Robin Dreeke (@rdreeke) is the retired head of The FBI Behavioral Analysis Program and co-author of Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agent’s User Manual for Behavior Prediction and The Code of Trust: An American Counterintelligence Expert’s Five Rules to Lead and Succeed.
What We Discuss with Robin Dreeke:
- People can be relied on to act in their own best interest (from their perspective, not yours).
- Just because you like somebody for any number of commonalities doesn’t necessarily mean you can (or should) trust them.
- Why it creeps us out when people try too hard to get us to like them (and how we can avoid creeping out others when establishing rapport).
- Four principles that allow you to make any conversation about the other person — and therefore more aligned with their best interest.
- How and why professionals who should understand the basics of rapport-building consistently fail (and how they can correct course).
- And much more…
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Do you ever get taken advantage of by people who you thought you could trust and chalked it up to just being a lousy judge of character? What if you could read people immediately upon meeting them and sense if they’re being on the level with you or if they have some ulterior motive for manipulating you into acting against your own self-interest?
On this episode, former FBI spy hunter and co-author of Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agent’s User Manual for Behavior Prediction and The Code of Trust: An American Counterintelligence Expert’s Five Rules to Lead and Succeed Robin Dreeke joins us to discuss how people in his line of work size people up, predict their behavior, and decide whether or not others can be trusted. Whether you’re in HR, recruiting, sales, education, law enforcement, parenting, corporate espionage, or actual espionage, you’ll get a lot of practicals and how-tos out of this episode. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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THANKS, ROBIN DREEKE!
If you enjoyed this session with Robin Dreeke, 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:
- Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agent’s User Manual for Behavior Prediction by Robin Dreeke and Cameron Stauth
- The Code of Trust: An American Counterintelligence Expert’s Five Rules to Lead and Succeed by Robin Dreeke and Cameron Stauth
- People Formula
- Robin Dreeke | Twitter
- Robin Dreeke | Facebook
- Tasha Eurich | The Surprising Truth About Insight | TJHS 296
- Love Hormone: What Is Oxytocin and What Are Its Effects? | Healthline
- Cameron Stauth | Twitter
Transcript for Robin Dreeke - Sizing People Up (Episode 357)
Robin Dreeke: [00:00:00] The first one was a very tall, good-looking blonde woman with a leather biker jacket, tight leather pants, and spiked boots. And she introduced herself as the company's lawyer. The next was the lead dominatrix who -- she had a few extra pounds on her, one of those biker caps and tight leather this with things falling out all over, and on a chain, walking on following behind her, was a very young, skinny-looking girl. I'm just sitting there watching the show come in and I'm about to do this interview. I was like, “Huh, this is interesting." And here I'm thinking to myself, what do I do to develop rapport? Where's my commonality here?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:36] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant people, and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. We want you to become a better thinker if you're new to the show. We've got episodes with spies and CEOs, athletes and authors, thinkers and performers, as well as toolboxes for skills like negotiation, body language, persuasion, and more. So if you're smart and you like to learn and improve, you'll be right at home here with us.
[00:01:13] I'm especially excited about today's guest, Robin Dreeke, he's been a friend of mine for a long time and for decades was one of America's tops by hunters for the FBI. Today on the show, Robin and I discuss how people in his line of work size people up, predict their behavior, and decide whether or not others can be trusted. Whether you're in HR, recruiting, sales, corporate espionage, or actual espionage, you'll get a lot of practicals and how-to out of this episode as well as that of Robin's new book appropriately titled Sizing People Up. Something tells me the worksheets for this episode are going to be chunkier than usual given all the info we go through here today.
[00:01:51] If you want to know how I managed to have all these amazing folks in my circle, it's about systems and tiny habits when it comes to relationships and networking. I've got a course Six-Minute Networking, it's totally free. Not enter-your-credit-card free, just free-free. That's at jordanharbinger.com/course. And by the way, most of the guests on the show, they do subscribe to the course and the newsletter. So come join us. You'll be in smart company where you belong. Now here's Robin Dreeke.
[00:02:17] Robin, thanks for coming back on the show. It's been a while, and this is the book I kind of hoped you would write after retiring from the FBI.
Robin Dreeke: [00:02:23] Thanks. It's great being back with you again. It's been a lot of years.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:26] In early concept in the book was that people often lie to themselves and spread that lie around. I thought this was a really fascinating insight because a lot of folks, in that case, mislead other people almost by accident. The question you ask yourself is how often have you met someone who is supposed to be great at something and wasn't. My kind of gut reaction to this? And I think a lot of people say, "Oh, this person conned me, or they lied to me." But really they're lying to themselves as well. They actually believe their own BS. Is that something you find is common just among humanity in general?
Robin Dreeke: [00:02:57] Yeah, pretty much because the way you more eloquently said it and I said it in the book, but in real life, the way I really look at is how many people are actually truly self-aware. If you're self-aware, you stop lying to yourself because you let go of your own insecurities. And when you let go of your own insecurities, you can see yourself as who you are -- the good, the bad, the imperfect, and ugly. And you can do the same with others without judging them either because you just see clarity in life and clarity and people -- no good, no bad, just is. And so that's what that's about.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:25] Now you've got this list of -- what would you say these are these qualities -- vesting, longevity, reliability, action, language, stability. Are these sorts of vectors for deciding whether you can trust someone? What are these concepts here?
Robin Dreeke: [00:03:37] They're vectors and signs. Each one of these things is built out to be a sign for understanding someone at a deeper level. Because once you understand someone at that deeper level, you get a better idea of what you can reasonably expect they're going to do. And that's what I call -- some people call that trust. I call it predictability because that's what this book is really truly about. It's about predicting the behaviors of others, and we'll call them vectors for you, for the sole purpose of understanding how to build even a deeper, stronger relationship because -- as you've known me all these years -- it's all about strong, healthy relationships. And everything I've ever done and worked towards is how do you do that, how do you proactively make good, healthy, strong relationships. Because without those things, you're not going to achieve anything in life. And there's no better time right now than to understand that relationships are going to be the key in everything.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:24] This system seems helpful for avoiding drama and protecting ourselves from flakes, protecting ourselves from manipulators. You've mentioned that people can rely on to act in their own best interest. And this at first sounds a little cynical, but I guess it makes sense. Is it cynical? Why not if not?
Robin Dreeke: [00:04:41] Definitely not cynical to me. When I do all my talks and speak and everything, I always say that. I said I can predict what every human being is always going to do. We're all going to always act in our own best interest in terms of safety, security, and prosperity for ourselves and our family, for a little more altruistic or community, little more, even bigger than that. But the key to that is not what you think their safety security, prosperity is. It's from their point of view. So if I can take time to understand what they think is in their best interests, I now know what they're going to do. This whole system forces you to ultimately focus on others and understand them without judging them at a very deep level.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:15] Speaking of predicting what people are going to do, predictability comes first and trust follows. So does this mean that if we can predict what someone's going to do, that's an indication that we can trust what they're going to do because we kind of know already what that action will be?
