Become A Master Communicator with Vanessa Van Edwards
Hey everybody, how's it going? I'm Chase Jarvis, welcome to another episode of the Chase Jarvis Live Show here on CreativeLive. This is where I sit down with the world's top creatives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders with the goal of extracting valuable insights and helping you live your dreams and career and hobby and in life. My guest today is one of my favorite humans. It is Vanessa Van Edwards.
Yay! (upbeat music) (applauding)
I love you! Can we like hug without messing up my microphone?
Yeah, we can do that. My mic okay, am I still okay?
Yes, and make sure you do this.
Yeah, I gotta do this, I have to keep it out.
Matt was telling us, "Keep the hair out!" You made it, welcome!
I made it.
I love CreativeLive, I love being here.
I love that you're here and I'm loving that we're gonna do what I think is maybe your first long form interview.
This is the first time I've ever done it.
I remember the first time I saw you, it was on the CreativeLive sta...
ge. And it was, they said, "We've got this great woman. "She's coming in. "Her business is booming. "She's got this new, she's taking an emotional intelligence "approach to the future." And I mean, I've seen so many CreativeLive classes. I just watched you with my mouth open and my head tilted like, this is amazing. It was so eye-opening. And then we followed up in Portland. I had the good fortune of hanging out with you and your hubby on your deck. But the primary reason I wanted you on this show, I kinda leaned in there just a second ago there, which is you, more than anybody I know, are tuned in to the subtle cues and gestures, specifically around emotional intelligence. I think our culture has been very focused on IQ for decades or centuries or millennia. And not millennia, probably, because that was like caveman times.
Well, yeah, millennia, yeah.
Look at us talking about paleolithic period. You've crystallized in such a way that I hadn't seen before in a popular culture digestible way talking about how to move the world, like literally, figuratively, how to be supportive and show support. It's, EQ is the new IQ.
What's interesting is I think that my comfort zone is actually the book smarts. So I know that sounds crazy, 'cause I teach people smarts. But when I was growing up, books were like my savior. I remember this, Mrs. Cain, I don't know if you're out there in fourth grade, every time the recess bell would ring and I would go over to her and I wait for the entire classroom to clear out and I would beg her to clean the chalkboards. At that time we had chalkboards, whiteboards, because the playground was terrifying to me. And she would always be like, "Vanessa, you have to go outside and play. "You have to--"
She's like thinking about her own mental health.
Now that I'm old I'm like, oh no, she probably wanted to get a smoke. Like Mrs. Cain, I don't know. She was like a sweet old lady. And so I would like beg to clean the chalkboards because that was so scary to me. Or do homework during class. And so in a weird way, I have come to learn that people smarts are not only more important in some ways than book smarts, but actually they saved me in a different kind of a way.
This goes back that deep?
Oh, for sure. I have this theory, and you can tell me if you're wrong. I think everyone chooses their career. And I do mean career, not job, so people who are in their careers. They are choosing it for some kind of emotional reason. There's something inside of them they have to fix. And I think that has to do, I don't mean to delve so deep so quickly--
No, this is what we're doing, this is a goal.
Okay, so when I meet someone, I want to know one basic thing. There's a lot of little things, but one basic thing which is what is their self-narrative. And I think that people choose their careers. Choose their spouses, choose where they want to live because they're trying to fix something in their self-narrative. For me, 100%, I remember I was, I think I was reading The Hero's Journey, like about the hero's journey, and it clicked. It was like I am trying to fix that moment before recess. Like I'm trying to fix that.
Oh my gosh, that's so smart. I'm applying your rule to myself right now.
What are you trying to fix?
Don't do that jujitsu stuff on my old man's shelf.
I'm sorry, I (laughs).
I'm just curious.
I'm gonna block your shot.
I'm just curious--
Nothing to see here.
But really, like okay, like you talk a lot about education, right? So like what are you trying to fix? Something for you, is there something you saw?
I was, so, I'm gonna take that, because it's less about education and I think more about connecting bridges. There's no question I enjoy being in front of people. I get energy from that, I'm extroverted. And I think it was probably around, something around achievement. Like I know that my parents were amazing. I'm an only child. And for, that cuts both ways. And not in a spoiled way. I had upside-down Nikes. I had Adidas with four stripes. Middle, lower middle class.
No you didn't.
Adidas with four stripes?
I've never seen that before.
Just like off-brand stuff. So I wasn't spoiled, but I didn't want for anything. I had all the clothes, food, I had an amazing upbringing. But as a, just as an only child, I didn't have brothers and sisters, so I was either entertaining myself, imagination--
Yeah, being creative. Or at the adults' table. So there was no in-between, there was no kids table. And so I think I had to perform a little bit in order to get recognized, to be able to hold a conversation at the dinner table. I had to put my nose out there a little bit. And ultimately I think there's some sort of connection in there about being in front of people. And I know that when I was successful at school or sports or various things, that I got more pats on the back.
Okay, so what I would say is hearing that--
I thought we weren't going to go there, but we're gonna go there.
No, we're gonna do it.
We're gonna do it. So there's this idea about resource theory. So it's this idea, I didn't not create it, by a couple of psychologists who thought that as humans we are constantly trying to exchange resources. And at first I read this and I was totally turned off. I was like, that's transactional. It felt, I don't wanna think of, I don't like the idea of connection being a free-flowing, non-quid pro quo thing. But actually what he argues is this isn't a bad thing. It just means there are six categories of resources. And in every interaction, our goal is to try to fill the resource we have the least amount of. Oftentimes, we also try to give that. So for example, one of the resources is reputation. Or recognition would be another way to think about it. And so if you notice about someone, you are much better to incentivize them with a recognition play as opposed to a monetary play. Money is another one. For example, one my employees, I love her, she's wonderful. And I was trying to say thank you for something. And I realized that actually a payment increase or a bonus wouldn't be good. But actually listing her on this project we both finished together with her picture and her name was a way better gift for her, because that was the resource she needed. And they argue that we are looking for the resource we didn't get in childhood.
So it's similar to there's all kinds of psychology that talks about trying to fill the need that wasn't met.
This was a, so I have a really hard time with fuzzy subjects. So when I was little, my parents would send me off to camp. Oh God, camp, camp was horrible.
Most people love camp, but I was like--
No, no, oh my gosh. Just because you had to be with people all the time. So I'm an ambivert. So I switch into extroversion or introversion, depending. So camp was like, I'd dread it all year long. My parents were like, "It's good for you!" So I was this really shy kid. And they would say, "Just be yourself." And I remember them saying that to me and it was like they were saying, "Just make yourself a blonde." Like maybe I could do it, but like I had no idea how. And so the fuzzy concepts of give people what they're looking for didn't make sense to me. Whereas learning the six categories--
Ah, that makes perfect sense.
Right, because then I could look at someone and look at all their answers in interview. I take notes about my friends. My friends know I have little matrices for each of them.
Wow, I wonder what's written about me in the matrices.
You have a matrix, you have a matrix. And not like Keanu Reeves Matrix, a little matrix. And I write down like kind of evidence and like if I have a category. I've found out that because people skills does not come naturally, like I can't just show up and be like yeah, I'll give Chase what he needs. It's easier for me to be like, ah, recognition. Listing him his, like that is easier for me.
Don't list me on this show. What I would like is for you to feel like you're able to, in this really freeform conversation, add a lot of value. You know that I said it in the intro, I like to add sort of actionable stuff. And so I would like to switch gears just a little bit and I would like you to tell, like, how do you describe yourself? 'Cause I'm sitting here, you've got your book coming out called Captivate, which I got an advanced copy. Thank you for thinking of me. I'm very excited to share the world, share it with the world. But how do you describe yourself? Normally that's one of the first or second sentences, and we're already like five minutes in here. So what do you do or use or say or what tools or words describe what you do and how you identify yourself?
Easy one, so I'm a behavioral investigator. Lead researcher at a lab. We do original research. And I try to, basically my lab--
On mice, on humans, on what?
What kind of research?
So it's basically an excuse for me to ask invasively personal questions for my amusement.
See why I'm asking the questions in this interview? You see where that could go, right?
