standard SL 50 – The Secrets To Winning People Over with Dr. Jack Schafer

 

On this episode of The Swank Life, Jake talks to Dr. Jack Schafer about his book The Like Switch, his time as a behavioral analyst, and how to win people over.

 

Key Takeaways:
[00:01:45] background
[00:02:19] profiler vs behavioral analyst
[00:04:13] The Golden Rule of Friendship
[00:09:57] friendship formula
[00:13:00] Eyebrow flash
[00:18:46] Digital World
[00:22:28] keep it fresh
[00:22:17] Sustaining, keep it fresh

Tweetables:
“If you want people to like you, you make them feel good about themselves”
“Build intensity into the relationship, that’s the kind of thing that cements everything together”
“When you’re on the digital world, we’re taking people out of the visual world.”

 

Mentioned in This Episode:
http://www.amazon.com/Like-Switch-Influencing-Attracting-Winning/dp/1476754489/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Transcription: 

Introduction:
Are you living the Swank Life? It’s cool. It’s classy. It’s cutting edge. It’s everything you want our of life. If you want more dates, more fun and a better lifestyle, it’s time to raise the bar and start living the Swank Life.

Jake:
It’s my pleasure to welcome Dr. Jack Schafer to the show. He’s a professor at Western Illinois University, in the Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Department, and a retired FBI Special Agent, who served as a behavioral analyst, assigned to FBI’s National Security Behavioral Analysis Program, he’s founder of Schafer & Associates, a consulting firm that provides high quality, practical training to federal, state and local law enforcement officers, security personal and legal professionals. He’s author of The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over. Jack, welcome, how are you?

Dr. Schafer:
Good. I am really, really good today.

Jake:
Good. It’s good to have you on the show and you’re coming to us from my hometown, Los Angeles, California, right?

Dr. Schafer:
Yes, and it’s warm.

Jake:
Well, tell us about The Like Switch, people have been fascinated by this topic for millennia, in terms of how to win people over. This is obviously a big, and probably life’s most important skill. So, let’s dive in.

Dr. Schafer:
Yeah, this book has often been compared to Dale Carnegie on steroids. What we’ve done is really enhanced a lot of techniques, since he wrote the book a number of years ago. Let me give you a little bit about my background. I basically, as a behavioral analyst, would look at peoples’ behaviors and I would find out as much as I could about them, and then I would structure interviews or strategies to get either them to confess to a crime or espionage, or convince them to change sides and work for us.

Jake:
I’m curious, would it be fair to say that, are you a profiler, or is that not the same thing?

Dr. Schafer:
No, a profiler is a bit different. Where a behavioral analyst, a profiler typically would go to crime scenes and based on the artifacts at the crime scene, would figure out who did it, or profile who did it. We, on the other hand, typically have a subject, or a suspect that we are looking at. We look at his behavioral characteristics, and then we look for ways that we can strategies different investigating techniques to accomplish what we need to do in the investigation. As behavioral analysts, we learned that the best way to get people to confess or work with you, is to get them to like you. That brings us to, well how do you get people to like you? As a behavioral analyst, we kind of thin slice the normal process that people go through when they enter into human relationships. We have identified some very specific verbal and non-verbal techniques and cues that make up the human relationship experience.

Jake:
Fantastic. So I’ve got to ask you, what comes to mind as you’re talking, Jack, is the idea of the good cop, bad cop. Is that part of it?

Dr. Schafer:
No, the good cop, bad cop doesn’t work. You don’t need a bad cop, all you need is good cop. Develop a relationship with that person, get the person to like you, and that increases significantly the probability that he or she is going to confess to you.

Jake:
In your book, you talk about The Golden Rule of Friendship, the friendship formula, the laws of attraction. Where do we start with this? I like the way you put it, thin-slicing relationships, in terms of what works in friendships. How does it work? What’s the formula?

Dr. Schafer:
Yeah, I think we should start with The Golden Rule of Friendship, that basically says if you want people to like you, you make them feel good about themselves. If you make people feel good about themselves, they’re going to like you. If I am with somebody, typically if I am with a female or a woman, or anybody, a friend, I make them feel good about themselves, they’re going to want to come back and see me again, so they can get that same good feeling. I don’t have to chase people down, or invite people over, they will invite themselves over, just so they can experience that good feeling again. The problem, though, this works 100% of time, without fail; however, the problem is we have our egos that get in the way. We rarely put other people first. That causes a lot of problems, with the ego. We are overlooking a very valuable tool,. It’s simple and it works all of the time, because we have egos that get in the way.

Jake:
When you say the ego gets in the way. Do you mean in terms of drawing the other person out, asking questions or people are sitting there going on about themselves and maybe bragging?