Robin Dreeke: [00:05:30] Most likely, you know, because once you observe someone doing something at least once, twice, or three times, the likelihood of them continuing that way and predicting it/trusting them is pretty high, unless you have a new outside stimulus. And so again, that's why I love this system, because you no longer rely on hope. "Oh, I hope they'll do something different next time." Well, why would they? You know, unless there's a reason in their lives that would change the behavior, the behavior is most likely not going to change. And so now I can predict what they're going to do, I can set my bar at a certain level, and they're either going to meet it or exceed it because I took the time to reasonably assess what they're going to do. And now the great thing here is if they fall short of that, that means something happened in their lives and I need to understand what it is. So it manages my own expectations of them so that again, I don't get derailed, I don't get emotionally hijacked, and I can maintain that great relationship.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:21] You had coined a term called stempathy. What is that?
[00:06:24] Robin Dreeke: [00:06:24] Stempathy is something that I've been doing for a number of years and I didn't realize it. It's a combination of stoicism and not the Stoics as the cynics necessarily, but Stoicism from the point of view of just observing behavior and cause and effect. So with human beings, there are two truths I basically base everything on. And that is we're very tribal by our genetics and biology, that we want to belong to meaningful groups and organizations and be valued by the same. Our brain rewards us for these behaviors. And the second one is what I said earlier and that is we're all acting in our own best interest. And so when you combine those things together, you can observe behavior and understand the cause and effect, which is very Stoic. So that's where the stemp comes from -- well, the "st." And the empathy part is when you do these things, you're actually understanding people at a very, very, very deep level, which is empathy and human beings crave and we seek that empathy. So when you combine the two together of observation objectively, and the fact that you're actually gaining empathy and you get sympathy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:21] Can you tell us about this Russian double-agent contact? This is how you learned that other people's perspectives are the only ones that matter. I thought this was kind of a fascinating story because I think every sales guy has learned this. But you were in the business of -- what would you say? Selling people on the idea of sometimes even betraying their country. Is that fair?
Robin Dreeke: [00:07:40] No. That's a great question though. I generally start out by asking people, "All right, so how do you recruit a Russian spy?" And people are thinking it's money or you're going to use coercion, or you're going to get them to betray something, and it's nothing further from the truth. It's just like sales. So for me, I call it the hardest sales job in the entire world because my job in the FBI working in counterintelligence was I was selling a concept. I was selling American patriotism. So I'm actually selling not even a tangible thing. I'm selling an idea. So that's my product. And my potential clients are Russian intelligence officers. And so I would say the first challenge is, how many of those Russian intelligence officers, which are foreign diplomats here under diplomatic cover, want to buy that product? So therein lies your first challenge. And then the second challenge is by treaty, it's illegal for me to actively approach them and engage them in a conversation. So the greatest challenge is they don't want to buy the product. And the second challenge is I'm not even trying to sell it to them. So that brings you to, so actually, how do you actually do that then?
[00:08:43] Well, it's very simple, the same thing anyone in sales does. Salespeople, all they're trying to do is to understand what the priorities of that person are -- in other words, their needs, wants, dreams, and aspirations. And they offer them resources that they have as a service or product in terms of that person's priorities. And so that's all my job was. My job was to discover the priorities of these intelligence officers I was tasked to try to sell my product to and see if anyone wanted to buy it. The ones that generally come on board willing to buy that product -- like a dying wish of a grandmother or grandfather, father, relative -- that their children wouldn't grow up under some horrible regime somewhere and they wanted a better life with better education and better healthcare for themselves. I have resources that can help that if they have a product that they want to share with me, which would be intelligence, operations, that kind of thing. So it's really exactly the same process.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:33] You give a formula for sizing someone up, but I wrote it in my notes as follows: Sizing someone up equals measuring self-interest and the predictability of them following that self-interest. So you would evaluate their self-interest and evaluate the predictability of that person in following that self-interest. Because, of course, you can find somebody who is not predictable because they're incompetent or some other factor, and you can also mismeasure their self-interest because maybe you like that person. So you're mistaking your ability to predict their behavior with the idea or the fact that you like them, which is not the same thing.
Robin Dreeke: [00:10:12] Yeah, and that's a great lead into -- so there are two things I'm talking about in there is, one is, yeah, that liking. Liking and intuition can really derail the equation of predicting behavior. It creates an immense bias that we have. Because liking is based on subjective observation more like you share common interests, background, ethics, morals, priorities. And if we share these commonalities and we happen to live in the same place, same area, work in the same place and area, the probability of us liking them is really high. And a lot of times then, people misplace liking with "I can trust them." The greatest analogy I use is I'm a volunteer pilot for doing angel flights, and so I have a best friend. I like him a lot. But he doesn't know how to fly a plane. And so just because I like him, if I threw him the keys to my plane because I trust him, he will get us killed. You know that's why liking can be a very dangerous thing. Now, intuition can be a little bit more accurate because people say, "Well, I'm very intuitive and I seem to judge people really well." And yet some people say, "Well, I like them and I don't do that." Well, intuition a lot of times, is more aligned with what someone's saying and their non-verbal behavior. In other words, the intuition, a lot of people think in terms of, I think is, you know, feeling creepy around some bad used car salesman. Well, you're feeling creepy because what you have is, you have someone saying the right words where they're saying they're making it about you and not themselves, but their non-verbals are saying completely different things, and so you're getting incongruence between the non-verbals and the verbals and our ancient reptilian brain back there picks this up and says, "Uh-oh, alerts up." Now we don't know this because you know, most people aren't like putting labels and meanings like a freak like me on him. But that's where intuition comes in.
[00:11:54] Both those things can be very fallible, and that's why if you can put those aside and then think in terms, then, as part of that equation of now let's assess what they think is in their best interest, what they think is their prosperity, and then the final part of the equation -- it can be very complicated, I guess -- is that, are they going to take actions consistently in terms of what they think is in terms of their prosperity? And the ones that don't, well, that's where emotional stability comes in because if they kind of keep reacting to the world around them without thinking, yeah, they become less predictable. But they become predictably unpredictable.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:26] That's interesting. We'll dissect that in a second. I think it's important to break this down a little bit because you mentioned that we get creeped out by bad used car salesmen and some of that is when they use things in a clunky way. They try to get us to like them. For example, they'll say something like, "Oh, you're getting an SUV. You'd like to go fishing," and it's like, I don't know, maybe they guess wrong or they seem like they're trying too hard to get us to like them. They're trying to do that so that we trust them so that they can, of course, make the sale. And we see that a lot of times people who we want or who we think we can predict are not predictable because they’re, as I mentioned before, incompetent. So they couldn't even follow their own best interest even if they wanted to because they lack the ability.