Yeah, well I'm excited. We're gonna try to, we're gonna turn the tables a little bit later. So yeah, so basically I try to find puzzles. Always, since my dream career was trying to look at weird inconsistencies. So for example, a recent experiment we just did was on TED. So I love TED Talks and I was watching all these TED Talks. And I was on, I watch a TED Talk every day at lunch. So I'm on TED and I search leadership in the little search bar. And up popped two talks. One by Simon Sinek, sure you know him, had I think like 45 million views at the time. And the other one by Fields Wicker-Murin. Have you heard of her?
So hers had I think under 30,000. And I looked at these talks and I realized they were both 18 minutes long. They both came out the same month of the same year. They were both given by relatively unknown experts at the time that they gave it. And they both had almost the same title. Why? Why did one talk go viral and one didn't? What was it, was it just the content? I think, how could it just be that? There's something about the first seven seconds. So we did a massive experiment where we analyzed thousands of hours of TED Talks. And my research team, they coded thousands of hours, looking for nonverbal patterns, vocal pattern, verbal patterns, and we found distinct patterns--
This is so good.
That predict virality.
You guys are so lucky.
Pull up your chairs, sit down, and take some notes.
Scoot in a little bit, get out your coffee.
Keep going, keep going.
Okay, so can you guess? Can you guess? So what is one of the biggest reasons why a TED Talk goes viral? And I'll tell you it does not have to do with content.
The people who share it.
Oh, gosh, influencers. Okay, that's a good one.
And not necessarily influencers, but if you are moved you will share it in this day and age. Share it to get credibility within your own circle. And so now it's not just about being an influencer, but even if you have 10 friends. If you feel like you can add value to others and give them something that is difficult to exchange, difficult to get back.
That would be actually interestingly, one of the resource, researchers talked about, one of the is information.
There you go.
So you'll notice like know-it-alls, and I love know-it-alls, know-it-alls, their good is information. They're constantly Google checking you. They're the ones who send you the TED Talks because then they get credit for that reach. Anyway, it's interesting you say sharing, because that was a very important piece. The TED Talkers who came out and acted like they were just having coffee with the audience did best. Specifically, and this is a real--
I'm sipping coffee in case you noticed.
Yeah, exactly, we're going viral. We're going viral right now.
Any minute now.
Any minute now.
Any minute now.
The most popular TED Talkers use an average of 465 hand gestures in 18 minutes.
What do you mean?
And our researchers, I love you, they counted every single one in the videos. The least popular TED Talkers used an average of 272 hand gestures. And I first saw this and I was like what, I mean, this was a massive difference. You don't get that kind of beautiful science usually. And I was like why, what is it about that? What I realized was this matches a lot of the research that when we first meet someone, we like to see their hands. And when we don't see someone's hands, like for example if I were to put my hands underneath my legs, your amygdala, people watching would begin to fire, because you'd be like--
What is she doing with her hands?
Right, what's her intention there? What's under there? And the more I leave them under there, the more your brain gets distracted. And it takes away from my verbal message. So the TED Talkers that came out, and they all come out, and they're like, "Hello everyone, I have such a big idea. "We're gonna talk about three different things "and we're going to break it down into specific ideas." Your brain is like yay!
I can see everything.
I feel safe.
I can see it.
Yes, and it's like skimming a book to find the pictures. It's like they're talking onto different tracks. So it's like an explanatory, like if I were to say I have a really big idea, it's really big, it's huge.
That's 10 inches.
Exactly, huge. Your brain laughs because you're like it's not big. It's so small. And that's because our brain gives more weight to hand gestures. So adding that is an element of charisma. So hand gestures is one of them. Vocal variety, so when speakers acted like they had given the talk a million times before. And this actually kills me. This is another puzzle, because so many speakers, they practice and practice and practice. They're like coming on stage and they're like, oh, I just gotta practice more. In a weird way, sometimes practicing is actually the worst advice you could get because like, hear the difference. If I were to say good morning, today we're going to talk about TED Talks. TED Talks a very important because they issue the following thing. Your brain like (groans). But I'm like hey, let's talk about TED Talks. So they do this really interesting thing. And so sometimes that over-memorization flips you into--
I can see how that would happen.
Auto-pilot. So hand gestures, vocal variety, and smiling.
Who knew? So you consider yourself a researcher.
Researcher, yeah, and a writer.
And a writer, clearly. I'm actually gonna do it right now.
Okay do it, okay do it.
She's so nervous about promoting her book. I'm gonna promote the shit out it because it's incredible. It's called--
Can you curse?
Yeah, I just did.
Oh, can I curse?
I mean, yeah.
Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. You are a people guru. In fact, I've recommended you to friends and you've gone and spoken to various theme groups based on my recommendations because you're a badass, it's incredible.
I will say I think I read a lot of people skills books growing up. I still read them all the time. And I think the problem with a lot of the research that's out there, at least for me, is it was written by naturally charismatic people. So when you have a book or a blog or a video that's written by someone--
If you have a book.
If you have a book.
You said, "You don't need to promote the book." I was like, I'm passionate about the book. I'm promoting the book.
So if you have a book where you are an ambivert or an introvert, or I call myself a recovering awkward person, you read it and you're like this comes so natural to them. They say things like be more authentic. Just find your passion. And you're like what? I mean, I don't know what this means.
It'll be good for you at camp.
Yeah, it's like that at camp. So it's like I wanna write a book that shows my struggles, because the point is is that even if you don't have it naturally, you can still learn it. So that was sort of the goal with it.
Well, that's the beautiful gist behind the book. You're a researcher who researches humans. And when you find things out about humans, you share them. Which is you've got a handful of classes on CreativeLive. That's the one I referenced earlier watching, oh my God, in disbelief. I find that emotional intelligence is a gamechanger for so many people. People, whether you call it, well actually, you tell me. What are some examples of emotional intelligence so that folks at home can go, I get it. Like charisma is a word you just used. But there's probably several others.
Yeah, I think also emotional intelligence, it's a big phrase. But it's not just your interactions with others. It's also your ability to self-regulate. So an aspect of emotional intelligence could be someone rubs you the wrong way. How do you still make conversation with them? Or a boss criticizes you. How do you deescalate? Like when I talk about bosses, I talk about managing up. Like you have to learn how to manage upwards. It's emotional regulation. The other aspect is, okay, how do I send the right signals? The difference is decoding and encoding. So what I always talk about is decoding the nonverbal or emotional signals to read things, and then encoding are the signals that you send out. So it's two sides. Usually people are stronger in one or the other.
Can we go into this one a little deeper?
So I have recently made a video where I'm aiming, my wife is introverted, you know Kate really well.
Yes, I know Kate.
And what that means, my understanding is that means she gets her energy from quiet and then she can go out there and does her thing in the world and she, everybody loves Kate. When we survey our friends, you get one of us on a desert island, the other one's gone forever. 100% of the people choose Kate, just they do, just for the record. So she's very likable.
Yes she is.
But my videos, like hey, if you're an introvert, I'm a very extroverted person, but I want to make some content that helps you understand some of the ways. Because if you're gonna try and sell your work as an artist, as a creative, as an entrepreneur, some of these skills that are typically thought of as more extroverted might be useful. I'm not trying to get you to change and be an introvert, be extroverted if you're not. And then what are the skills that introverts have, listening, empathy, some of these are the things that are a little bit more maybe leaning that way, that you could use to your advantage. And it was people liked it. There was more deep comments. And so I'm curious, knowing that that was a thing that I felt like added value, I want to do that more here. So can you be super specific about some of these encoding, no, encoding, decoding, yeah.
So decoding is reading others, encoding--
Encoding is, what are some things, and the audience, just as a recall for you, that's paying attention to this show is largely there are two groups. I wanna go from one to 10, identify as creative, entrepreneurial, I'm trying to get my side hustle on, or create a living and a life that I want. And the other one is like I don't know, but I'm curious. And so trying to get to go from zero to one. And so just tell a little bit of a story about some encoding.