Dr. Schafer:
Yeah, it’s on and on about themselves. We think we have to sell ourselves, and what we do is we put out, “I did this, and I did that, and I am wonderful and I did this wonderful thing,” and it’s all about you. If you make it about the other person, they’re going to like you and you don’t have to sell yourself, because just by you allowing them to feel good about themselves, by talking and by doing some of the other techniques in the book, they’re going to like you. When they like you, they’re going to come back and see you. You don’t have to put a lot of effort into focusing on you.

Jake:
Makes sense, absolutely makes sense. How do we do that? What are the laws, I guess?

Dr. Schafer:
Oh, you’re talking about the friendship formula?

Jake:
The friendship formula and the laws of attraction. I assume these two blend together, those are just titles in your contents.

Dr. Schafer:
In order to keep the focus on the other person, you want to use empathic statements. Empathic statements are constructed with, “So, you,” in front of the statement, in order to keep the focus on the other person. You would listen to what the person says, and then you would construct an empathic statement using similar words. You mirror back to them with, “So, you,” in front. “So, you’re feeling happy today. So, you’re sad today.” You understand how this works. We, typically, want to say, “I understand how you feel.” As soon as you say, “I understand how you feel,” the other person says, “No you don’t,” because you’re not me. The, “So you,” construction makes sure that you put the focus on the other person. The other thing that you can do is you can ask for a favor. If you ask somebody to do you a small favor, they will like you, because you do somebody a favor, Ben Franklin figured this out, it’s called the Ben Franklin affect. He said if I asked people to do me a favors, they’re going to like me, and it goes back to The Golden Rule of Friendship. When you do somebody a favor, you feel good about yourself. If you feel good about yourself, then you’re going to like the other person that you’re doing the favor for.

Jake:
That’s kind of counterintuitive. When I first discovered that idea, and I read about it I thought, “Well, don’t you win over people by doing them favors?” Oddly, it’s the reverse to some extent, isn’t it? When they do something for you, they get the rewarding feeling, and that’s almost like doing them a favor.

Dr. Schafer:
Actually, it is. You’re making them feel good about them, and therefore they’re going to like you. The other thing you can do, and this is a powerful tool, is using the empathic statement and making them feel good about themselves, and then keeping the focus on them. You can use flattery, but you have to be careful with flattery, because if you walk up to a woman and say, you have nice hair, nice blouse, nice shoes, they’re going to look at you and say, what do you want, oh you’re a guy, I know what you want. Instead of direct flattery, you should allow people to flatter themselves.

Jake:
Give us an example of that. That’s a good point. How do you do that?

Dr. Schafer:
You seem like you’re pretty busy, and I don’t know how you can keep it all together and produce a radio show. So you’re patting yourself on the back, going, “Yeah, I’m very busy, and I can do everything and a radio show on top of it.” But I didn’t say that, you thought it. We rarely miss an opportunity to flatter ourselves.

Jake:
It’s leading them into thinking that, instead of pushing it on them. The traditional idea of flattery would be like, “Oh, you’re so great,” versus them getting to say that to themselves or giving them permission, or making the opening. Is that what you mean?

Dr. Schafer:
Yeah, exactly. You’re just putting it out there and they identify with it and say, “Yeah, that’s me.” They feel flattered and they feel good about themselves.

Jake:
Other thoughts on this, those are some good ones. You talk about building closeness, too, and I definitely want to get to, before you go, the digital era, and how that plays into all of this.

Dr. Schafer:
I think we should start with when we first want to look at somebody, we should even talk about talk about the friendship formula. There’s four basic elements that all people share in relationships; relationships past, present and future. Those elements are proximity, and what proximity means is you share the same space with somebody, either virtually or physically. The attributes of proximity is if you share office space with somebody, you don’t necessarily talk to that person, they’re going to develop a mutual like for you and you for them, and you’re going to be predisposed to like one another. Just proximity predisposes people to like each other.

Jake:
I’ve always wondered if that proximity thing is almost part of Stockholm Syndrome.

Dr. Schafer:
In a sense it is, but there’s a little bit more to the Stockholm Syndrome, but yeah, it’s the presence of somebody there, it’s more of a fight/flight, tend to be friends situation.

Jake:
One of the elements, the proximity element, and when we get to talking about the digital age, that will be interesting too, how that plays in, but there are three more?

Dr. Schafer:
Yeah, the second one if frequency. We have to frequently be in the presence of somebody to get a relationship going. Frequency isn’t enough, we have to add duration to that frequency. We have to spend a lot of time with somebody, frequently, to develop a relationship with them. The last thing is the intensity. We build intensity into the relationship, that’s the kind of thing that cements everything together.

Jake:
How do you build intensity, by intense experiences?