Robin Dreeke: [00:13:07] Yeah. And a lot of times people like that, you're literally describing someone following a script, and scripts are about them. Scripts are not about the other person, you know? So if they actually have genuine insincerity and what genuine insincerity notice is, it's that congruence between the words and emotions. And the only way you can have words and emotions incongruence is if you're paying attention to the other person and not following a script. Because when you're paying attention to the person, you're seeing their non-verbals, you're hearing their words and where they're sharing their words with you, and what you're gaining are their thoughts and opinions and their priorities. Because you always got to make sure you're talking in terms of those things and not terms of your own.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:41] To go back to your point about the non-verbal communication or someone's intent not matching that sort of creepy feeling that we get. I've actually discussed this before and taught this to some law enforcement and types, people who used to do the job that did that, that you retired from, we call it congruence, right? So you get this weird feeling about somebody and you say, "I don't really know why, but that creeped me out or that person was creepy." And you hear it a lot in dating as well. And some of the reasons that that might crop up -- let's say in a dating scenario cause that's more relatable -- is a woman will say, "That guy just creeps me out." And nobody can quite explain what it is. But really often what that is the non-verbal communication that that guy has might be overly sexually charged or aggressive, or maybe he secretly hates women and she's picking up on that. But he's saying things like, "Oh, hey, good to see you. Yeah, you come here often." You know, whatever cheesy garbage they're throwing out or they're acting really friendly. You also see it with people who are predators. Skilled predators, of course, can be very congruent because of their sociopathy and they have a lot of practice. But maybe a clunky predator or somebody who's not quite as skilled at that, will throw out a very creepy vibe and people can't always put their finger on it, but often it has to do with the incongruence between what their body is saying non-verbally and the things that are coming out of their mouth.
Robin Dreeke: [00:14:58] Absolutely. And a lot of times those things get incongruent with the intensity. And like you said, sexual innuendo, tempo. I mean, those are the things that really get people off guard. And see what's really funny is these people might actually be effective, you know, that have high tempos and high intensity. They're probably effective with one or two other people out of 50 and so they think this works for everyone. So now you actually happen to hit one or two people that actually don't mind that tempo and intensity. And you think because it's about you that you don't have to adjust to anyone else. So they're completely oblivious to pick it up and paying attention to others. Because again, that goes back to the same core. I said at the beginning, we all want to be valued by others and we want to be affiliated with. In order to do that, you have to make it about them. So you're the one that needs to adjust. In order to adjust to them, you have to understand these things about them, and one of them is their tempo.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:49] Now tempo being what? Like the cadence with which they speak. What exactly are we talking about?
Robin Dreeke: [00:15:54] Really everything. Sure, the cadence which they speak. Tempos for me are part of matching with the distance they're requiring, the topics you're talking about, the frequency of contact, the intensity of the contact. You know, whether you know, you're texting every day or the other person's really looking at texts maybe once a week and maybe get together maybe every other week. Tempo is every aspect of our interaction.
Peter Oldring: [00:16:19] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest today, Robin Dreeke. We'll be right back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:24] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. Think you don't need a website for your business or your brand?
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:33] Yes, that was helpful.
Peter Oldring: [00:16:34] For any question, wrong.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:16] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help. We've all got stuff going on. I've got a cat, I've got a business. I've got a newborn son. I got a garden that needs tending too. That's a lie. I don't have a garden. I mean I do. It's on the roof. Technically, it needs tending to, but if everything is dead, am I still tending to it, or am I just sort of using a shovel to throw it in the garbage can? That's --
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[00:19:33] And now back to Robin Dreeke on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:40] Again, you see that with salespeople too, not just dating, right? You see them say something like, "All right, shall I read it up for you?" And you're like, "Oh, whoa, look, I told you I was just here looking and now you're trying to get me to go inside and take it for a test drive and you're trying to put my name in the documents like I'm uncomfortable with this." And that again can be really clunky. You have to have that sort of escalation be pretty smooth. And the best way to do that is to drag it out. Or -- I shouldn't say drag it out, but to escalate it over time. So you're not going in when you're recruiting somebody, but Russian spy, for example, in your previous life, you're not going in there and meeting them at Starbucks and being like, "All right, man, I've got a check for you. Sign here. Let's go to lunch." Like, that's not how this works.
Robin Dreeke: [00:20:18] You will fail majestically because that is a hardcore type A personality that I was born with. And if you have it, you will fail. It's a guarantee. My books are my manuals on how not to be the moron I was born to be.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:30] That's funny.
Robin Dreeke: [00:20:30] It's coming down to just paying attention to that tempo, you know? So I've got these four principles. Matter of fact, it's in sign five language, you know, that are the keys. Because remember, how do you make a conversation about the other person? You seek their thoughts and opinions. You talk in terms of their priorities. You validate the things they said and who they are without judging them. And finally, the big one here is you empower them with choices. So here's what salespeople many, many times fail to do because they fear they're going to lose the sale. They don't give people choices. But here's a guarantee, if you did any one of those things and everything you said prior to offering them a choice, their dopamine in the brain is going serotonin, oxytocin, because everything you're doing is demonstrating "I value and I want to be a resource for your success and prosperity." And now when you empower them with a choice about what they want to move forward with or what time they want to get back in touch with you, as long as you're giving choices, you're making it about them.
And all the years I sold patriotism, not necessarily spies are going to buy this every time, but for confidential human sources, human beings that actually help protect national security, when I made conversations about the other person, my final statement was always, "Hey, and if you'd never want to see me again, please let me know and I'll make a note not to bother you." No one ever told me to go away. Why would they? Because I mean, think about this. Human beings seek to be craved by others, you know, affiliated with, like I said, and be valued. How often during the last conversation with anyone's best friend, the greatest relationship you have, did you actually seek their thoughts and opinions, talk in terms of what's important to them and their priorities, validate everything they said without judging them, and/or give them choices? Anecdotally, I'm telling you, with the best friends in your life, 10 to 15 percent tops, most people are around five to six.
And so think about the power, if you now consciously did that and everything you wrote and everything you said with every single statement, 100 percent their dopamine in their brain is firing. Who wouldn't want to be around you? And the big thing you know we haven't hit on yet. You know, I'm the counterintelligence guy that says, "I will not lie to you." I do not use manipulation. No deception. One of my three anchors is openness, communication, transparency. Because if you don't have that, you won't have trust. No trust, no relationship. No relationship, nothing moves forward. So those anchors are very, very important to me. And when you use those four things, that conversation becomes about the other person. And that's what salespeople, a lot of times, miss. You can't jump right to offering them a choice, because why would they want a choice? Because you didn't make it about them. But if you make that conversation about them and you seek their thoughts and opinions about, "Hey, why are you here today? What are you looking to do? Okay, what are your priorities? What are the priorities for you and your family in this car? What are your priorities for the carpet you're buying for your house? What are your priorities for your investing?" Then you say, "Wow, you came up with a lot of great ideas. I think that could really be in your best interest. Here's some other ideas as well. What do you think about looking at some of these other things?" "All right, great. Now you let me know your timeline. If any of these things sound great to you, great. You tell me, and if you don't want to hear from me again, also let me know."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:20] You're leaving it open. It's kind of, these people don't feel trapped by you.
Robin Dreeke: [00:23:24] Absolutely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:24] It's kind of like you're leaving the back door open and they can always go at any time, so you're enticing them. You're not forcing them to make moves.
