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Master Your People Skills

Lesson 6 of 31

The Art of Conversation


Master Your People Skills

Lesson 6 of 31

The Art of Conversation


Lesson Info

The Art of Conversation

(audience applauds) Alright, welcome to day six. Today we're talking about the art of conversation. And I have three main goals for today. I want you to be a master conversationalist; and we've already laid the groundwork for this. We've been talking about how to have engaging interactions and conversations. But we're gonna take that to the next level. We're gonna level up today. I also want to show you how to engage people with the art of listening, which is a big part of the art of conversation. But first, I have a little warm-up. Actually I want everyone to stand up. From now on when we do warm-ups, we're gonna using our launch stance, which we learned, we're gonna practice our launch stance in action. So, what I'm gonna do is I am going to give you a location. At home, I want you to stand up, I want you to do your launch stance, and you're gonna play with us too. So I'm gonna give you a location, a setting. You are going to turn to your partner and whoever can come up with a conver...

sation starter first wins. What I want to do is I want the hand raised of who wins and we're gonna slowly narrow it down to shorter and shorter groups. And I want two people up on stage with me. What pair wants to come up and do it with me? So good, come on up, come on up. I didn't even give you a choice. Yes. I just brought you up. Alright, so, are you ready for the interaction? Here is the situation, and I want to think of the best conversation starter you can think of. Standing in line at a coffee shop. Donuts. (audience laughs) That's not a conversation starter. Donuts? Yes. Are you getting the mocha? I like that, are you getting the mocha? What else could you ask? Are you getting donuts? Are you getting donuts? Are you getting donuts with the mocha? Yes, I am getting the mocha, which I really like the kona blend of the half. Have you tried that? Yeah, I've tired that. It's fascinating, isn't it? That's cool, I like it. So, that was just right back in there. If I was sitting in line at a coffee shop, I'd be like, "What's the kona blend?" Yeah, actually, it's really interesting, I never had coffee before and then I met John the barista and he's like, "You've got to try the kona blend." You're like, "Yes!" And I tried it the first time and it was so good and I just-- Okay, wait, we're getting so... okay. Are we ready for the next one? We got so excited about our conversation about kona coffee that we got distracted. Alright, here's the next one, are you ready? It is in a prison cell, go! What did you do? (laughter) What did you do? What did you do? What would you ask back? Let's just say, I can't talk about it. Can't talk about it. Come on, man, we all did the same thing here. What are you in for? I like it. What are you in for? Do I have any good ones? That's funny. Coolest prison experience. That was a hard one, right? Here is the last one. At the Statue of Liberty, what would you ask? Look at that. Do you know the history behind it? That's a great one, it's informational. Yeah, I think it was made to celebrate freedom, right? I'm actually visiting from outside. Are you from around here? Actually, I'm not from around here, but I've heard so many stories, let's Google it. I love it. I actually met this tour guide in Central Park yesterday and he was telling me it was made to celebrate the freedom of the country. When the US got independence. I love it. High five, high five, high five. Thank you, alright. Perfect, but it was perfect. Alright, so you can sit down. So, what was hard or easy about that exercise? What was hard or easy about that exercise, yeah? I feel like the first impression was really hard, because it's-- Standing in line at a coffee shop. Yeah. Could be anything. It's everyday, my mind immediately goes to, "What are you getting at the coffee shop?" Which is not a bad question, right? The reason why I like to do these, is 'cause it gets us thinking that we can practice these anywhere and everywhere we go. I hope you're not gonna be in a prison cell anytime soon, but I think you should use killer conversations everywhere. No matter where you are, you can practice these people skills. It gets us thinking a little bit creatively no matter where we're standing. Alright, so we are solely on the path to connection. We are learning how to make emotional deposits in other people's bank accounts. We're learning how to receive those emotional deposits, so we feel like we're starting to engage in an interaction. We've learned the power of intention, how to trigger dopamine in conversations. We've learned how to use stories to captivate our audience. We've also learned the power of confidence and curiosity. That it's curiosity that makes us irresistible and interesting. And today, we're talking about the art of conversation. It's time for a confession. So, I have a confession, and it is that silence scares me. Silence makes me super uncomfortable. Awkward pauses might be the only thing that's worse. So I've always noticed this about myself, that when I'm in conversation... I think Sajit, you actually brought this up earlier, that when people are silent you feel like, what's gonna be said? They're not gonna like me. It's a really awkward pause. And so what I do, is I immediately rush to fill in the space. And it could be with complete nonsense, I'll just do anything to talk and fill that space. So, I