Yeah, so I think the first thing is that there is more than one flavor of charisma. So a lot of us think of charismatic as the bubbly extrovert. Or the like booming presidential personality. But actually charisma comes in lots of different flavors. So you have the quiet, contemplative charismatic person, that person who, maybe they're not talking a lot, but you can feel their presence. You have the powerful imposing charismatic. So there's a lot of different flavors. I think what's more important is to not try to be the bubbly extroverted that isn't you. The way that I think that you do that, it's the way that I have done it, is the difference between being an ambivalent reader or an avid fan. So think about like the brands of the companies that create the avid fan, versus like the ambivalent passive user. I think it's the same thing in every day life. Like what are either the people or the places where you're like kind of ambivalent? You're like eh, I could go out tonight. I guess I could see that friend that I haven't seen in a few months. I could call that old person that I haven't talked to. That kind of ambivalence, I think, is actually more dangerous that we give it credit for. In fact, there's research that shows that ambivalent relationships are more toxic than toxic ones.
So they did this study, I'm trying to remember the details right. So they looked at police officers. And they found that when police officers have more ambivalent relationships, an ambivalent relationship means someone where you're either not sure where you stand, or you're not sure if they like you or not, or you're not sure if you like them, those are all ambivalent relationships. Toxic, I don't like them, they don't like me, we're not good for each other. The police officers that had more ambivalent relationships were not only less happy at work, but they actually had lower productivity, they made more errors. And so this idea of ambivalence is actually really important for introverts.
Wow, yeah, because you could send off that message accidentally.
Accidentally, and it makes you more passive. So introverts, because they get energy from being alone, they recharge from being alone, when they get into an environment where they're ambivalent about a relationship, it makes them be like why did I come out in the first place? And so it reinforces this idea that you can't have fun out of the house. Extroverts, you tell me if I think you're wrong. So I have this feeling, Chase, that when you meet people, even if you don't really like them, you find a way to either find something interesting about them or find something to talk about.
Because you can learn something from everyone, even if it's something that you don't want to.
This is an extrovert, this is an extrovert. This is an extrovert.
Should I get a tattoo?
Extrovert, yeah. So what happens is is you can flip ambivalent people into a learning opportunity or a friend. Or you're like no, toxic. Introverts have a little bit of a harder time with that. It's harder for them to recognize how do I flip this person? How do I find something to ask about, because I'm not comfortable with a lot of conversation? And so it drains them. Like it drains them much more. So I would say, think about the people in your life who fall in that ambivalent category, where you're either seeing them because you think you should 'cause you should. You're seeing them because you feel guilty. They're an old friend or a college friend or a situational friend. And then think about how much energy and space you would get back if you said no.
Oh wow. Oh.
Because every time you say no, you make more space for the right people.
I do believe in people. I believe deeply that if you surround yourself with great people, that it's invariably that osmosis, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've heard all that, yeah.
I 100% believe that. The thing about that is we don't think about, energy is a finite research, right, it's not infinite. So you have limited mental space. So why spend it--
Extra limits, yes. But why spend it worrying about a relationship? And I think the biggest mistake I made is for many, many years, I had a lot of ambivalent, almost toxic, but ambivalent relationships. And I didn't know there was anything better. I actually did not know that. And so when I finally found a real, amazing, fun relationship, I was like, why have I spent all these years in ambivalence? So if anything, if you're watching this video, to think about you deserve better. Like there is something better. And the ambivalent relationships are not worth it.
How do you get out of it? Not get out of an ambivalent relationship, but rather how do you find non-ambivalent relationships? Even like finding toxics, you know what you don't want. More productively, obviously.
Well, actually, two juicy subjects right there. You can decide which you want to talk about.
You can go down whatever rabbit hole you think you can get more game on.
One, breaking up with friends, which is something that no one ever talks about, but it's a thing.
We're gonna talk about it right now.
Okay, and the second one, which we can talk about also, is like how do you begin to create friendships as adults? Like it's so easy when you're younger. You're in school, you're in class, clubs. But like as an adult, there's no like Tinder for friendships I don't think.
I think it's Tinder for Tinder.
Exactly, exactly. So I want to go make a new friend, it would be silly if, actually, this actually happened the other day. So I made a new friend, her name is Tracy.
So I was at the gym and I was laying on the mat and I was like, I should really do abs. And I was like laying on the mat, not doing abs. I was like stretching, like stretching my hamstrings. This girl comes over and she's like, "Oh, is there room here?" And I was like, "Sure." and I was like, I don't know like someone just took over my body and I was like, "What are you gonna do?" And I was like who was that?
Who said that?
And she was like, "Oh, I'm gonna do some glutes. "I'm going to Mexico in the next few weeks." I was like, "Can I do them with you?" And she was like, "Sure!" And so like there we were, doing our glutes in the gym. And we're like chatting, we're chatting about Mexico, and I was like, I made a friend. I made a friend.
Good job, you.
And I said to her, I was like, we should be friends. I actually said that to her. And it struck me in this moment that we never, like that's weird. That's a little weird.
You're telling a story about it being weird right now.
Yeah, it was like a very weird. But she like totally, she was like yeah we can be friends. So like she works at the same time as I do. But it made me realize that we don't have that skill, nor is it acceptable to be searching for friends as adults. So I think I would love to talk to you about both. I don't know if I have the answers.
Well, let's go there. Whichever you prefer, you go.
Let's talk about friends. So do you have enough friends?
I think I do.
So I think most people, in our lab we've asked this question on Twitter. We do Twitter polls all the time. We've asked people, do you feel like you have enough friends? How many friends do you have? We actually have them select zero friends, one friend, two friends, we have them select this. And most people say, I think it was like 78% of people say that they do not feel like they have enough friends. But a lot of them will name three to four friends that they have. Which I think means all of us have this little tiny part of ourselves as an adult, we're like, maybe I have this best friend that's still out there. Like maybe I can still find them. But it's unacceptable to go friending.
True, I don't know anyone who's like, you wanna experiment and see if we're friends? Like make it stick.
Yeah, I know.
But like you should do that. Because if you don't do that, that's when you get into friend breakups. Like for example, I think it's really hard to know if someone could be a good friend for you in the first five minutes of interaction. And so it's really hard to break up with them. I think the only way to think about friendships is to do it just like dating.
Wow, just like--
I think you should do it just like dating.
I think we're not good for each other?
Yeah, I think we're not good for each other. Or I don't think that we make each other better people. Right, like I think it should be the exact same way. The hard part about this is that it's not acceptable.
That's crazy, just the thought of it. I was imagining that and it seems way more awkward than someone you're actually dating. Which is weird because you're way closer to the person that--
Right, and then there's like all these other things, topics, like oh my God, does she not like my kissing? There's like all these things that you could worry about. With friendships, none of that is at play. But somehow it's more awkward.
I love that. This is crazy.
I think it's like a slow step back. You can do the slow step back from ambivalent or toxic friends.
I think I do that through just more subtle means, rather than through really, and are you, is that your coaching advice is to maybe spend less energy, yeah but it's weird, because I don't think I spend any energy around trying to break up with people who I don't love. But I'm also, I'm pretty much at crazy level of optimism. So everyone's gonna come around or that's why. All right, I've gotta process that one. Let's go the other way around for a second.
Making friends, making friends. So I think that I have not been able to make friends outside of shared interests. And I have this theory, I call it the string theory, which is a very silly way of thinking about how we all have these like giant balls of string that we're carrying around with us. And these giant balls of string are like our interests, our tastes, our values, our history. And what we're trying to do basically when we meet someone, if I think about it metaphorically, is we're trying to give someone else one of our strings. Like we want to see like do we share a string? Oh, I went to that school, did you go to that school? We're all trying to figure it out. And so the more connections you have between someone, the easier it is to make friends with them, because it literally ties you together. So I think that if you can put yourself in contexts, or you make it obvious that you have these strings ready to go, then people are much more likely to then grasp and make friends with you. And this works out in research, too. So OkCupid, they do amazing research on data. And they found that when people list very specific words in their profiles, they get more responses. So everything from vegan to tattoos to--
It's like a club.
It's an indicator. So the biggest mistake that people make is they try to make their profiles appeal to everyone.