Robin Dreeke: [00:23:31] Because here's the bottom line, two outcomes will happen in either way. If they ultimately say, "Nah, I'm really not interested." You’re leaving them feeling better having met you. And when they walk away from you, their brain is to reward it. So what? They didn't buy your product because now what you have is branding because even if they walk away, the next person they bumped into that needs your product, that needs a service like that. They're going to recommend you because you are not the pushy salesman. And referrals and branding are more important than the one sale because if you force that sale by forcing it using the hardcore salesman tactics, you're going to have buyer's remorse. They're going to get the product maybe and they might return it the next day, return it a week later. Or at the very least, they're going to tell their friends and family "Don't go there."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:12] Right. So you end up with a short-term win that screws you over long-term at best.
Robin Dreeke: [00:24:17] I get this a lot because I work with a lot of finance companies. I get the hedge fund guys got to go, go, go, go, go. And they're always wondering why they can't get more growth. That's why. Because what's the definition of crazy, doing the same thing, expect that from results. I mean, if you're not adhering to the principles of how do you make it about them and you empower them with timing and choice. Now granted, I understand people put quotas on things without understanding how to increase the quota. I mean, how to increase the input to the quota.
[00:24:44] Relate to law enforcement for a second. I was out in San Diego, working in the group out there, and you'll teach them the code of trust and sizing people up and these things we're talking about right here. And I had these marshals saying, "Hey, you know, we're doing this job." And you know, we got the judge saying, "Hey," or a boss says, "You know, we need to flip more of these girls." It's human trafficking. "We need to flip more of these girls against the pimps." And I said, "Well, are you talking in terms of their priorities?" And they said, "Well, no, they don't want to flip on the pimp because then they're going to get beaten." I said, "Okay. Did you seek to understand who they were and why they wound up making a choice in their lives?" They said, "Dude, we only have five minutes or 10 minutes, do each one of these things. Then we have to move on." I said, "Oh," so I said, "This is easy. Tell your boss it ain't going to change. Your numbers will not change because if you don't have brand, if you're not making it about them, and if you're not demonstrating how you could be a resource for their success in terms of what their priorities are, you will not increase your product output," which in their cases, they wanted to flip the girls against pimps.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:39] It's sort of scary that they don't know that already.
Robin Dreeke: [00:25:41] Well, because their bosses are trying to get promoted and you can't get promoted without numbers. Great leaders have great patients and develop relationships because they know that's the key to internal morale. Because when you have internal morale, you have higher productivity and then you have a great brand and then you have a great product. And so what happens is you get some of these leaders out there that don't have that kind of patience. No patience. It's like everything in life. I can guarantee the result.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:07] Before we move on. I want to, you mentioned one thing you mentioned that appearances can be really deceptive. So whether you have confidence in somebody, you share the same religion, you work at the same place, you're from the same hometown, whatever, this is bad data and it can mislead us. And it seems obvious when I give those examples, but people use these all the time to great effect, right? Oh, we have so much in common. We have all these commonalities, or I have so much in common with that person. I feel an affinity for them.
Robin Dreeke: [00:26:32] Sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:32] We totally put on our own blindfold, right? So people are really, look, a great comment is going to deceive you, but a lot of times somebody who's not really trying that hard will just let us deceive ourselves.
Robin Dreeke: [00:26:44] Yeah. And I think doing all those things are absolutely fantastic because by trying to match, you know, someone around you, whether by intention or, or by mistake, as long as it is because you're trying to make it about them and you're trying to build connection because all you're doing in those situations is developing, liking, you know, and again, liking can get you far, liking can get you to the point where you might start being able to build trust and then a relationship. But I have found through my career, I have interviewed some pretty fantastic people from all the way up to heads of state, to all the way from women that worked at a -- what the hell was that kind of place? It was a porn place that created their own hardcore bondage stuff.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:23] Okay. And I don't know what you call those places. And if I did, I sure as shit wouldn't admit it on this interview.
Robin Dreeke: [00:27:28] I was just trying to remember what it was called. But we had one of our intelligence officers that was into some devious porn.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:34] Okay.
Robin Dreeke: [00:27:34] And what was fascinating about it was, you know, this is where you learn just to assess the individual and the data coming in and not necessarily the look, the background, all the other biases people can have. And so I had found the post office box where they ran their business out of and I left a business card because I figured if I can find out more information about the priorities of my individual that I might be able to use as part of a conversation one day, or understand him at a deeper level, great. Again, no assessment, good or bad, just is. And so I remember the guy I was with, my partner, he goes, "There's no way these people are going to call you back." Well, no kidding. I left the card and about two weeks later, I got a call back from the establishment that they created their own videos and I explained who I was. "I'm Robin Dreeke. I work national security. I think one of your potential customers might be a threat to national security, and I'd love to chat about it with you if you don't mind." Again, full transparency, who I am, what I want. And they said, "Okay," and I said, "Where shall we meet?" They're based out of Brooklyn. We were in lower Manhattan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:31] And that's how you ended up in a porn dungeon in Brooklyn?
Robin Dreeke: [00:28:33] No, we met at a Starbucks off the sixth train in Greenwich Village. That part of it was sort of unusual, you know, you learn in life never to let your draw drop. Because here I am, I'm sitting in a suit at a Starbucks, got my buddy with me, who's was also in a suit, and I'm looking forward to doing an interview just to find out about my guy I want to sell my American patriotism to. And in walks three people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:55] Okay.
Robin Dreeke: [00:28:56] The first one was a very tall, good-looking blonde woman with a leather biker jacket, tight leather pants, and spiked boots. And she introduced herself as the company's lawyer. The next was the lead dominatrix who -- she had a few extra pounds on her, one of those biker caps and tight leather this with things falling out all over, and on a chain, walking on following behind her, was a very young, skinny-looking girl. I'm just sitting there watching the show come in and I'm about to do this interview. I was like, “Huh, this is interesting." And here I'm thinking to myself, what do I do to develop rapport? Where's my commonality here? And I remember saying, I said, "Hey, it's nice to meet you. My name's Robin is my friend Tom." I said, "May I know who you are?" And they introduced the two of them. And I said, "Who are you?" the dominatrix, who says, "Oh, she's one of our new actresses." I said, "Really?" I said, "So you make your own, or do you buy or resell?" "Oh no, we make our own. Like I said, she's our new actress." I said, "Well, good for you." You know, it was a very fascinating experience of really letting go of biases so you can make a connection. I've got to tell you what, they were extremely helpful, extremely friendly, and they were willing to do anything. I want to believe it or not, but you know --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:02] I bet they were.
Robin Dreeke: [00:30:04] My bosses decided it might be too much of a control issue, but because I did that pretty young in my career and it was really a great first experience of just seeking to understand others without judging them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:14] What do you mean by it might've been too much of a control issue?
Robin Dreeke: [00:30:17] You know, very conservative organizations can sometimes when they see such a divergence of background that can sometimes consider that, you know, they might go off the rails and not take direction if we're doing something legal or, you know if we want to keep them doing things legal. That was all.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:33] Oh, I see. So was it sort of like, we're the FBI, maybe we shouldn't be dealing with people like this because we're not sure what they're going to do.