always kind of knew this about myself, but I didn't think it was that big of a deal. And I have something called an awesome club, which I'm gonna teach you in segment number 29. About how to get support from people around you. So, during one of the constructive feedback times during my awesome club, someone told me something that I was not very excited to hear. And this is what he said in a very loving and kind way. He said, "You interrupt." And this was a really hard piece of feedback for me, because the last thing I would ever want to do, is interrupt someone's thoughts or feelings. There's no worse way to disrespect someone, than by interrupting their answer. So, when he said this, I was... First, I was incredibly grateful that he was honest with me because I could have gone for who knows how long continuously interrupting people. So, I started to think, "How can I stop myself from interrupting?" "Where does this come from?" I realized it was from my fear of silence. That as soon as I sense that maybe an awkward silence would come up, I start to feel really nervous, I get into low grade feel and I'm like, "Just say anything to fill it." So, I started to think about what happens in my mind when I do that, and I realized, that when I'm talking, I'm not learning and my goal is to learn about people. When they talk to me, I want to know everything about them, I want to endeavor to discover. When I'm talking, I'm not able to learn about them. I also learned, that when I'm thinking about talking, I'm also not learning. It's that when other people are talking and I'm thinking about what I need to say, or afraid of the silence that's about to happen, I'm only half listening to their conversation. Which makes for very awkward sentence conversations where I interrupt people, so I was like, "How do I stop this?" I realized the thing I could do, was to go cold turkey. So, I decided to take a vow of silence. So, those who follow my blog, know that I took this vow of silence and nothing scares me more than silence and I like to live where I'm the most uncomfortable. So, I decided I had to cut cold turkey and here are my goals for my vow of silence. I had to face full on my fear of silence. Second, I wanted to embrace awkward pauses, I wanted to live in that awkward pause to see really how bad it could be. What's the worst that could happen if I actually couldn't speak? I wanted to learn to be a better listener, to hear what I was missing when I was interrupting people or when I was thinking about what I wanted to say. And I wanted to use body language only. I teach body language and I was like, "What if I just use my non-verbal?" So, here are my rules for my Vow of Silence. One, I had to keep a completely normal calendar. I had to go to networking events, I had to do meetings, I had to do calls, I had to do video conferences. I had to do it all. The only flight change I made, was phone calls, I put on video, so at least they could see my body. I also made a rule, no writing. No writing at all, no E-mails, no posts. All I wanted to do is listening, I couldn't even write at networking events. The only thing I allowed myself, was four cards. These four cards said: One, "I have taken a vow of silence to become a better listener." So, when I met someone and they were like, "Hey, nice to meet you." And I was like... I could show them the card. The second card I allowed myself, was, "Please tell me about yourself." because all I wanted to hear about was them. I allowed myself, "I'm sorry." because I thought that could be a little hard to show with body language. And the last card I had was, "This was awkward for me as it was for you. Thank you for trying!" This was the only thing I was allowed to do. I decided that i was going to do this, until it stopped feeling so scary. That could be an hour, that could be a night, that could be a day, but I was going to do it until I stopped fearing that silence. So, here is me at a networking event, someone actually took this and posted it on Facebook with my little card. This is the very first networking event that I attended silent. It was terrifying. I walked in and I was sweating. Thank God I couldn't talk because my voice was in my throat. I was like, "What if people kick me out?" "What's gonna happen?" I mean, "Are people gonna actually walk away from me, in the middle of them trying to talk to me?" I had no idea what was going to happen. So, in the first few minutes, I learned a couple of really interesting things that people do when you're silent. First, people speak really loud when you don't talk. (laughter) They also treat you like you can't hear or understand them. So, people began to talk to me like this, "Hello, my name is Mary, it's so great to meet you!" And I was like, "Wow." Even though... I couldn't say to them I can hear you and I can understand you, I am just not speaking. So, that was sort of a funny thing that I learned right away. The other thing that I learned that happened, is that as soon as show people that you are doing a vow of silence, all they do is ask you a whole bunch of questions. Which you then can't answer. So, it goes something like this, "Hi, nice to meet you." "Oh my Gosh, why are you doing a vow of silence?" (laughter) And then I flip to card number two which said, "Please, tell me about yourself." And they go, "Oh, please tell me about yourself." What was amazing, was that people, they started with the can dancer. Telling about yourself is kind of a hard one so they would say, "Well, I am an architect." or, "I'm a photographer." And then I