll leave you with this. It is better to elicit multiple pieces of information from one individual over a longer period of time, or to solicit multiple pieces of information from multiple individuals at one time. This way people don't start to get suspicious that you're gathering too much information at once. I adhere to this and I even use this in casual conversation, right? So I'll get into a conversation with somebody and I'll be asking a lot of questions. My wife will elbow me or I'll actually have enough self-awareness to notice and I will switch the conversation to somebody else. Or I will disclose something about myself to redirect the conversation. Now, it's hard because you're getting info. You're on a roll. It's hard to cut yourself off and quit while you're ahead but you have to. This is social engineering, but again, it doesn't have to be used for nefarious purposes. It can be used simply in social gatherings and situations. And you'll still get a very similar or the same type of result.
[00:54:20] Again, I found this fascinating. I hope you did as well. Big, thank you to Dr. Jack Schafer. Of course, we're going to have him back. The book title is The Truth Detector. Links to that will be in the website in the show notes. Please use our website links. If you buy the book, it does help support the show. I know you're thinking, "How much can it be?" It all adds up, people. Worksheets for this episode are in the show notes. If there's any episode you're going to want to get the worksheets for it's going to be this beast of a two-parter with all this practical stuff in it. The worksheets are in the show notes. The transcripts are in the show notes. By the way, connect with me, I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram or hit me up on LinkedIn. I'd love to hear from you.
[00:54:54] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people, manage relationships, using the same techniques, the tiny habits and systems that I use every single day. If you love elicitation, you'll love networking as well, because it's not as gross as it seems when people who do it poorly make it seem. Our Six-Minute Networking course is free. There's no upsells. None of that garbage. Go to jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig the well before you get thirsty. And most of the guests on the show, they subscribed to the course. They contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[00:55:23] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, 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 medicine, sales, or just needs elicitation because they get teenagers at home or they need to convince people of things or get information, or if they're just interested in human behavior, definitely share this episode with them. Hopefully, you find something great in every episode of the show. That's my goal here. So please do share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on this show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.