Generic, so that you're trying to appeal to everybody you come up with nobody.
Exactly, and what happens is you get ambivalent relationships. If you are like yeah, I love that--
I think of this in terms of products. Like I like to make products for very specific sort of people. That's why a lot of these videos. Introverts, if you're a creative, an entrepreneur and an introvert, this video is for you. Like that's like 90% of people are just like, I'm not any of those things, so I'm outta here. But for the people who is, it's like boom.
That's exactly what changed my business.
Okay in humans, you're saying--
This is a human behavior. It's an indicator of interest. You're saying basically I'm ostracizing this group of people so that I can find this small group of you. That's basically what you're saying. And so I originally thought of this in like sort of the dating profile world or friendships, like wearing a badge or whatever. It sort of indicates things. But I think in business, this is the differentiator between successful business people and not. For me, in the beginning I was writing a lot about science.
I wanna, can we use this as a way to go into your business?
Yes, let's do it.
Keep going, keep going.
We pivoted, we pivoted.
Keep pulling on this string that you gave me from your ball. I don't know, that's, we'll stop there.
I like that.
You've got all this amazing stuff. We're gonna go down this rabbit hole and then we're gonna go back out because I've got a bunch of more tactical stuff, because I know that people are like--
And we can do tactical stuff in business, too.
Okay, so give me tactical, like how do you make a living?
Yes, my business model.
What's your business model because I know people that would, well, I know you speak all over the place and get paid there. But what else you got?
So we have two sides of our business. Basically it's how can I fund original research and writing? That's always the question. We have a B2B side and a B2C side. So the B2B, it's really simple. It's corporate trainings and workshops, occasionally white papers, like doing research for a company. And those are easy, like I do, I don't know, three or four trainings a month, go into different companies and do like a day-long workshop or whatever. That's what we did for your friends. The other side is the B2C side. So this is online courses, columns. I don't do coaching. However, we have kind of a licensing program where we have 112 trainers around the world who teach my exact slides in their city.
Ah, that's cool.
So basically we have science of people around the world. So for example, we have trainers in Stockholm. I'm going to Stockholm this summer, I'm very excited, to visit two of them. So we have trainers in Stockholm. So if someone contacts us from Sweden, instead of flying me all the way out there, I can say yeah, I have two amazing trainers, here are their, they teach my exact same slides. So they pay a licensing fee to us. Sometimes they get a cut of the business if we direct send it to them. Otherwise they can run their own business. And so that's the other kind of consumer side. So courses and then our trainers.
So writing white papers, doing research, getting research funding. But there's this consumer side of you which I see and it is going bonkers, because of this emotional intelligence stuff. And I see you coaching people in business how to be better negotiators. Actually, that's, your CreativeLive class is about negotiating.
On right now, yes. We're doing the power of negotiation from a science perspective. So not just like, again, the negotiation tips I would get was like, be powerful. Like just stand up for yourself. Or like tell women to ask for more money?
Without the tool set?
Yeah, that doesn't work.
So you're breaking it down and you're giving them the tactical tools to do it.
Yes, based on the research. So those are the kind of consumer-facing things that I try to find. But specifically, that did not work for a long time. So I started my company 10 years ago now. And for the first few years, it was a lot of trial and error. Specifically, I was coming at it from a science journalist's perspective. I'd write an article and I would try to be like real neutral, have all the research.
I'm laughing because--
Make sure I had all my points.
I know that's the equivalent of ambivalent.
Yeah, exactly! Oh yay, yes, that's exactly what it was. I was trying to be this appeal to everyone, pop-sci journalist. And so people would read it. You know, we had readers. Very few comments, very few shares. So ambivalent that they would not subscribe to a newsletter. They would not buy a course. And so it was this very frustrating time in my business because I realized I was appealing to people. There was some product market fit.
There was traction, yeah.
Just enough traction to keep me going. But there wasn't a hit there. And so finally I decided, you know what, I'm gonna write, I think I wrote one article on being a recovering awkward person. And it was specifically geared towards other people who walk into a room and they're just like.
I feel awkward, awkward.
Where do I go?
How do I stand?
What do I do with my hands?
Exactly, and so, yeah, exactly. And so I was like, I'm going to just speak to that people. And all the other people can just ignore this post. Of course like that post got 50,000 shares. It was just insane. I was like, hmm. And it was the equivalent in business of having ambivalent fans. And I think that is the difference. Ambivalent readers versus avid fans. And I'm always trying to go for an avid fan. With markers, even ostracization, is that right?
You nailed it.
To be like this is not for you. This is not for you, but for you, this specific person, that's for you. And so I think that when I started to dial into that, I got more sticky. From business consumer side.
So that part is the part that I'm watching, the part where people are really realizing that empathy, awareness, self-awareness, all that stuff that you coach is so valuable. So now, since I understand a little bit more about your business, I want to go back out, and can we get tactical? I have watched so many segments like how to work a room, triple nod. I included the triple nod in my video that I made about introverts.
Yes! Gave a full Vanessa Van Edwards taught me this thing.
I've been doing it, you've been doing it.
The whole time I've been doing it, it's amazing.
I wonder what else she's reading into my body language here. Actually, the first time I mini-interviewed you in the back of an Uber for my Uber Live stuff.
Yes, at South by Southwest.
Yes, it was, it was like three years ago.
And I touched you and I was like, oh, super good, glad you're here. And yeah, and then you were two minutes, you were like, okay, so that thing you did right there, that's a power move that you go like this. You see the things you're doing with your shoulders, you're doing like this. And I was, I'm part terrified but part fascinated, like I better be friends with Vanessa, so I can learn much stuff.
I decoded you.
I will say, though, I will say decoding is a blessing and a curse. And what I mean by that is once you learn it, you cannot unlearn it. So like for example, the one thing that we talk about a lot is the seven microexpressions. So have you ever seen the show Lie to Me? Has anyone seen that show Lie to Me? Amazing show on Netflix, you should definitely go watch it. It's about a human lie detector. And the show is based on a real life man. His name is Dr. Paul Ekman. He's who I trained with. And he discovered this idea that there's seven universal facial expressions. I actually tactical-wise, this was a game-changer in my business as well, because when you learn how to spot these seven emotions, you can read people's emotions.
And that cuts both ways.
And that cuts both ways. So I've discovered things that I did not want to discover. But I've also, I'd rather live in a hard truth than ignorant bliss. Like always. And so we can learn, should I teach you a microexpression?
Yeah, I don't know if I want to know all of them or not, because I'm nervous. But knowing some, I don't know if i want to know it.
I'm gonna teach you the ones that I also have to teach Kate, too.
It's only fair that I teach both partners. If you have a partner, you better make sure they learn them, too. Okay, so let's do, um, I gotta pick a favorite. Picking a favorite microexpression is like picking a favorite child for me. It's really hard, but I'm gonna start with disgust. So disgust, you wanna do it with me? So that's when you crinkle your nose up and flash to everyone, ugh. Okay, so this face is the face that we make when we smell something bad. A lot of people are like, in business, why do I need to know it? So we have found, so we interrogated people in our lab. We do a ton of lie detection research. I love it. So what we do is we have people, we ask them to submit lies to us on camera. We ask them to submit lies to us on camera, because I wanna see if I can spot their lies. So they play two truths and a lie. They make up fake stories. What we found was people frequently show disgust right before they're about to lie. The reason for that is because we hate to lie. We know it gets us in trouble. We know that it's against our identity. Usually people, unless they're pathological liars, they hate having to lie. And so what they'll do is you'll ask someone, "So what do you think of the new girl?" "Oh yeah, yeah, she's um," and they show that on their face. And it has this kind of self-disgust. By the way, do this face, try it at home, it's not natural.
It doesn't feel good.
Does not feel good. This is the feeling of oh, I had to lie about that. Like that is that feeling. So watch out for this disgust, especially when you're asking someone preference-based questions. So all day long, you're asking customers or consumers, "What did you think of the product?" "What did you thin of the service?" You're asking colleagues, "What did you think of the new girl?" "What did you think of the new project?" Looking for that is your opportunity to say, Tell me the truth. It's okay, like I'm not gonna take it personally. That, for me, has unlocked so many people. And I do mean unlocked people.