would just stand there and I would just keep listening. The awkward pause was there, just so there, it was like infecting the room. And I was just like, "Okay, I'm just gonna stand here and I'm just gonna be super engaged." And people kept talking, people kept digging deeper. It ended up being one of the most amazing experiences of my life and it lasted for six long days. Before I ended up not feeling afraid of the silence. And those were the longest six days of my life, but I learned so much about myself from other people that I never would have learned if I was speaking. Biggest thing that I learned, is the art of conversation is not about conversation. The art of conversation is about the art of listening. And listening well. Mastering the art of conversation is about mastering the art of listening. And this is all about validation. I learned that when you are fully present with people, when you are listening with your entire being and your entire self, people finally feel validated. And I read this quote by Oprah Winfrey where she said, "I've talked to nearly 30,000 people on this show. All 30,000 had one thing in common. They all wanted validation." I so resinate with that, but I couldn't have understood it until that moment where I was silent and I didn't interrupt people for the first time ever and I just let them talk. I was fully there with them, I didn't have my phone, I wasn't looking over their head to try to find someone else to talk to. All I wanted to do was make them feel validated and make them feel that I was really there for them and trying to listen to them. So, this speaks to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Being a true listener, helps you meet the top three needs on our hierarchy. When you really listen to people, you give people a sense of belonging. You give them a sense of intimacy. When you listen to people, you meet their esteem. You show them that they are accomplished. That you want to listen to their success. And most importantly, you let them live their potential by sharing their story, by sharing their answers. So, it's one of the most powerful gifts that you can give people by listening to them. I want to show you an example of an E-mail that I got the day after, the second day I started my vow of silence. I gave my cards to people if they ask for them and I got this E-mail: " Dear Vanessa, I was so glad to meet you at the event last night. It was so great talking to you," I was not talking, right? I did not say a single word. "And your vow of silence sounds fascinating!" He didn't hear about my vow of silence, in fact we had an amazing conversation. All about him and what he's doing, and his passions. He asked for a coffee. I never would have gotten this response had I been talking. The only thing I gave him, was the art of being present. It made a connection that I never could have made had I been talking. I think... and this is one thing that has made me embrace pauses a little but more, is that true listening happens when you quiet your own experience to make room for someone else's. When you can quiet what's happening in you own head, thinking about what you're gonna say and what you should say and what they think about you, just to hear what they're about. Now, not everyone can do a vow of silence on a day to day basis. So, the question is, "How do we put those techniques into practice in normal conversations?" And we do this using the RUC Technique. This is one my most powerful techniques, so we're gonna be using it throughout the course. The RUC Technique is how you can validate someone, this is on a date, this is on a client meeting, this is working with friends, to show them that you are truly listening. First, you rephrase their ideas. Then, you use their own words as a show of respect, to show that you were listening to them, and then you circle back and check in with them. Let me give you an example of how this works. This is very theoretical, so here's how it works. This is an E-mail that a lot of photographers get. I have a lot of wedding photographer friends. And let's say that they send their pitch to someone and the bride E-mails back and she says, "Thanks for sending the portfolio over. I'm a little stressed and overwhelmed with wedding stuff at the moment. As soon as it gets less busy, I will circle back." A typical response to this... and by the way, this is an E-mail that I sent out when I was getting married and this is the response that I got back. "Sure, did you like the portfolio? Next steps are to schedule and engagement shoot which we can do right away. Just let me know." So, what's wrong with this E-mail? Tell me. I saw you shake your heads. What's wrong with it? No acknowledgement of what you said. No acknowledgement of what I said, yeah and what else? Misses the point, completely. Absolutely. Now, about this E-mail, he was trying to make it easy for me. I can see that between the lines, he was saying it's really... all you have to do is schedule an engagement shoot, you don't have to do a lot. And he also wanted his own validation. "Did you like the portfolio?" So, this E-mail isn't terrible, it's just not meeting, not validating the needs that I had in my initial E-mail. Now, I had a bunch of portfolios that had been sent to me, I interviewed three different wedding photographers. And I sent the exact same response to all of them, because I was like totally overwhelmed with booking. And I got another response that I think perfectly shows the RUC Technique in action. Here's what their response was, "No problem, on being busy-I