Robin Dreeke: [00:30:40] I think they were just scared of the unknown.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:42] Yeah. I mean, look, if you're at a Starbucks and you're talking to some bondage porn people and they walk in with, I don't know, shiny leather and gas masks or whatever the hell these people are wearing. Right? Like I can see that being jarring. Although that could have probably been even more helpful, like, but yeah, I guess that --
Robin Dreeke: [00:30:58] Some places in the world, yeah, I mean, I guess.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:02] Now we all need gas masks, so the jokes on us.
Robin Dreeke: [00:31:04] Yes, I know. But anyway, I'm sorry. There's a long, long story and a little unusual, but it's really not unusual in the sense of if you overlay it to anything or anyone different from us. How do you maintain objectivity? Don't allow people to shock you. In other words, I adapt a curiosity. When you become curious, it becomes so much easier to try to understand others.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:23] Longevity is one of what do you call it, 10 poles of this system as well. So people who think they won't know you for long are harder to predict because why is this? They're not invested in you because their time with you is short. I kind of had the idea of tourist trap restaurants. They have terrible food. They're overpriced. They have bad service because they don't care if they know you're not coming back ever.
Robin Dreeke: [00:31:46] That's a great example of a lack of longevity. But yeah, and then inside some companies or bars do a great job of demonstrating longevity. They get to know your name when you walk in the first time, they call you by your name every time they come back to the table, because that might get you there the second time. When you do, they recognize you and try to get you at their tables. And I got a table down here in Fredericksburg, a place we go to. It's a great Italian place. They've made the initiation to try to establish longevity. And the other thing they've done, they invested in me too, because their stinking food is awesome. So they've done a great job of building a great client base because their employees know how to do those first two things.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:22] That's a good point. So we want to create trust over time using -- well, that's the longevity principle, gaining trust over time and people make sacrifices for people with whom they are playing a longer game. So you sacrifice for your coworker because the map is longer, it's bigger, the timeline is longer, I guess is what I mean to say by this.
Robin Dreeke: [00:32:42] Yeah. And these are also people in your life that establish traditions of getting together maybe for a happy hour once a week or maybe you have a book club with once a month. Anything that establishes a pattern over time is definitely a great sign of longevity. Oh, also if your boss gives you a project that isn't just due tomorrow, but due maybe in six months or a year, that's a sign that someone thinks you're there for the long haul.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:06] Now what about some signs of distrust? There's got to be a nice little list of signs that someone doesn't trust you other than them not being forthcoming.
Robin Dreeke: [00:33:15] It's kind of the reverse of all the signs of trust to me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:18] Sure.
Robin Dreeke: [00:33:18] Not to really belate one of the signs, but the signs I'm looking for distrust -- or not really distrust. Where someone's not really looking to make a connection. I'm going to go to the language on this one. I said it already. Those four things are so important to me is we're seeking thoughts and opinions, talking in terms of someone's priorities and discovering what they are, validating without judging them, and giving them choices. If someone is not doing that with me, that is probably the quickest, easiest sign you have to see that someone's not looking to have a relationship with me and I probably shouldn't try to push to go further.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:51] When you speak about language, what sort of red flags can we look out for linguistically, from a language perspective?
Robin Dreeke: [00:33:57] So yeah, those four things are what I'm looking for. And then -- I always try to keep things as simple as possible. I keep circling back to other things --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:03] No, it's okay.
Robin Dreeke: [00:34:04] I'm looking for that language now. What I'm looking for is I'm looking for congruence non-verbally as they're delivering that language. So I'm looking for good eyebrow elevation, smiling, head tilt, leaning in, palms up -- anything that's up and open saying, "I have high comfort with the words I'm saying, and the words I'm saying are completely about you." So that's a congruence I'm looking for. Now, again, going back to the earlier thing we said about that incongruence if they're saying these things and maybe their tempo's off. they're too assertive, their non-verbals are demonstrating, palms down, eyebrow compression maybe, you know, all the intensity there, that's someone who's actually probably trying to take control of a situation. And if they are, that means it's not about me. Even though they're trying to use the right language, they have no idea how to execute. And so that's what I'm looking for.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:52] You wrote that when we are in crisis, we are less perceptive to whether or not somebody is trustworthy. This is kind of ironic and unfortunate, right? Because when we're in crisis, that may be when we need to be able to evaluate people the best, and yet it actually inhibits our ability to evaluate people.
Robin Dreeke: [00:35:09] Yeah. Because what's crisis? Crisis is fight or flight and we get hit fight or flight, the cognitive brain gets disengaged. And then we start acting in what we think is our own best interest just intuitively. The reptilian brain takes over when we get in crisis, so we stop thinking, we just start reacting. That's why if you do recognize when you're in crisis, the first thing to ask yourself and slow it down is to ask yourself: is what I'm about to do or say going to help or hinder the situation and the relationship I'm trying to build? That gets you thinking again a lot quicker. Now, if you see someone else in crisis, I always try to slow them down to get them out of it and ask them, "All right, so help me understand. Slow down a sec. What are you trying to achieve?" So get them thinking about that before they keep reacting to saying, "All right, I understand what you're trying to achieve. What are you doing right now that's either helping or hindering you from achieving that?"
I never give advice or guidance. I ask what I love to call discovery questions because if someone can discover their path and that's just one technique to help them out of crisis. Great. Because if you start telling them, "Hey, you need to stop doing that," the likelihood of them doing it is almost zero. But if you make it about them by talking in terms of priorities, ask them their thoughts and opinions and then empower them with choices -- see, it keeps going back to these same things. That's why I've got to make things easy for myself because I said, I was born to be this moron that didn't have these things, so I got to make -- it's a long book, but with simple things, when you boil it down and keep coming down to the same things. Human beings act in our own best interests and we want to fill it and be valued by others. Bingo.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:34] You have this concept of trust at first sight, what does that mean in espionage?
Robin Dreeke: [00:36:40] I think that was going back to really that whole liking thing, liking or not liking. It's a very intuitive thing that people will try to do sometimes it trust at first sight, but again, if you can, if someone is doing the right things to establish that intuitiveness about themselves, that you're intuitive about them and their established liking and now they're going to start using language that I'm looking for and their language is congruent with the non-verbals. That's pretty good trust at first sight. Now again, it goes back to this phrase and book you got to trust but verify, because now what I'm going to start looking for all the other signs.
Peter Oldring: [00:37:14] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Robin Dreeke. We'll be right back.
[Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:18] This episode is sponsored in part by ZENB Veggie Sticks. So these are organic. They are a good source of fiber, non-GMO, gluten-free, plant-based, and vegan. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Peter Oldring: [00:37:30] I mean, I think that's basically the only thing that describes water as well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:33] Yes, they have that in common with water. This is some hippy-dippy kind of organic lifestyle stuff, and I can get with that. Snacking before a workout, grazing on something light, some tasty throughout the workday.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:48] You can do graze during your workout?