Can you do one more?
Yeah, okay one more.
For the folks at home that are listening to this instead of watching it--
Oh, let me explain it.
So disgust, I actually like doing this the audio. So for those of you who are just listening, if you could please crinkle your nose up, so raise up as high as it will go and then show the upper whites of your teeth, so lift your upper lip, and then say ugh. That is the face of disgust. Perfecto.
And actually there's varying degrees of that. But that's what you're looking at.
Any time that someone raises their upper lip and crinkles their nose, that is a very unnatural way to have your face. And so you know you're--
It's tiring and painful.
100%, because we don't like. Okay, so the last one I'm gonna teach you, it's my other favorite. So this is contempt. So contempt is the simplest, but most deadly of the microexpressions. It's a one-sided mouth raise. So just try to do the little smirk. Just one side, either side. Yeah, perfect. So that, most people think, in our body language quiz, most people think it means boredom. But actually, this is a sign of kind of contempt, pessimism, scorn. Yeah, we're like ugh, I really didn't like it. The reason why this one is fascinating to me--
So like it, not people.
Okay, because you said it and I want to make sure like, it's not, it's not that you don't like other people. Like someone in the room, it's like.
It's a feeling of scorn or even a little bit of superiority. And that is why contempt is dangerous. If you see it in the workplace, if you see it on your colleague's face or on a partner face, or if you're negotiating, heaven forbid, there's an element there of the other person thinking I'm better than this. Maybe not better than you, better than this. That is a dangerous emotion. Specifically Dr. John Gottman, he's a researcher up in Seattle, he runs a Love Lab. He's one of my heroes. I like love scientists.
University of Washington.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
The Gottman Lab.
I know people that have gone to see him. And he can predict like--
Length of marriage or something?
So that's exactly what it comes from. So he can watch a silent video of a couple and tell you with 93.6% accuracy if that couple will get divorced within 30 years. What he is looking for is the simple smirk. He found, after following couples, for years in his lab, that when a couple showed contempt toward the other at an initial intake interview, with 93.6% accuracy, they would get divorced within 30 years.
Like we don't hear numbers like 93.6%. The reason for this is because, I think, I think, is because I think contempt is the only emotion that doesn't go away. Happiness comes in a burst and then it settles. Fear comes all at once, then you calm down. Anger comes in a vengeful burst, and then you calm yourself down. But not contempt. Contempt is this emotion that sits and it festers. And it grows and it grows into disrespect. And that's why, or hatred. And that's why at the end of a really long marriage, you get two people who can't even look each other in the eye anymore. It's because at one point or another, there was this feeling of I'm better than this. Once you get that, it's an insidious little beast. You have to address that contempt. And so in business, I have spotted contempt on people I have almost worked with. Thank goodness I spotted that contempt.
What a jewel this is.
And it's, once you see it, you don't unsee it.
I'm just thinking of how powerful it is. It's very powerful.
You see it and you, then the question is, so decoding is step one. The emotional intelligence comes from step two, which is what do you do. Like you see contempt on someone's face. What do you do? So I think that's it's, and I struggle with this, I don't have an answer.
Oh, you're killing me.
I have options, I have options. You can use it as like a back pocket intel. Hmm, there was something that made this person feel really contemptuous. Or you can choose to address it, which is typically where I go. I practice radical honesty. I don't know if you know about radical honesty.
I'm learning about it right now.
It's something that I try. I try it with my husband and all my friends, which is telling it like it is. I would rather live in hard honesty than ignorant bliss. And so I'll say, you know, is everything okay? You looked a little upset. So my three favorite words for emotional intelligence, upset, overwhelmed, confused. You ask someone, "Do you feel upset?" "Are you overwhelmed?" "Are you a little confused?" They will fill in the blank. Those three words are like you tell me what's happening for you.
Interesting, when I was listening to those words, when you asked me, indirectly through this example, if I felt confused, I was like, that's sort of insulting because you're asking me if I'm confused. Which means that I, for some reason, don't understand something, so you're judging my ability to take in the situation.
And then, in that kind of like offense, don't you want to correct me?
Is that the--
That's the flip.
Okay, I get it.
So if I say, and again this could be like when someone's throwing contempt at you. There's like some serious stuff going on there. So saying, you know, are you confused, how does this feel? And they're like, no I'm not confused, I'm frustrated.
There you go, they just gave you something.
Bingo, and then you've got it.
This is, are you starting to see--
That feels sort of devious. I don't mean in a devious way.
No, but it can be used for good. This is what I'm asking.
This is why you're on the show.
And it can be used for fun too. Which is, so anyone
Sick mind. who watches The Bachelor, or The Bachelorette, I watch The Bachelor for work.
Of course you do.
It's the only way I can get the TV from my husband during Monday Night Football. And I'm in a Bachelorette fantasy league, real easy to win when you're looking for microexpressions. Yes, it's my football, because, because if you can read microexpressions, you always know who's going to go home. Because you know you can see the contempt or the disgust or the fear or the anger, sadness, whatever on their face. So it's also very fun for reality television. It's my only guilty pleasure, don't judge me too much on watching The Bachelor.
I think we may have jumped, fast-forwarded--
No, no, this is incredible.
Okay, we're talking about business.
No, you have so much knowledge, and that's one of the reasons I wish the show was like seven hours long. So let's go back to a little bit of encoding. Like what are some, give us some more encoding things that we can do.
So we talked about, so let's talk about expressiveness for a second. We talked about microexpressions. So another thing that sometimes introverts or ambiverts struggle with with the encoding piece is being expressive. Extroverts are very good at it. You're better at hand gestures, you're better at facial mirroring. But expressiveness is actually a very important part of our empathetic feedback loop. So empathy, for some people that comes naturally. Emotional intelligence, everything is a spectrum. Like you're never like good or bad, you're usually like somewhere in the middle. So empathy is one of these interesting skills that we actually can hone. And there is a feedback loop. So for example, let's say that I'm sad. So if I'm sad, I will make the sadness microexpressions. The sadness microexpression is when I pull my eyebrows together and then I drop my corners of my mouth, then I pout out my lower lip, then I droop my lids.
That's clearly very, very, very sad.
You get all of the sadness the whole universe is facing.
But presumably, it's some of, it doesn't have to be all of those which you just showed me.
Right, it could even just be.
That little eyebrow wrinkle, like a sad puppy kind of.
Yeah, and as soon as I add the lower lip. It really makes me look sad, right? I know, by the way if I get that right if I begin to tear up. It's a precursor expression to crying. So you can make yourself cry quite easily by doing the sadness microexpression.
I mean, it's endless knowledge we're getting right here. You folks are tuned in here--
I want to teach people how to cry on command. That's a terrible skill unless you're an actress.
But we're gonna, so if you give me the sadness thing.
So if I give you sadness, you cannot help but mirror that expression. So that is an encode. So for example, I pull my eyebrows together, you are more likely to begin to lower your lids as well. That is because if you make the sadness expression, you begin to feel as I feel. So our emotions are feedback loops. Women who have been Botoxed in their face feel less emotions, because it literally stops the feedback loop. When we're talking about encoding, being a stony face or being a still face actually harms your ability to feel as the other person feels. The best thing you can do is practice. And this is only people who are really close to you. Don't do this with strangers, like that's dangerous. I don't want any of you to mirror strangers. The best thing you can do to a partner or spouse is that when they are feeling their emotion, you let yourself try to mimic what they're doing. So it's not purposeful mirroring, necessarily. It's just saying I'm gonna let my body follow them. Because you will then feel as they feel. The same thing goes with happiness, by the way. The worst thing, and I see this a lot with introverts who write in, introverts will say, "My extroverted spouse always says I'm not happy for them." And the reason for that is the extroverted spouse is like I'm so excited. And so my husband, I love him. He's a super, super, super introvert, and he is very, very still faced. And so I'll be like, we went to Harry Potter World a few weeks ago, and I was like running around with butterbeer. I was like so excited, eating jellybeans. And this is how my husband enjoyed the park, are you ready? "That's fun." "Cool." "I'm having so much fun." And that is like genuinely how he has a good time. But he just doesn't show it on his face. So when I let myself smile with someone else, you're literally highlighting their emotions for them. So from an encoding perspective, instead of worrying about doing something that's fake or inauthentic, the best thing you can do is just to mirror what you see. 'Cause it helps you feel it.