know wedding planning can be super overwhelming! Our stuff is stress-free, so you circle back when it works for you. I'll make sure it's easy." I mean, this blew my mind, in fact, just reading this, made me feel relief. Now, why was it so powerful? The difference here, content wise, is not all that different what's being said. This time, they used my own words. So, he said "busy", which I had talked about being busy. How when I'm less busy, I totally get it. Overwhelming, I get that it is overwhelming, validating my needs and then saying, "I will make sure that working with me is stress-free. You let me know what works for you and I'll circle back." So, they rephrased my words, they validated my feelings, and then they checked in with me to say, "Whatever works for you, I'll make sure it's easy." Now, I want us to practice how this works in action. So, what I want us to do is I'm gonna show you a question, and I want you to turn to your partner, and I want you to use rephrase, use their words, and check-in as they speak to you. I want to bring two people on stage and you guys can practice with your partners. Josh and Van, you guys want to come up? I haven't had you up in a while. Yeah? I do have a question on the check-in part. Sure, yes. What's the example of a check-in? Yeah, bring the mic, too. Sorry, the reason I leave it broad, is because it really depends on the situation. Check-in basically means, "Is it a next step?" Is it a, "How can I help?" Is it a, "What more do you feel?" So, its using a lot of addition, right? In some ways you perform, thanks for clarifying that. And it really depends on the scenario: if it's a date, or friends or not. Okay, come one up, yes. I want you to turn to your partner and you can take turns, I want everyone to stand up, we're using launch stance as we do it. Here is the question that I want you to take turns answering and I want you to use your partner's words, rephrase their ideas, and check-in with them at the end or use the law of addition. Here's the question. "Tell me about a stressful time in your life?" Right, you want to start Van? There was moment when I was at the office, it was 11 o'clock at night, and everyone was waiting for me to get the project done, and I felt everyone on my shoulder, and I just really just wanted to jump out the window at that moment 'cause I didn't really know how to handle all the stress that was on me. It made me shut down. I see you had a lot of stress, 'cause you had a lot of duties you had to fulfill. It was on your shoulders and all the weight is on you and you had to fulfill it in a way that will please them. So, I see how stressful that is. I love... okay, that was fantastic. What you did, was you used the words she was using and you were validating her feelings. And then you said, "I can see how stressful that is." Saying, "I can see," it invites her to either explore further, if she wants to, or go on to the next step. So, if you finished it, if you fixed it, or to continue going, that was horrible. I felt bad, so I loved that ending. Okay, so why don't you ask it back. So, a stressful time that I had, was I was working at Chipotle, and normally the line, it depends on the time, and it's a certain distance. And there's one time where it was almost twice the amount of people that it could have and I'm the one grill guy that has to work there, so there's no one that's gonna help me out and I was just like, "Oh my God, I gotta get all this done." I was just really, really stressed out, but thankfully someone helped me out and then-- It's really nice that someone stepped in and helped you out and it sounds like, you know, being really helpless, you feel like you're the only guy in the kitchen, so I can see how that can be a little overwhelming for you. I love it, now, check-in with him. What's the next step? Has it gotten better? Yeah, or has it happened since? Has it gotten better? What have they done to prevent that in the future? Those are all great check-ins, right? I love it, alright, thank you guys. I did really feel a good connection, she understood me-- Yes, I want everyone to hear it, hold that thought. When guys can sit down, I'll call on you from chair, keep your mic. Thank you, guys. Alright, you can sit down when you're done. So, Joshua, tell me how that felt for you when she used your words? It really felt like she was really listening to what I had to say, she understood my problems, and it just felt like we really connected, 'cause she understood me. Yeah, anyone else have that feeling, where when they were using your words back to you, it felt like, wow, they get it, they're listening? Anyone else have that feeling? Yeah, Lee, what did you talk about? What was your stressful moment? I talked about moving to the US and having to move to a new place as a teenager, and learning the language, and you don't know anybody. And when Kim gave me the... like when she responded, I felt like she was really listening and she understood, and it was a really nice feeling. Yeah, so, the reason why this technique is so important, is because it gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling. Using this technique, we often don't realize, when someone shares something stressful or happy, we don't always know how to respond so we're like, "Yeah, cool," (laughter) "Awesome." And we're there for them, but we don't know exactly what to say. Using this, "Wow, that must have been so stressful when you moved to a new place and had to find new friends. When did it start feeling like home to you?" Alright, that's a very different