Dr. Schafer:
Initially, what you want to do, and intensity could be a mere looking at somebody, mutual gaze. If you’re in the office and you just catch eye contact with somebody, and there’s mutual gaze, that increases intensity. It’s whispering to one another, it’s inward leaning, it’s mirroring, eye contact, it’s the big three: the eyebrow flash, the head tilt and the smile. Intensity isn’t necessarily emotional intensity, it’s more of an invitational intensity. When we meet somebody for the first time, we look to see if that person is going to be our friend or faux. Are they going to present a threat to us? Our brains constantly scans the environment for friend/faux signals, so you approach somebody, you want to make sure you display the friend signals, which are the eyebrow flash, the head tilt and the smile. The eyebrow flash is a quick up and down movement of the eyebrow, it lasts 1/6 of a second. Typically, that’s a long range, non-verbal signal. When we typically approach somebody, 5-6 feet away from that person, we’re going to eyebrow flash. That sends a signal that I am not a threat. We, in turn, then reciprocate by sending an eyebrow flash back, saying “I’m not a threat, either.” One of the amazing things about this is once I make people aware of the eyebrow flashes, they typically come back and they go, “Wow, I can’t believe I have been eyebrow flashing my whole life and I didn’t even know it. I can’t believe other people have been eyebrow flashing me and I didn’t know it.

Jake:
Yeah, it’s great that you have distilled this so much. Can someone do that consciously?

Dr. Schafer:
When I interview people that I am not fond of, I will manufacture an eyebrow flash, just to let them know I’m not somebody to be feared, that I could be your friend. Actors do it, salespeople do it. The next one is the head tilt. That means when you tilt your head to one side or the other, you’re exposing your carotid artery, and if somebody comes after you and cuts your carotid artery, you die within a few minutes, so what you’re basically saying is, I trust you because I am exposing a very tender part of my body that could cause me great harm. People that tilt their head look more trustworthy and they appear to be more attractive to the other person. The interesting thing is that women tilt their head more than men do. They found out that men in the business environment keep their head straight up. That’s a sign of dominance. In the business environment, it’s a good thing, but once you go into a social situation, and a man approaches a woman and he keeps his head upright without tilting it, she’s going to automatically think, there’s something wrong with you. The brain is picking up that there is no friend signal. You have to make sure that you, at least, tilt your head. Be aware of that.

Jake:
Does it matter what direction?

Dr. Schafer:
You can go to the left or right, if they’re going front to back, it’s not good, because they’re probably taking a snooze. The head tilt is to the right or to the left. The last one of the big three is the smile. That’s a powerful friend signal. When you smile, you release endorphins, endorphins make you feel good and the other person smiles back, and then they get a release of endorphins and then they feel good about themselves. According to The Golden Rule of Friendship, if you make other people feel good about themselves, they’re going to like you. That’s the importance with that smile.

Jake:
In terms of the smile, teeth, no teeth? Probably with teeth is better, I assume? Is there any guidance on the smile itself?

Dr. Schafer:
There’s actually fake smiles and real smiles and your brain can pick up the difference. The real smile, your corners of your mouth are upturned, your cheeks are pulled upwards to form those little bags under your eyes, and then you have crows feet. What your brain does, it looks for those crows feet and says, “ah, that’s a real smile.” A fake smile tends to be asymmetrical and the corners of your mouth aren’t turned up. There’s typical no crows feet.

Jake:
So, crows feet are good.

Dr. Schafer:
Actually, they are good because, even the younger folks, their skin is more elastic, but the brain still picks up the wrinkling on the outsides of the eyes. The brain knows if it’s a real smile or a fake smile. What we do, as you approach somebody, is you give those signals and then you’ll be accepted by the other person as a person who is not a threat.

Jake:
Very interesting.

Dr. Schafer:
That’s why that is really important. Let’s take it a step before you even approach the person, how you’re in a club or a social situation, how do you send out invitations and receive or accept invitations from other people. What typically happens, you’ll scan the room and your person of interest will scan the room. Then, you wait until your eyes locked, and then you’ll tilt your head, smile and eyebrow flash. The other person, typically will turn away for a second or two, and then turn back, and that is her acceptance to come over and talk to her and you won’t be rejected.

Jake:
How does the male do that? In the romantic relationship category, it’s the male that’s doing the approaching, so I understand the invitation being accepted concept, but how do you make the invitation?

Dr. Schafer:
You lock eyes, as your person of interest is on the other side of the room and you are scanning the room, eventually you’re going to lock eyes. You’re going to make sure you lock eyes, and as soon as you lock eyes, you’ll do an eyebrow flash, a head tilt and a little smile, and then the other person is going to look away for a second or two, and if they turn back to look at you, especially with a smile, that means they’ve accepted the invitation, you can come over and talk to them without fear of rejection. Women, on the other hand, use smiles to regulate the behaviors of men in social situations. They’ll smile at men they want to talk to, and they won’t smile at men they won’t.