Wow, it's like a pathway to empathy.
Immediate empathy. We don't think about emotions that way. The other thing you can do, if you just want to do that by yourself is when you're watching videos, and they do close-ups on people's faces, try to mimic it. Just see what happens. A lot of the time, you have to get better at getting tuned into this. If you make, if I see someone make a face in an interrogation, and I don't know what they're feeling, I'm like, what did they feel in that moment? I just asked them a question and they did this face. What does it mean? I will try to make that face and tune into how I feel. That is a very interesting way to try to literally feel what they are going through.
Gosh, this is so, but there's a whole, I just also realized in that moment, like, I already know so many things that I think about and work and put a pin in these and come back to them. That's one of the reasons that the book is expressly useful.
Yes, it's literally my playbook. So when I was in college was when I really dove into people skills. And recovering awkwardness aws just not recovering yet. I was in like full-blown awkwardness, not recovery yet. I had these notebooks that I would take notes and I would add like post-its and things. And I took the notebooks, like 10 or 12 of them, and distilled them into it. So it's what I wish I had been given when I was in school.
It's like the emotional intelligence reference guide.
Textbook to people.
Textbook to people is even better. You worked on that one.
I worked on that. But you softballed it to me. You were like softball and I was like woo. I made a sports reference.
It was worked, it worked, right?
Yeah, you got into the whole awkward thing.
Awkward no more.
I worked really hard on my sports references. So my dad, this is ridiculous. Oh my God, I can't believe I'm going to say this.
You're saying it though.
I'm gonna say it, I'm gonna say it.
So my dad, my dad knew that I'm not good at sports, not at all. And he's like, "Look, you're going to college. "You're gonna meet boys who like football. "You gotta have some knowledge of football." And I was like uh-huh. So he was like, "Here's what you say if a guy "says he likes football," so to get them to like stop talking about it. He's like, "Just say your favorite team is the 49ers, "but they were a lot better in the Jerry Rice era." That is all I know about football. Like in a sentence--
What an amazing one-liner.
And it's amazing, and the thing is is like, I would get to college and I would just like repeat this. I'd like football or I don't even know, soccer would come up. 49ers are football, right?
So like I would be like, "I'm such a fan of the 49ers, "but it was so much better in the Jerry Rice era." And all the guys would be like, "Totally, that's so true."
And you're like, "Dad."
I'm like, and I'm out, and I'm done, like mic drop.
I'm just gonna go over here now.
And then about 30 more
And then I'm like
slowly back away to no more football questions. So I'm working on my sports references. Because I think that they're good analogies.
Nice, hit it out of the park on that one.
All right, I'm gonna ask for another layer of tactics. Just what I'm trying to do is give the folks at home who are listening or watching a sense for the badassery, a sense of the power of the tools that you have to effect change. I have already referenced at Chase Jarvis Raw that I did where I referenced you and was talking about the triple nod. Do you wanna get, like you and I right now are triple nodding.
Oh yeah, totally.
Total nod off.
We just like, to get the
We're just like yeah, yeah.
other person talking. But I wanna talk about negotiating for just a second.
I know that's the topic of, yeah that's the topic--
Of that class. Any insight? Like if I had to ask for a couple of key levers in negotiating, just give me, what is it called, a Cliff note version.
So I think that the most important thing, the biggest mistake a lot of people make before they go into negotiations is they think about value in a way that doesn't serve them. So I like to think about, before I go into any negotiation, I want everyone to put together a little negotiation cheat sheet for themselves. And the very first thing I try to think about is the difference between a vitamin and a painkiller. I'm sure you've heard this idea before.
Oh, for sure, I think about it in terms of products. What are you developing? Are you developing a vitamin or an aspirin?
And I think in terms of products, that's also serving. For example, I have a whole products suite, right? And so The Power of Body Language, great class. Vitamin product. The way it's branded, vitamin product. It's good for me to learn body language.
This is a class on CreativeLive that you gave back.
There you go, just halfway.
And so I realized that was a vitamin product, which isn't as sexy. But if I could turn some of the course lecture, some aspects of it into a painkiller, it would be much better. So like for example, Lie Detection in 100 Minutes. Or Negotiating For Your First Car. Like that's a painkiller. So that worked for me with products. It worked really well. Like breaking up a vitamin course into painkiller lectures, that's a very, very good way to do it.
This is why I get so sucked into your content, because it's incredibly tactical. Everything I've ever watched is big idea, vitamin.
And then, ugh--
And then I'm like, I just want to keep you. I'm like come on,
You got me. keep watching. So this same thing works in negotiations. However, what you are arguing for can also be split into vitamins and painkillers. So for example, if you're negotiating with someone, you're pitching a company on bringing you in as a speaker. And you have to negotiate your rates and if they're going to bring you. A vitamin would be this training will be great for your sales team. It'll be so good for them to know body language. It would be so good for them to know these tactics. That's a vitamin, right? They could book you anytime, anywhere. A painkiller, and you have to really work at finding these, in a negotiation would be, I'm gonna help your retention over the next five months. Or you find out in the rapport-building process that their goals are he's a new a manager, and he has no idea how to lead them. So it would be this is going to help your employees bond with you in one day, right, as a manager.
Pow, right, that is a painkiller. That's like, oh, I don't wanna wait for this. And that's what you're trying to think of in negotiations. I don't want to put this deal off. I definitely want to buy it now, whatever it is. And I'm gonna have to pay a premium for it. And I think that you said something. There was an interview I listened to, correct me if I'm wrong.
Many years ago with you and Tim Ferriss, and I believe you said that a turning point in your career was when you tripled your rates. I think that's the other aspect here, is that people perceive value when you put value on it first. Was it tripled your rates?
I just decided, I made a very active, proactive decision that I wanted to be, I would rather for fewer people at higher rates on things that I cared about. And I realized also that it's a somewhat, you've gotta be careful because you're putting yourself in a privileged position. But I would rather risk not working. And then when things started to happen in the way that I wanted them to happen, that that was going to be a better outcome for me. And I actually just thought like, well, what happens if it doesn't work? I can always do the opposite. And so I started framing it that way and it was incredibly effective.
So I have to thank you for that piece of advice because I heard that podcast. I had started listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast chronologically.
Maybe it was for a Meet. Was it for a Meet taping?
I don't know, no it was for Tim Ferriss. I mean you might have mentioned it through Meet, too. So I started listening to Tim Ferriss chronologically. I wanted to hear him grow as an interviewer because he says that interviewing is a skill.
Yes it is.
You know it's a skill.
And so I wanted to hear him grow from Interview 1. And I think you're Interview 4? Everyone should listen to it, it's amazing.
So I heard that piece of advice.
Tim just did, just FYI, he experimented on all his friends. His first like 10 podcasts--
As you should.
It was me and Kevin Rose and these people that's he's known, which it was fun. And I was like, okay, I'll be your guinea pig, okay.
As you should. And it's still a really good show. So I heard that piece of advice. And of course, as with all advice that's hard, that advice was scary to me, the idea of raising or even tripling my rates. And so I was like oh, I know I should do that eventually. Wrote it down in a notebook, closed the notebook, and listened to the next interview. But it was in there. And then you recommended me to a friend of yours to speak. And I remember you called me and I was at a friend's wedding or right before the wedding and you called me and you were like, "I'll recommend you to this person, "but you must triple your rates. "You have to charge this amount." That amounts terrified me. Like the amount that you said on the phone, I was like (gasps). You're like, "You have to ask that. "I will not recommend you unless you ask that." That was the first time that I ever tried to charge that rate and now that's the only rate I charge.
It's amazing. And I referenced several times since then.
Keep doing it.