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[00:41:11] Thanks for listening and supporting this show. Your support of our advertisers is what keeps us going to learn more and get links to all those great discounts you just heard so that you can check out those amazing sponsors for yourself, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. And don't forget that worksheet for today's episode. The link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. And now for the conclusion of our episode with Robin Dreeke.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:40] Later in the book you mentioned that your old mentor had said good agents don't sweat, they think and type personalities -- which many of them are listening to this right now -- were notorious worriers, which makes us susceptible to something you call emotional hijacking. Can you explain what that is? Because I think if a huge number of people listening to this are susceptible to emotional hijacking, I think we want to know what that is, how to recognize it, and how to counter it.
Robin Dreeke: [00:42:03] This was such a great point in the book because I remember my writer, I work with Cam Stauth. This is my second book with him. And when you work with someone else, they think they understand something, and I remember this very, very specific section. I wrote what I wrote and he tried to make it sound better. And I remember it, he exactly said, "Robin, I was sweating bullets." And I just look at that phrase, you know, when I read it back and I'm editing, I said, "Cam, agents don't sweat bullets because when you sweat bullets, you're not thinking clearly. You actually put that emotion aside, stop reacting, and start thinking." You know, it's all about how do you think, how do you cognate through situations? And so emotional hijacking -- or what I call crazy brain -- happens when we take in stimulus we're not expecting, and now we start reacting to it and we get emotionally hijacked. So in other words, he stopped thinking, like we've just talked about a few minutes ago. And the way that you get by it is to ask yourself, "Is what I'm about to do or say going to help her hinder what I'm trying to achieve?" And as long as you went into this engagement, this encounter, this sales call, whatever it is, understanding clearly what your objective is, understanding clearly and start thinking of in terms of, so why should they want to? How can I inspire them to want to? Now when something goes sideways, you can take that step back instead of getting emotionally hijacked and angry, resentful, frustrated, because all those emotions, it clouds your judgment because it clouds everything you're saying because you're focused myopically on one thing alone and you're not seeing all the other possibilities around you. So getting through that is the most important thing you can do and do it rapidly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:34] So how do we imply that someone will be in a long-term relationship with us? How do we pull that longevity trigger, either implicitly or explicitly? Are there techniques or anything that we can use to flip that switch?
Robin Dreeke: [00:43:46] One thing to see if you can, if they're looking to have you vested in a long-term relationship with them is to ask them to participate in long-term goals and objectives that they have. They're typically saying things like "We," instead of "I," so they're including you pronoun-wise in their conversations. They give you perks and they give you, you know, some rewards and recognitions for the things that you've done. I think a great key in today's age, whether it's virtually or live, is a day I encourage you to expand your train and they send you to training centers, conferences cause these things aren't cheap. And so those are really good things to see if someone's really vested in you in the long term. When I was in the FBI, I had the supervisors I worked for, they're very routinely in giving me some long projects and which made me feel very good and made me want to work hard for them because they, or demonstrating they valued me.
[00:44:29] Now opposite of that though, you know for the negative perceptions of longevity, they forget your name and don't even seem to care. And literally, I wasn't working for this guy, but I was working in a similar office, same office space with him. He probably called me and everyone around me, three different names on three different days of a week. It was the most easily demonstrated perception that he was not looking for a long relationship with you. They don't try to connect with you on any personal level, let alone a professional level. They don't do not care about your priorities, your long-term goals. They're not seeking that. In other words, those four things, seeking your thoughts and opinions, talking in terms of your priorities -- these people aren't even trying to discover them. And oftentimes, you know, a lot of times on this one, people ask me, especially if we're in a sales world, they say, "Robin, you know, I just really need, how do I speed up a relationship if I need to? You know, I don't have time to sit around and have donuts suit over a course of a year. I need progress now." So all I will do is I will tell you what these things are and give caution that, remember if the tempo is not theirs and yours, you can make an attempt, but if they don't want it to go that fast, you're going to blow it because then you're going to come across like the intense, creepy car salesman.
[00:45:35] So these three things can be very effective at increasing the tempo relationship. Again, if they accept it, and the first one is proximity. It is much more effective for a human being to act in, interact one-on-one than it is telephone, after telephone, email, after email, text. In other words, if you just want to text a potential client or one of our employees back and forth against you, that's going to be a very slow developing relationship compared to one-on-one. Next time. How much time are they spending with you when they get together? Is it a 30-second engagement, a five-minute phone conversation, or a 30-minute meeting? So time is an intensifier of the tempo, and that was actually the third one, there is intensity. The intensity of the conversations in which you're having. Are you having deep conversations about the meaning of the universe and the direction of the company and the direction of your program? Or you're just signed, said, "Hey, did you have a nice day yesterday? Good. Okay. See you later." So those three things, if you go to the highest level of in-person time and intensity, you have a higher probability of quickening that relationship and quickening that trust up. Again, but it's got to be up to the tempo of the other person, not yours.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:42] This checks out, right? That's why when you go on a trip with somebody, like you join some group and they take you to Bhutan. I went hiking in Bhutan with a bunch of people I'd never met and a couple of people that I had, and I knew some of those people before the trip and after the trip we were like BFF, right? And people that I'd never met and talked to once, you're hiking with someone on a mountain for a few days, you feel like you've known them for years. You know, you trust him more than you trust somebody that you might see all the time, but you just deal with in the morning when you buy your coffee, for example.
Robin Dreeke: [00:47:10] And this is also why people and companies, great companies will break bread. They say, you know, it's like, "Oh, breaking bread. You know, it's great for company morale." Yeah. Well, there's a reason why -- because you're doing these things. And when you include, you know, the release of neuroreceptors in there because you have smells, tastes, and sounds if you have music, then the brain is firing when they're doing these activities. That's why you have corporate retreats. That's why -- I've worked, many, many finance companies, we'll have client days where they bring in all their special clients and they have great pu pu platters and they have special guest speakers for them because it gives them an opportunity, they call it networking. Sure, it's networking, but what's the purpose of networking? Intensifiers and that's how it works.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:47] I would assume that somebody who is not interested in a long-term relationship is doing the inverse of what we just discussed.
Robin Dreeke: [00:47:54] Yeah, they're definitely doing the inverse, and so that way you can actually assess whether they're looking to have that kind of long-term relationship with you, but also if you're making the attempt to do the same and you're being shut down in your attempt -- and this is where the creepy car salesman comes across -- they're not reading the signs. You know, for some reason they do not look to have a relationship with you, but you keep pushing your keep trying to do this. Remember this, every time you blast through a door that they put up, every time you do it, your brand is going out the window.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:19] Hmm. Interesting. So if in a work setting it might be, "Oh, I want to get put on this long-term project that's for the next three years," and your boss says, "Actually, why don't we have you do this thing that ends in two months."
Robin Dreeke: [00:48:31] Right. And then if you go back again. And you can ask the same thing again and you get shut down again. The next conversation I would have, say, "Hey, okay, I understand I'm not worthy or not qualified to do these things. I'm curious, what kind of things do you recommend I do so that I can be qualified for them? Or where do you see me in five years?" In other words, your priorities look like they're misaligned with the priorities of your, of your boss, and so you can have it. And what was I just doing? Seeking the thoughts and opinions and talking in terms of their priorities and empower them with choices.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:00] I want to touch on competence again, you have a really interesting observation in the book. You said if people are competent in marriages and relationships, they tend to also be so at work. So I'm wondering if the inverse is also true. It would seem like it wouldn't be because plenty of people get divorced but are great at their jobs. What does this have to do with -- is this a reliability factor? What are we looking at here?