answer than, "Wow, that must have been hard." (laughter) So it gives us something to do, yeah? One thing I noticed, when I gave my stressful moment, I could tell that Ali was really active listening, and so, at places where I would expect someone to chime in, I would sort of pause almost and I would keep going and it felt really good to keep going. And to really have them present and active listening. I love it, I love it. So, the secret... one second... The secret part of the RUC Technique, is not only does it make them feel good, but it also makes it so that you have a reason to listen. Listening for their words, listening for what they're feeling, gives you a reason to listen on a level up. Not just kind of casually listen, but you're actually listening to try and use their words back to them, so it gives you a reason to deep listen. When you're with a client and you're nervous, focusing on how can I make sure that they feel heard, really listening to their words and feelings, that's a great motivation to listen. Yeah, Jason, tell me. My wife taught me this technique-- I love it. With our three year-old and it's like magic. She wants something and she can't have it, we say, "I know you wanted that thing." And she just... She goes from level ten to level three almost immediately. 'Cause she feels validated. Yeah, so a lot of these techniques can be used as parents. So, this is not a parenting course, but with children especially, they really want to feel heard. A lot of times when they're like, "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy." Really what they're saying is, just validate me for a second. So, you use these techniques, its a great way to show them, literally show them that you care. So, the second way you validate someone, to embrace the vow of silence techniques without there actually having to be silence. Although, I would love it if you want to take a vow of silence. I would love to hear about it. The second way, is to avoid wishful hearing. So, wishful hearing happens, when we hear what we want to hear, but not what is actually being said. And this happens for three reasons: Assumption, arrogance, and fear. Assumption, I already know what you're going to say. I already know this. Arrogance, I know better than you. Or fear, I'm afraid that what you say might require something of me. So, I want to tell you a very personal story about the wishful hearing and how it can be damaging. I got a opportunity to pitch to speak at a big training, and I was so excited to try to pitch to this group, and it was a sales group and I wanted to teach them the power of body language. I do a lot of body language for sales trainers. It's perfect. So, I had a 30 minute phone call with the Booker of the training and she kind of gave me the run down of the group and what they need and what they wanted. I was like, "I got this, I got this, I got this." I put together what I thought was a fantastic proposal, sent it over... crickets. Didn't hear anything, it was like a week or two, circled back, "I'm sorry, we went with someone else." And I was devastated, I thought this was a great pitch, I had no idea what went wrong. Luckily, a few months later, I saw one of the Bookers at a conference and I went up to them and I was like, "I was one of the ones who submitted for that training, but I didn't get it. Do you have any constructive feedback for me? 'Cause I would love to try and pitch again." For next year, they do this training every year. And she was like, "You know your deck was great, the pitch was great, but we were looking for someone to train our sales training on decoding hidden emotions, on reading our clients better. We didn't necessarily want them to talk about their body language and their confidence." And I went back to my notes and I had actually written that down. I had written down that their main goal was to train their sales guys on reading better, reading their clients better, but I had completely missed it. Because of assumption and because of arrogance, I was like, "I already know this, I know better than you, I know what you want." And so, I did not meet their needs, I did not validate what they were looking for. I asked her, I said, "I would love to re-submit, will you give me the opportunity to re-submit again?" I re-submitted it and I got it. I wanted to share that story, because it was long year of hard learning on how assumption and arrogance got in my way on wishful thinking. I love this quote by Brian Tracy, who says, "Make a habit of dominating the listening and let the customer dominate the talking." That's the goal, is to figure out how you can validate them. Now, I kind of have an inspiration story here, but I don't know if I love it, so I put inspiration into parentheses. So, QVC, which is an online TV shopping channel, they know the art of listening and the art of validation. Most call centers when you call them, they are trained to get the call time to as short as possible. They want to get you on the phone, they want to get your credit card information, they want to hang up and get the next caller. QVC has trained their responders in a very different way. What they tell their responders is, we want you to stay on the phone as long as possible. We want you to ask all kinds of questions to our customers. Forget the transaction, forget the credit card. Ask them how they like their last purchase. Ask them how their kid is, ask them how their pet is. Ask them what color their living room is. Talk to them about the color that would work best in their home for whatever carpet, rug, candle