So I think that value, when we think about value, so the first is the vitamin and painkiller. People will pay more for you and you'll be able to justify a very high rate, which everyone should triple their rates. Just mark that in a little notebook, everyone triple their rates. If you are solving painkillers. In fact, I define value as how many problems you're solving for the other person. That is how you know what to charge. People always ask me, "How do I know what to charge?" Count how many of their problems you're solving. For every problem, add another thousand. Or add another hundred, or add another 20, you know, whatever bracket sandbox you're in. I think that's the biggest mistake we hear when it comes to pricing yourself.
This is one of the things that I give advice on, I'd be curious to get your feedback, since you're a master negotiator, is to, um, think of the solution that you would provide, what sort of value that would bring if you were to provide a valuable solution. And I usually try to find that out by asking a lot of questions before you even start talking about price. So can you give me an example of how you might put that into play, into practice?
Yes, so I always think about prepping for negotiation and negotiation in sort of three parts, before, during, after. People usually don't even do anything before, so even doing any kind of research ahead of time. The very first step to during is asking. A lot of people, they go right into a pitch. Or they go right into asking for a lot. Actually, the best thing you can do is do either rapport-building questions, which are how's your family, how's everything going. But the second kind of question's even more important, which are incentive questions. And this is where all you're trying to do, your only goal during this time, only one, is not to make more money. It's not to win. It's to be able to say me too. The more that you can say some version of me too, I also do that. Oh yeah, I feel the same way. Every time you do that, you are kind of exchanging a kind of value ahead of time. We don't like to take money from people. We don't like to hurt people who are like us, because that's like hurting us. So in the first part of a negotiation, all you're trying to think about is how can I make this person feel more like me? What are our similarities or our strengths that we have, because you are going to have a much easier time negotiating with someone who identifies with you.
So that's the first part of during. That's amazing and so insightful.
The very first. So asking is it and taking it one step further, asking for me toos. And this can be, let's be tactical. Let's dive into it.
Yeah, here we are.
Okay, so how do you do that when we get to an interview?
First question I love to ask before I get into negotiation is anything good to report? What's been happening? So humans are a very interesting species where they always search for examples. They search for hits not misses. This is why fortune tellers work. So fortune tellers will say, "You're very good with new people." Your brain will immediately search for hits for that as opposed to misses. So even if you can only think of one example in the last year, you're like, I was great with that person. I was. Here's a fortune teller. Every fortune teller will tell you, "You are great with adapting situations, "but like to have your rituals and habits." And what do you think? You're like, those are the times when I like my rituals and habits and those are the times where I like to change--
You do the describing.
So you search for hits. So in a negotiation, if you're saying, have anything good to report? You working on anything exciting recently? They will search for the best thing that's happening in their life at that moment. That is an amazing way to start an interaction. One, you're setting them up for positivity, which is a very easy way to flip someone into optimism. Second is hopefully they're gonna say something like, "Yeah, I have a great holidays, it was really lovely." You can say, "Oh me too, don't you just love the holidays?" Whatever it is, right? "Oh, my son played soccer this weekend." "Oh, I used to play soccer." That gives you all these really good opportunities for me too. And so that's how I would actually start your negotiations. It's anything good to report, working on anything exciting recently, tell me about big news in your industry. Those are the questions that are going to flip you, set you up for success.
Great, so this is right in line with this video that I made, using you as a reference, getting people to talk so you can agree with them. I didn't even know I was doing it, but there I go. See, I was learning--
It's like osmosis.
Yes, okay, so that's the during.
That's the during, yeah. So before is thinking about those vitamins and painkillers and being ready for them, in a certain sense. The biggest hurdle in negotiation, I think, for a lot of people is preventing gotcha moments. So you know a gotcha moment?
I think you're gonna tell me.
So like a gotcha moment is like when you're in a negotiation or you're in a meeting and someone goes, "Well, what about," and you're like, "Uh," and they're like, "Gotcha." Unfortunately, we are always, as humans, waiting for the other shoe to drop. And this happens in dates. This happens in negotiations, interviews. We are always like, where's the blemish, where is it? We're like looking for that thing. And so what people will do in negotiations, without even realizing it, is they will prod and ask questions to try and find the soft spot. And when they find it, they're brain's like yeah, gotcha. And those can be very bad for a negotiation, because it lowers trust. So what I like to do, and I do this in my courses as well, is I try to think of every potential gotcha moment. And I try to address it extremely early. So you'll notice, so in all of my CreativeLive courses I always have slides that are like Myth: Body Language is Stupid. Fact, and then I list a bunch of studies about why body language is not stupid. Myth: Body language is innate, you cannot learn it. Fact, researchers at the university, like a bunch of studies. So I always have those in my presentation for that reason.
Up front, too.
Up front, so there's a really cool study, and I don't, I love studies.
I can tell, it's incredible, like how many studies do you have in your brain?
So many like so many. I don't remember who did this study, forgive me, but they had students talk about a grade they got on a test into a tape recorder. I think it was like a 91%, they're like, "Oh, I got a 91% on this algebra quiz." In one version, at the very end of the recording, they spill their coffee, and you can hear, you can hear on the audio, "Oh, oh shoot, I spilled my coffee." And it had like the mopping it up sounds. And the other one, they cut off the video before he spills the coffee. And they asked people how likable is this person. They found that people liked far more the coffee spiller. The reason is because he had good news. He talked about his 91%. But like he dropped the other shoe for them. So there was no gotcha moment. So he became much more likable.
Yeah, so it ties into vulnerability, it ties into trust, it ties into radical honesty. And so what I would say in negotiation beforehand is think about what are you are gotcha moments, and don't try to hide them. That's the worst thing you can do in a negotiation. Actually, your best thing to do is to bring them up during the pitch. You might be wondering, you might be worrying about. I know you're probably thinking.
Those are like the--
All of these are lead-ins for the guy.
And that's when you take away their gotcha moments, because in their head, then it isn't a gotcha. It's a phew. And that is a way better emotion that gotcha. Way, way, way, way better.
This is, my head is exploding with how much of this stuff you have.
If you only had as many studies in your brain as my brain.
Oh my God.
It's full, just full of--
But fortunately for us, you put it in a book.
Yeah, most of it, yes.
The courses that I, I'll do it one more time here. This is a tight shot for you Matt. My advance copy has a few dog ears. The courses that you have on CreativeLive, you've got, I think four now?
Four, yeah, coming up on four, yeah.
Super powerful. Is there a piece of your work you feel like is the most easily digestible? Is it the body, like the body language stuff, I consider myself, I'm very comfortable in my own skin. You and I have talked about this. You've analyzed me in the back of an Uber. But I have, one of the things I'm trying to flip and see what am I naturally good at that I could give others? Or what are some things that I see in culture that aren't talked about a lot, emotional intelligence, body language, negotiation--
You got a lot of this kind of stuff, power, you use that word.
And one of our courses is on happiness.
And so I'm looking for ways to add value. Is there any one of those things that you feel like is the most successful where you start, like point someone, on the CreativeLive site, the body language thing.
But you also talk about it being more of a vitamin instead of an aspirin.
Right, so I think actually two different things are you're like yes, that's me, or like no, that's not me. So there's not one. So I would say like here are the questions you want to think about. Does the idea of decoding people or learning lie detection feel just like so sexy to you? That's the body language course. That is so the best. Other people are like, mmm, not my thing. The other aspect of I think the science that appeals to people is personality. So are you one of those people who loves those quizzes online where it's like Which Harry Potter House Are You? Do you know what I mean?
I love those quizzes!
I know you do.
I love them. Guess which house I'm in?
I don't know.
I'm Gryffindor. No, I wish I was Gryffindor, I think I'm more Ravenclaw. But anyway. So yeah, Which Harry Potter House Are You? What Color Are You? All those personality quizzes, that would be my personality science. So I just want to debunk a myth out there. There's a lot of personality tests out there, like DiSC and Myers-Brigg. The only one that is based in real academic science is called The Big Five. And so in one of my courses, in Master Your People Skills, I talk about the science of personality. And I think that for me in terms of deepening my relationships, that was a big game-changer. So two different sides can appeal to different people. I'm gonna do a speed round now, because one of the things that I realize is that, okay, I've already been going for an hour and change. And I wanna--
My goodness, I feel like it's been 10 minutes.