Jake:
So, let’s take this over to the digital age. So many of our lives now is on social media platforms. It’s online. If someone is looking for a romantic relationship, it’s online dating. If they’re just being social, it’s Facebook, and so forth. How does this all happen in the digital world?

Dr. Schafer:
Problem is, it doesn’t happen. When you’re on the digital world, we’re taking people out of the visual world. We’re very good at the visual world, because we read these signs almost instinctively, we know it. If we’re offending somebody, we pick up the signals. If we’re building rapport, we pick up the signals. We are good with interaction, face-to-face. We go online, we’re getting ourselves out of the visual world, into a world we’re not very good at interpreting cues. That’s why we don’t work too well right now, in the digital age.

Jake:
Are there any bits of advice? Are there any shortcuts or hacks, anything? Or is it just it doesn’t work?

Dr. Schafer:
I’m not saying it doesn’t work, I’m just saying what you want to do is meet somebody online and then try to get into a face-to-face situation as quickly as possible, so you can use skills that you’re very good at, which are visual. Even if you Skype, or meet in a public area, then you’re back in the visual world. That’s good because you don’t worry about them not being who they are. If you invite people to Skype with you, or meet you, and they don’t and that’s a really big red flag and I would press the delete button and be done with them. The other thing with the dating world, if we don’t see that person, do you know who we compare that person to? Our ideal woman. If we don’t see that person, we start imagining, “Oh, she’s like this, she’s like that,” and we compare it to our ideal woman and then if after a long period of time we don’t see them, and then we do see them, then the comparison between them and our ideal woman is too great, and we go like, “Woah, this isn’t what I expected.” One other thing that is important is we develop closeness between people when we reveal information about ourselves. In social situations, face-to-face, we pass that out little by little, by looking at the person, oh they’re getting bored, they’re not getting bored, they like this, they don’t like this. That sets up what we call a Hansel and Gretel, about us that leads to a relationship. Online, we don’t get those cues, and we get the tendency to dump all of our emotions and everything that’s personal about us on the internet. We don’t know if that’s being accepted or not. That’s what causes a closeness, the revealing of information to somebody else.

Jake:
Good points. Jack, give out your website and tell people where they can find the book.

Dr. Schafer:
The book is available in all the bookstores, Barnes & Noble, on Amazon, Kindle, iTunes, Simon & Schuester website. We have a Facebook called The Like Switch, and we have a Twitter, and it’s available almost anywhere you can buy a book.

Jake:
The thing I want to ask you, just within closing is about nurturing and sustaining long relationships. You gave a lot of great tips in a lot of areas, how do you take this into the long form?

Dr. Schafer:
Basically, you keep It fresh. How do you keep it fresh? You keep doing new things, and different things. One of the things we recommend in the book is when you do something every exciting, that stirs your endorphins, like running or doing something scary, people have a tendency to like you more in that situation. It’s called misattribution. What you want to do is, if you feel your relationship is going stale a little bit, go bungee jumping, bike down Pikes Peak without brakes, do something exciting. That will renew that relationship again.

Jake:
Explain this attribution, though. What does that exactly mean?

Dr. Schafer:
If we feel good about something and we don’t know what that feeling is attributed to, then we tend to attribute it to the person who is nearest to us.

Jake:
In other words, if we get the endorphins flowing, by doing something usually physically active, it’s usually a physical thing, but not completely. If we do that, we’re going to attribute that feeling to the person we are with. I always say that the stock and trade of friendship is shared experiences. It’s especially a certain type of shared experience, you can design experiences that promote that even more, right?

Dr. Schafer:
Right. Here’s how you do it. If you know a girl is at the gym and she works out, well you can use the friendship formula. You just show a gym proximity and then you issue some frequency, duration and intensity, some non-verbals, and then when the endorphins are there, she’s going to naturally attribute that good feeling to you. That gives you a little added edge, as far as predisposing her to like you.

Jake:
Women who fall in love with their tennis coach is like a cliché, right?

Dr. Schafer:
Yes, it’s very easily explained. The endorphins are misattributed to the tennis coach. Every time I’m by the tennis coach, I feel good. I want to be by my tennis coach more because I want to continue to feel good.

Jake:
When they stop playing tennis, it’s a different relationship, isn’t it?

Dr. Schafer:
Yes, it is. It’s not difficult to explain these relationships when you know these core human behaviors. That’s why I think the book is important because it goes into depth about all the core human behaviors that go into a normal human relationship. All we did was identify and catalog the different verbal and nonverbal behaviors that will help us understand.

Jake:
Very good points. Jack Shafer, thank you so much for sharing this. You’ve really done a great job dicing this up at a scientific level. There are so many people out there that just have a bunch of advice. Yours is really, truly technical and scientific. Good stuff, really interesting. That’s Dr. Jack Schafer. The book is The Like Switch, check it out. It’s available on Kindle, on Amazon, great material.

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