they're buying. When you call into QVC, they want to feel like talking to an old friend, and so what happens is, people call in and they feel like they're talking to an old friend. Really, what's happening is, QVC responders are using the art of listening, they're validating their customers in a totally different way. Forgetting the sale, all they're focusing on, is how can I validate this person's needs. So, let's practice again, alright. So, let's stand back up, we're gonna go into launch stance. We're gonna do another question and this time I want you to practice. Avoid wishful hearing and the RUC Technique, we're gonna practice both. I want to bring... Mike, you guys want to come up on stage? I haven't had you guys up on stage, yet. Alright, so here is the question and bring your mics. Perfect. The question I want you to practice is: What personal challenge are you facing right now? Perfect, who wants to go first? Let's start with you, I think... Ladies first. He answered the question last time. Ladies first. I think my answer is essentially what you were talking about before with very early stage startup. No funding, no clients... Lots of stress. How do you deal with the situation of having no clients and all this stress? What's your exhaust? What's your vent? How do you recover from it? I guess, how I deal with it, is I have three different things at once. I have a blog that's about biotech and healthcare entrepreneurship, that's sort of keeping me in touch with my training as a biomedical engineer. And then I have fiction writings and like publishing and stuff, which is mostly for fun. Then I have sort of the fashion design thing, as well. That was perfect, actually what you did was interesting. You asked her a long question where you actually included her words in the question. I was buying myself time, really. It worked, it totally worked, right? You actually asked her a question, but you said, "So, how do you deal with that stress?" and "How do you let that out?" "How do you vent it?" So, you actually took the word that would release the stress, which I love. Okay, let's do it back really quickly. What personal challenge are you facing right now? I'm facing the challenge of starting up a body language business, as I told you. My stress right now, is having little or no income. So, I'm really cutting into my savings quite fast and having no income is quite stressful. Do you have any sort of ideas of different strategies you could take-- So, first, Val, before you go into solution mode, I love it, before you go into solution mode, validate the stress, validate how stressful it would be to have no income first. How would you try that? I can totally relate, I am in the same situation with the low income. Yeah. What strategies do you have or maybe have you thought of possibly using-- Perfect, so, I want you to validate first and then you want to check-in. Otherwise, he has all this emotion, you're moving into action which is good, but he's like, "What do I do with this stress that I just vented on?" I love it, okay, sit down. Alright, are we ready? Sit down when you're done, please. What I do when I'm hearing a story that's stressful or happy, is I will say, "Wow, that sounds amazing." Or "Oh my gosh, that sounds so stressful." And then I go into it, so use... If you need that transition time, give that natural emotional response of either empathy, happiness, celebration, whatever it is you feel, and then you can go into the RUC Technique. Right, that's a good question, yeah. I have this tendency... and I think we were both kind of doing it, someone tells you a problem and you're like, "Oh, let me help you solve it." Let me solve it. Okay, that happened on stage, that actually happened on stage. So, what happened was, is we went right into solution mode, right into the action step, and I said, "You gotta validate first." Men typically, like to go into solver mode. You want to come and you want to help, so what's really important, is when you do that, you're actually disrespecting the emotion they just shared with you. You're teaching them to not share an emotion with you, because you can't validate it, it might have made you uncomfortable. So, in the next few days I want you to practice, not doing any solutions. If you know that's your problem, I want you to just stay in the rephrase and use their words technique. Before you even go into check-in and action step. Hopefully, 'cause then you can own it like vow of silence, I want you to revel on that discomfort. Yeah? Okay, I'm gonna follow up with you on that one. Alright, let's do our last law for the day. Number 10, be non-verbally attuned. It's one thing to show that you are listening to words, I want you to show you're listening with your entire body. So, this is show people you're hearing them, listening to them, and validating them. And you do this three different ways. Here's how we listen non-verbally. First, is with fronting. This is aiming our toes, our torso, and our top towards the person we're speaking with. I was watching you guys as you were speaking, and I noticed a lot of pivots out. If someone was standing here, I noticed a lot of people who would pivot their body partially back. I was watching it happen. That happens when we're uncomfortable or nervous. It's called distancing behavior. So, what I want you to do, is show that you are listening by pivoting fully towards them and engaging in fronting behavior. So, toes, torso and top, that's the best way to show non-verbal respect. That is the way that you can literally show you