I know, I want to get a few things out about you specifically, because we've been talking about your work, all the insights, the tactics. And I know that's the audience at home, they've asked me, I try to deliver that value. But I want to get into you with a couple of questions.
Speed round, does that mean I have to be quick with my answers? Brevity is not my strength.
Ideally, but more just--
I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it.
Yeah, just more like what's your intuition?
It's like boxers or briefs?
Yeah, no, not that, not that.
Okay, I'm excited.
Yeah, that would be an interesting question.
Do I like vanilla or chocolate? No, sorry.
What's something that if people didn't know it, they would be surprised to find out about you? When they think of, they'll go no way.
I won't give this answer, but oftentimes, that I'm an ambivert, I'm not an extrovert.
I know, I mean, I wanna give something good. I would say that I love to be alone in terms of like the forest, like not the city. I'm not a city girl, I'm not a party girl. I'm not a nightclub girl. I never like rushed or anything in college.
Despite having as much energy as you do.
Yes, and despite traveling all the time.
And two Philz Coffees.
And two Philz Coffee, God I love Philz Coffee. Sponsored by Philz Coffee.
So you're actually, you're--
I like to be alone, I love the forest. Like I will choose the forest over a nightclub any day of the week. I don't even like concerts. I'm like that person that doesn't even know music. People are always like, what?
You going after the show?
Oh, last night, I'm also really tech-not-savvy. Last night I learned how to send a gif for the first time. I did not know how to do that. My friends activated it on my phone for me and I was like magic! And so now everyone is getting gifs from me. So I'm very like tech unsavvy. That would be another one.
Wow. Something that you feel like you would be revealing on the show. And this is you're gonna do the work here. What do you feel like is something that you can reveal here that is just not widely known about you at all? Not just the forest thing, because that's something that people would be surprised by. Is there anything you would like to share with the world?
Yeah, I think--
'Cause no is not actually a--
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can't say no.
Yes, this is what it calls on buying time.
Yeah, actually I know this one. So this one is I am uncomfortable almost all the time when I'm not alone. And so much so that during my last CreativeLive class, I was right in this room, actually.
You were probably standing right where you're sitting.
I think I was standing right where I was sitting. And I don't know if you can see it in the video, but I actually had hives from my wrists all the way up my body, all over my back. And like on the day of filming, I had to go to the doctor to look at them because I was so anxious about being onstage. I don't know if you, I think you might be able to see them on camera. They started like right here and I had to like get new outfits to wear--
Longer and longer sleeves?
Oh, that makes me feel so, oh.
No, but like, I do this because I love it. But there is a toll it takes in a certain sense. Like it's very out of my comfort zone. I don't have them today, which is a wonderful thing. But yeah, I have hives a lot of the time.
You're so good on camera. It's incredible that it gives you hives, because you're just a natural.
So yeah, if you watch the happiness course, you'll see them.
That's so, thank you for sharing that. I, um, next question?
Give me some advice.
Okay, oh God. Do you ask this of everyone?
Matt's like no, I've never seen him ask this question before. This is risky, by the way, Chase. You're not gonna want to do this on the next show.
I would say that if I had to give you advice, I would tell you that specifically with people, I don't think you realize the effect that you have on people and I don't think that you realize that every time you interact with someone, even if it's a very small thing, people remember that more than you do. And so it would be to keep that in mind, that like people around the office, I actually, I was just in the car yesterday with a friend who was like, "Oh, I met Chase many years ago, "working with the modeling agency. "I was picking stuff for his photography." And she was like, "Oh, he would never recognize, "he would never remember me." But she remembers that moment. She remember what you were wearing. She remembers it really well. So I would say to you I don't know if you realize that you have an impact on people. No pressure, but little moments, the little moments, people really remember them with you. And that does not happen with everyone. That does not happen with me. But it happens with you.
That's, I will do my very best--
Just keep it in the back of your head.
To make use of that.
And I totally didn't know you were gonna ask me that.
I also just feel like now I've got a large burden to carry.
It is kind of a large burden, it is, it is, in a good way.
I'm actually, I'll, I'll, I think I was jesting, I'm inspired by that, thank you. I do, I really love humans. I think that's one of the reasons I love you and your work, because I feel like I've uncorked, I've watched people have massive aha moments with you and your work. What's next?
The book is a big one.
The book is a big one. When does it drop?
The book was a big one.
And then I'm going to--
Preorder now, preorder now?
Yeah, preorder now, please preorder now. Because then they print enough copies. They print enough copies, so yeah, preorders are amazing. And then the next one is we're gonna start doing anti-networking events in cities.
Of course you are anti-networking. Who would want to network?
Yeah, 'cause like networking sucks, it just sucks. And so we're doing a bunch of anti-networking events in cities around the world, where they're very alternative ways to network. So that's kind of next, the next adventure.
I have seen several blog posts of yours recently, and they have extraordinary titles. They're very provocative.
They're very provocative. Yeah, like borderline provocative, yeah.
Can you just list some of them to inspire folks to go check out some of your writing, because it's so good. And obviously that kind of, with writing is what's embedded in the book. But just give us a couple titles.
Yeah, so we have one that's called I Dare You, and it's about a bot that I built. So at networking events, I get really anxious and I pretend to text with people who like aren't texting with me. And so I was like what if I built a bot that was like an imaginary friend, but actually sent me advice? So we built a little free bot where you can text us, and we will text back conversation starters, dares, jokes, tips.
That's so cool.
So you can text us--
But that's not evocative.
You have some other ones, other blog post titles. Keep it going.
I Like That You're Weird. That's one of my blog posts.
Which is why I'm encouraging you to be weird. How To Be Interesting, that's another one, which is one of the most common search terms to get to our website, and I didn't have a post about that. So I was like, what, like how many people are Google searching how to be interesting? If you're Google searching how to be interesting--
Pay attention to (Vanessa laughing drowns out words).
Yeah, we got a lot to work on.
There was some stuff I felt--
Oh, Make People Want You.
Yes, maybe that was, no, but I think it has a more sexual undertone than that.
Make People Want You is kind of sexual.
Yeah, I guess that's pretty sexual, or not.
I've got Make People Want You, The Body Language of Attraction. Female Body Language, more sexual, oh, How to Turn People On.
Maybe, I don't know, maybe that was it. (mumbles)
Was that it? It's sad that I have so many that I'm like, oh, it could be that one, it could be that one.
No, and the thing that I want to emphasize before the folks at home go check out these things is that they deliver on exactly what you're saying the title is.
Yeah, I try.
And it's super actionable. It's like mind-blowingly actionable.
I'm addicted to black and white. I like, here's something sexual innuendo-y, ready? I Like the Hard Side of Soft Skills.
That was good.
That was a good one. It took me hours to think of that. So that one. I like the hard tips, the black and white tips. No soft skills, no gray, the hard side. You like that, right?
I do, yes, it's powerful. I was gonna do another innuendo on top of it, but I'm just gonna let it go there. Congratulations on the book.
Congratulations on your CreativeLife classes. You have delivered so much value. For the folks at home, if you are interested in anything relating to what we've talked about, you and your content, your whole ecosystem delivers in spades. I want to say thank you. Thank you for being a friend. I'm gonna continue to recommend that you speak to all these different groups that I bump into. I'm super inspired by your work. How do we find you out in the internet? So you're at @vve?
Vvan, what, let's do that one more time, vvanedwards.
Yup, vvanedwards on Instagram and Twitter. ScienceofPeople.com. Come play at our lab. We have so many fun experiments, come play, come play with us. And then the book is wherever books are sold. I've always wanted to say that, wherever books are sold. I think that's true. Yeah, I think they're wherever books are sold.
There you go. Captivate is the title. The Science of Succeeding With People. Thank you so much for this. I'm so happy that you came on.
Thanks for having me.
Thanks for having me.
Signing off for another episode, I will see you next week. (upbeat music)