Robin Dreeke: [00:49:21] Yeah, because reliability is. It's not carte blanche, just because you know. So reliability comes down, your ability to do a job, and your diligence on following through on it. So someone might be extremely reliable in their marriage, but they suck at their job because they have no the skills to do it well and/or they have no interest to do it, so they have no enthusiasm and intensity for it. It's like every single one of these signs applies to a different lane in life. And so that's why I love this system also is because just because you suck at one thing -- all right, That means I will not engage you in this lane because you're not willing to have a healthy relationship with me because we'll talk about reliability here because you do not have a skill or ability and/or you don't have the diligence to follow through. But over here on this project, I saw you do over here, you're great. You're awesome. So we're going to keep engaging over here and you tell me when you're ready to try something else. Because in other words, I don't say I can't trust you and you suck at everything just because you are not good in one lane. These signs are very specific to each lane in which you engage. That's why you can have a guy like you said, he gets divorced. Well, he really sucks in that lane, but he can be really, really great at work because he's good in that lane. It's a generalization I made in the book that, yeah, generally, if you're good in one, the likelihood of you going to be good, only because I think marriages are a lot more challenging than work.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:38] Yeah.
Robin Dreeke: [00:50:38] Because you get to leave work, you don't get to leave your marriage, you know, and if you do well, that doesn't mean you’re necessarily bad or it just means you suck at relationships. Not all relationships necessarily because you obviously must be doing good at relationships at work, it's just for whatever reason, your competence, and your reliability and in that relationship went sideways. But generally, because I think relationships outside of work are much longer. You know, they have all the signs. They should have all the signs of vesting, longevity, actions, language, stability, all those things if you can do all those things and get into merit, the likelihood of you transferring those skills into a different skill set at work are much higher, not guaranteed, but generally, they tend to be.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:19] Later in the book you talk about corporate espionage and elicitation, and you said he's had had an interesting little throwaway line where you said you were talking with this corporate espionage character and you said he was speaking faster than I could keep up and it might have been intentional. Okay, that's interesting. Why would someone speak faster than you can keep up? Why are they trying to keep you reeling back? What's the technique here that they were using, potentially?
Robin Dreeke: [00:51:43] So the healthiest people in the world are the ones that are transparent and clearly understood. And if you're speaking, like I know I speak very fast. I'm originally from the Northeast, I'm an extrovert, so I speak a million miles an hour, but try to offset it with lots of clarity, transparency, and being able to articulate. But now if someone is speaking very fast and you don't understand a word they're saying, that's a sign, not necessarily a bad sign, but that's an area of exploration I call him because if someone's now doing that, next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to say, "Hey, slow down for a second. I apologize, is my problem. I've got a very small brain back me up here and help me understand this, this, and this." Now if they re-engage in the same manner and they're just as confusing. All right, now we're out. That is not someone who's trying to do something good by you. Or that I'll caveat, not necessarily that they don't want to do something good by you, but they just don't even understand what they're doing because people that understand what they're doing, they're pretty easy to follow. You know, the greatest masters of content are the ones that can get really in the weeds and also can dumb it down as much as someone needs.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:45] Yeah, that's a good point. That makes a ton of sense. I know you don't work with manipulators. In fact, you didn't end up doing that corporate espionage gig.
Robin Dreeke: [00:52:53] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:53] This might be an obvious question. Why not? You know, it seems like corporate espionage, like the whole thing, seems kind of manipulative in a way.
Robin Dreeke: [00:53:00] It is.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:00] Or it's a little, it's a little black hat. So --
Robin Dreeke: [00:53:02] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:03] -- what's the rule about there? I assume that limits your income and you're fine with that because you're an ethical guy. But I'm curious as to why you've made that rule.
Robin Dreeke: [00:53:10] Brand. It's not me as a human being and you know, at the end of the day, what matters most to me is, well my family and my friends think of me and how I treat other people. I always want to leave people feeling better for having met me with no bars or remorse for having known me. Can't wait to see me again, and that's it. You know, I try to live for the epitaph.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:33] I think that's a great way to be. I think it probably saves you a lot of missed hours of sleep at night as well, knowing that you're doing the right thing.
Robin Dreeke: [00:53:41] Oh yeah. Well, because you know, when you live that way, you know there's no drama in my life. I never wondered who's coming to get me. I never wonder who I wronged. Well, I might have inadvertently done it, but it lives a drama-free life. In other words, I don't do crazy. It's because it goes back to that emotional hijacking. If I'm in situations that get me emotionally hijacked, I'm no longer thinking clearly, and if I'm no longer thinking clearly, I'm going to start blowing healthy relationships. Then goes circles right back to the beginning. You know, the guaranteed thing in life is you will not achieve anything without relationships. I mean you and your success in everything that you've done and everything you've achieved is because you've had great teachers, mentors, guides, people that have inspired you, and you've had great relationships. You can have the greatest genetics and biology on the planet, but if you don't have relationships, you might as well be a moron on top of a mountain by yourself. It took me a long time to realize that if you put relationships first, good healthy ones and you become a resource for those people without expectation, reciprocity, everything else falls into place because now if we a great, healthy -- Jordan, you and I have great, great example, we've known each other a good number of years.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:45] Yeah.
Robin Dreeke: [00:54:45] You asked me to do anything, I'll do it because we have a good, healthy relationship and we don't have to be in contact every day, every month. You know? It's just, that's what healthy relationships were basically. Let me think about, you know, the friends, you know, the couple you might maintain when you grew up. Those are great healthy relationships. You lost touch because you no longer have overlapping priorities. But these are the people in your life that you can see today. You haven't seen him in 10 years. You start talking. It's like, no time passed at all. That's a healthy relationship. So my goal in every situation is to create those because you don't maintain thousands of relationships with everyone every day. You maintain a few that overlap your sphere of influence currently, but you're not kicking anyone to the side. It's like when all of a sudden someone needs something, something's going on in life. There's no greater example right now what's going on in the world. Everyone's relying on good, healthy relationships to get through things. And if you blew it and didn't have any, I guarantee you you're struggling.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:35] Let's wrap with this is I thought this is a brilliant insight here. On TV, talking heads are a bad example of how to communicate on TV. Drama is an art in communication. It's a vice. Tell us what you mean by that.
Robin Dreeke: [00:55:49] Well, what do they do on TV? You know, drama sells ad space, you know, and that's about making money.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:55] Sure.
Robin Dreeke: [00:55:55] You know, but the best articulators in the world are the ones that kept it simple, kept it easy to understand, just talked about what it is cause and effect. And those are the ones that might not sell the ad space and it might not be all over the social things, but I mean, just look at it Fauci, right now, you know, director of human health, the world's listened to him.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:14] Yeah. Anthony Fauci is what you're talking about.