were listening while they were speaking. The second way you can do this, is with nodding and the head tilt. So, nodding, a slow triple nod, research has shown, makes the other person speak for three to four times longer. If someone else is speaking and you do a one, two, three, it's like a non-verbal dot, dot, dot. You're literally telling them keep going, please tell me more, please dig deeper. It's a way of showing that instead of saying that. If someone's on a really deep topic, they're on a date and they're like really passionate about something, and you want them to keep going, or you're with a client and they're talking about a need that you really want to meet, the best thing you can do, is front towards them and do a slow triple nod and if you want, you can add a head tilt. A head tilt is a way of softening your listening. It's what we do when we're trying to hear something, literally. If you ask someone, "Do you hear that?" They'll almost always turn their head and be like ,"What?" It's 'cause it's the way that we listen, it's the way you can show you're listening if you can slightly tilt your head to the side to say, "I am here for you," "I am fully and present and listening to you." I want us to briefly practice it with a table topic. I'm gonna pull out, these are a fun set of cards with a bunch of questions for us. So, I want you to briefly stand up and you're gonna answer the question quickly using fronting, triple nod, and the head tilt. Okay, are you ready? The question is... we can stand up. The question is: "What's the secret to having a good relationship?" I want to see fronting, head tilting, nodding. (group discussion) (laughter) I want you to slightly, I want you to fully tilt towards him and I want launch stance. There you go, imagine you're wearing a cape. Makes it so difficult. I know, I'm gonna force you out of you comfort zone. I love it, I love it. Love it, yes. Yes, we're done, sit. If you're done, you can sit down, I love it. Yeah, fabulous. You can sit down if you're done. As we practice throughout the course, I'm gonna make us now do launch stance, and being non-verbally attuned, so we can practice it, because it is hard to break out of keeping our hands in our pockets and the tilt out. The more that we practice it, the more natural its going to become. Here's what we have coming up. Tomorrow, is a surprise day, I'm gonna teach you the best kept secret of socially successful people, get excited. I'm also gonna teach you on day eight how to be memorable. This is your social superpower, beyond just capes. We're gonna increase your likeability and we're gonna fight nerves, fight that anxiety that happens around interactions. Our challenge today, is I want you to practice all the skills we've learned so far. We're on skill number 10, so we gotta start putting them together. Using them like our ninja skills. You can pull those out whenever you need them. In your workbook, what I've done, is I have a little cut out for you, where you can actually check off each skill that we've learned so far. I want you to practice each of these skills at least once. This is your checklist for the night. They can be in multiple conversations or all at once, but I want you to put them all into action at least once and report back to how they go. Alright, it is time to talk about the most important thing we learned today. Jake, you can join me on stage. I want to hear at home what your "aha" moment is. Tweet me on twitter @Vvanedwards or use the hashtag people skills. I want to hear what the most important thing that you learned today is. We'd love to hear about it, so yes please share that with us and we definitely-- I want three important things that we learned today. Yes, Jason. That listening exercise actually made me feel more vulnerable. It made me realize that I actually put up these screens and I don't listen to people, I'm doing that sort of-- Wishful hearing. Yes. Yeah, I'm gonna keep you in that discomfort, if that's okay, for a couple more segments before I let you go into solution mode. Two more important things, "aha" moments, from today. We haven't heard from you, what did you learn today? Talk into the mic. Silence should not be uncomfortable. Yeah, embracing silence. Would you consider doing a vow of silence? Absolutely. You can do it with me next year. I'm gonna do a vow of silence every year, if you want to do it with me. I would love to do it, I love having people to do it with. One more, Maggie. What did you learn today? I definitely loved hearing about your study with you vow of silence and how it reminded me that I have a lot problems and feelings... Like the silence, too and talk a lot. It reminded me that I also like the practice of just in conversation, I try to tell myself-- Just listen. Because you can learn so much in between if you don't talk over it or jump to conclusions. Clearing our space to make space for other people's emotions. I love it. I can't wait to do tomorrow, it's going to be a surprise. I can't wait to surprise you. I'm looking forward to the surprise. It's interesting of what Margaret was saying, because when we're training hosts or in broadcasting et cetera, dead air is the killer, we cannot have it, but silence is not the same thing. Silence and listening is a completely different thing and that's something we encourage. Yeah. That's the end of day 6, we've got a lot more to come on day 7. And don't forget, this is just day 7 of the 30 day course. Thank you for being with us, we're looking forward to seeing you tomorrow, same time, same place. (applause)