Robin Dreeke: [00:56:15] Yeah, Fauci, that's what I meant. You know, Fauci is the most popular guy in the world right now because he's not drama. He's talking facts. He's talking science and he's giving you information. He doesn't complicate it. You ask a complicated question. He makes it as simple as possible to answer. That's a great communicator.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:30] Yeah. That's leadership. I suppose. Complexity hides your message and clarity conveys it best. And I think a lot of people, they hide behind complexity or they just think they sound smarter when they use complexity and it's kind of the opposite.
Robin Dreeke: [00:56:41] And what kind of people do that, insecure people, insecure people, the ones that you could really go to watch closely because they will act in their own best interests more often than the ones that don't. I mean, seriously, Fauci does he look like he's insecure?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:53] He's got bigger fish to fry. I think at this point in his career right now.
Robin Dreeke: [00:56:56] I remember a question he was asked the other day, you know, it's like, "Hey, how's your family feel about this and what do you think about this?" You know, asking kind of personal background on how's it feels and he's like, "It doesn't matter because I've been doing this for 37 years. This is my job. It's what I'm going to do." Well, it was such a great answer to say. I'm leaning in. I've leaned in before. I'm going to lean on this, I'm going to fix it. And that gives you such confidence because that's a leader that says, "I got this."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:19] Before we go, you were hired by this corporate espionage security firm to create scripts to build trust on cold calls in a short time. I'm wondering what's in those scripts, like what would be in a script you would write for this? Does something like that even exist?
Robin Dreeke: [00:57:33] Yeah. In reality, what I had done, you know, when he picked me right up at the airport and brought me right in, I wasn't actually creating scripts. I was reviewing all their scripts and all I was doing was I was going line by line -- and first of all, the first thing I said to him is, "I don't believe in scripts. I don't do scripts." I said, "Because scripts make it about what you're saying. Scripts are not listening to what they're saying and if that's your goal. Then I don't believe in scripts." And he said, "Oh, well, you know, not everyone here is as good as you are." So he's trying to validate me. He said, "So if you could really do this, you know, this is what we really want you to do." So I acquiesced. I got a little dubious on that. So I spent hours and hours going line by line and all I was doing was going back to my four tenets. Did each one of these lines, in sentences and statements in the scripts, have at least seeking a person's thoughts and opinions, talking in terms of their priorities, validating them in some way, and giving them choice. So I was making sure at least one of those things was built in into every line because I wanted to make sure that every line was about the other person.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:29] Robin, thank you so much, man. This is always super informative. There's so much more in the book. I have pages of notes we couldn't even get to, but that's how it goes. We got to pick and pack it.
Robin Dreeke: [00:58:39] We'll just have to do it again.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:40] That's right.
Robin Dreeke: [00:58:41] Thanks a lot, Jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:44] Robin is always great. In fact, earlier I meant to add this into the show here. He mentioned that we pick up subconscious signals from other people. No big secret there. We talk about that on the show all the time, so if you're nervous and maybe your hands get cold or clammy before you run to a meeting, run your hand under warm water to mask the cold, mask the clamminess, mask that nervousness. We pick that up subconsciously as well. I thought that was kind of like -- that was one of those where I pause and I'm like, is that real? But look, this isn't a guy who was in business for very long deciding whether or not to believe some crappy read on Instagram. This is America's chief spy hunter for decades. So I'm inclined to believe him and look, even if this one's a little bit chintzy and maybe he's off a little bit on it. You know what it doesn't hurt to have a little extra boost of confidence before you go into a big meeting.
[00:59:29] Also, I asked him about meeting up with these informants and these spies and these double agents. He mentioned this, "Whenever people are talking business for real and they have a chance to talk about money or a mutual contact, they always pick the money." So if you meet with somebody and they're doing small talk constantly and they're kind of avoiding the issue and they're just sort of BS-ing with you, unless they're from specific cultures where maybe there's a bigger emphasis, let's say, on personal relationships. Then chances are they're going to shift to the money and then talk about the social stuff afterwards. That's in fact how it works in a lot of other cultures as well. So I wouldn't take this as a hard and fast rule, but generally speaking, whenever people are talking business for real and they have a chance to talk about the money, or they switched to a mutual contact, if it's a real business discussion, they will always talk about the money first. I thought that was interesting as well.
[01:00:20] Big thank you to Robin Dreeke. The book title is Sizing People Up. Of course, it'll be linked up in the show notes as always. Please do use our website to buy books because it does help support the show. We get a little, a couple of dimes, I don't know, for each one, and it helps us track and see if anybody's paying attention out there. Also, in the show notes, there are worksheets for each episode, so you can review what you've learned here from Robin Dreeke. We also now have transcripts for each episode. Those can be found in the show notes as well.
[01:00:46] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using systems and tiny habits over at our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free. That's over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Build your network before you need it, even if it means starting from scratch. That's why we say to dig the well before you get thirsty. The drills are fast. You can do them every day in five minutes. That's Instagram time. You're just sitting there doing nothing. It's not fluff. It's crucial. It's free. It's at jordanharbinger.com/course. And by the way, most of the guests on the show that you're hearing and learning from, they subscribed to the course and the newsletter. So come join us, you'll be in smart company.
[01:01:22] In fact, why not reach out to Robin Dreeke? Tell him you enjoyed this episode of the show. Show guests love hearing from you. You never know what might shake out of that. And speaking of building relationships, you can always reach out and follow me on social. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Instagram and Twitter, and I would love to hear from you.
[01:01:38] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. This episode is produced by Jen Harbinger and Jason DeFillippo, engineered by Jase Sanderson, show notes and worksheets by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own, and I might be a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And 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 sales, recruiting, HR, or just like human nature in the study thereof, share this episode with them and I hope they get something out of it too. I do hope you find something great in every episode of this show, so please do share the show with those you love. 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.
[01:02:28] A lot of people ask me which podcasts I recommend, and the One You Feed is one that's been around for a long time, coming up in my podcast diet. I've got the host Eric Zimmer with me here. Eric, you had radical anger management with Dr. Christian Conte. He looks like a guy who used to get really angry and now has it all under control, like just this photo of him with the neck tattoo, but he's got that subtle smile. I'm like this is a guy who used to like a brawl.
Eric Zimmer: [01:02:52] Probably. So he actually specializes in working in the prison system with people convicted of violent crimes and helping those people deal with their anger. So he's got some real chops in this space for a kind of wading into difficult situations and stepping up to the plate. And his book is called Walking Through Anger: A New Design for Confronting Conflict. And we really talk about the relationship between our ego and our anger and if we can start to see that it really helps us to let go of some of our own anger. He talks about that idea where, you know, there's that recommendation that couples don't go to bed angry, which of course he thinks is nonsense. You should absolutely go to bed angry instead of stay up and fight if you're tired. And he's got lots of other really good strategies for dealing with our own anger and dealing with the anger of people around us.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:44] And that's the One You Feed episode 330 with Dr. Christian Conte. We'll link to that in the show notes as well.
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