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Learn how to inspire, influence, and engage people in this life-changing program with Vanessa Van Edwards.

If you want to succeed in business, life, and love you need to master the science of interpersonal intelligence. Master Your People Skills will show you how to effectively communicate with partners, clients, and colleagues so you can flourish in all aspects of your life.

In Master Your People Skills, Vanessa will teach you the communication methods and relationship-building strategies that will transform your interactions. You will learn how to increase your likability, deal with difficult people, be a master conversationalist, and quickly identify personality types.

This is class has 30 lessons each 45-60 minutes that are comprehensive lessons, activities, and challenges to assess and improve your people skills.

You’ll also develop techniques for overcoming awkward interactions, avoiding toxic people, and building rewarding relationships. Not only will Vanessa show you how to be proud of your in-person interactions, but you will also learn how to communicate more effectively online — via email, text, and social media.

Here’s how Vanessa will help you increase your impact:

  • You will be able to command respect and supercharge your first impression.
  • You will know exactly how to win more deals and attract more clients.By the end of week three you will have learned the art of speed-reading people.
  • You will have mastered your presence to be more persuasive, likable and influential.

Vanessa transformed lives in her previous CreativeLive class, The Power of Body Language. In Master Your People Skills, Vanessa will go beyond non-verbal communication, showing you how to boost your emotional and social intelligence.  



This is the best course I have ever taken on anything, anywhere, ever. As an adult with Asperger’s, I have been studying social skills and nonverbal communication for a long time. All the books I’ve read and other courses like these I’ve watched prior to this one, didn’t even teach me half of what Vanessa has taught me in this course. Master Your People Skills has provided me with literally everything I have ever wanted to learn from inner confidence, charisma, making conversation, making a great first impression, being memorable, etc. Vanessa is such a charismatic, passionate, and knowledgable mentor, who has a real gift of taking her many years of research and hard work, and teaching it in a way that is easy and fun to learn. This course is the real deal, you will be a master after you are finished with it, and I would recommend it to anyone.


I have just finished day 13 and so far the course has been amazing every single day. Vanessa is a great teacher and I love how her work is down-to-earth, practical, very applicable and rooted in scientific research. It's not the usual "ra ra ra, I can turn you into a master people schmoozer-type courses" found elsewhere. Anyone that wants to improve themselves and have better relationships in all aspects of their lives, both professional and personal, should get this course. There is so much quality material in this course, I look forward to going over the videos and the workbook more than once in order to improve my own people skills. The course is worth every penny and much more! Thank you Vanessa!