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Andrew: Hey everyone, it’s Andrew Warner, I am the founder of mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart, I’ve got a repeat guest here on with me today on mixergy. Today we are going to learn how to click with people. Not how to hopefully click with them, not how to hope for magic or lightening to strike you so you can click with them but how to click with people deliberately and to learn how to do that I invited Ori Brafman back to mixergy, he is the author of ‘Click’ and he is going to teach us how to do it. Before I fully introduce you Ori I want to tell people a quick story. Just the other day, I introduced a venture capitalist who said he backed the guy after just having a five hour conversation with him. The guy had never been in the business that ventured capitalists had ventured in, he didn’t have experience but in five hours they clicked and he invested. Of course I pushed the investor and I said, come on in five hours how do you make a decision? Because within that amount that’s all it takes, within that amount of time, you know. So I see this over and over in my interviews, people do business with each other because they click, they partner with each other because they click, they buy from each other, they invest in each other because they click not because of some rational decision making, because they click. So I want to learn how to do it, so with that in background, Ori, welcome to Mixergy.
Ori Brafman: Thank you so much and what a great story in terms of the investor and I think it really doesn’t matter that those softer kind of relationships, those instant connections make more of a difference than we think and not just in a venture capital sense but with teams that work __ matter so much and really have a lasting effect.
Andrew: So you’re saying that, if I click with someone, just a momentary click where we like each other for the conversation, you’re saying it lasts long term, in fact can you give me an example of maybe married people who end up getting married after having a love at first sight situation?
Ori Brafman: Yeah, it seems the biggest surprise to me in terms of research invest is you think of love at first sight and you think Romeo and Juliet, right? You think teenagers who are so excited and go gaga for each other but really is there any substance there? And it turns out when you look at couples twenty years later. In deed the couples who had love at first sight don’t have as much similarity in their relationship because they just met, they loved each other and what they did is compared to couples who, a) had love at first sight with couples who were dating for a while and couples who were friends first. Turns out that all the couples had as much, the longetivity of the relationship was the same. The biggest difference was that the couples who had love at first sight had much more passion in the relationship. The initial clicking, the initial instant connection if you will, define the tenure of the relationship for years and years to come and increased level of intimacy in the relationship and we think that the same thing happens when you look at so called plutonic love at first sight. When you look at teams that work for example, teams that click together are much more efficient, much more effective, seventy percent much more so when you look at a group of MBAs for example when they are giving specific tasks to perform. Stuff like admissions, requirements, things like that. And you have to wonder why is it that these relationships formed at different times of tenure? And our theory is that you develop really a magical connection and magic is not a word that we use in business. One of the things, maybe it’s, reserved more for love at first sight and stuff like that. But that when you think back at your magical experience to something very, very meaningful to you say in the last couple of years, when you think back at it, you actually feel those emotions again just by reflecting back on those experiences and that couples who have that at the origin of their relationship, that have that magic connection, when they reflect back at those magical initial connection, it gives them more satisfaction in their relationship.
Andrew: Okay, two things, first of all when you move a lot its very __ of you but also means that you are caught on camera, a little bit more than I would like. The second thing is, I don’t like magic, I like predictability, I like to be able to create my own destiny. So I want to ask you this, do you have an example of somebody who can create that click on command, who can create it intentionally?
Ori Brafman: What we do is we look at the five specific factors that contribute to people being able to click and there is no, if you will, magical formula for this, it’s not like if you do x, y and z, I will guarantee you that you will get a date or that I will guarantee that you will get a job, but that you can significantly increase your, the potential of your actually creating those connections. The first element is vulnerability, and this is completely counter true because we believe that in business the less vulnerable you are the more powerful you are and vulnerability usually equals weakness and yet when we are vulnerable with people, people return vulnerability to us. Vulnerability creates trust. There is a really interesting experiment with Harvard students and a computer, and the computer asked them a bunch of questions, very personal questions like, what do you feel most guilty in your life about, what are your regrets and the students who had to answer the questions basically lied because, I would do the same if the computer was asking me a bunch of questions, there is no reason I would open up to the computer and the second part of the experiment, same type of computer, same types of questions but the computer started out asking questions like, started out with statements saying, like this computer crushes once in a while, really frustrating it’s useless, what in your life do you feel guilty about? And all of a sudden people really started opening up and saying, oh, I feel guilty about my family, they talked about sex, you know really opened up and again these are Harvard students who know that computers don’t have feelings and emotions so we now thats vulnerability.
Andrew: Let’s hang on here for a bit. I want to go through each of these five click accelerators as you call them in the book to make sure that I fully understand them. In real life, if I meet some body for the first time and I express vulnerability, I think one of two things can happen, let’s address each one separately. The first one is, I might look a little weird. Imagine if Ori, I got on Skype with you and I said, Ori I am not a very good Andrew and sometimes my Skype goes out, so anyway, how are you doing today? Let’s teach people how to click.
Ori Brafman: So there is actually a spectrum of vulnerability, you can talk about, you know you can get on Skype and say you know what, let me tell you about the issues about the relationships with my mother and of course that is going to push people away. But talking about the weather on the other extreme of the vulnerability is not going to create a connection so if you wanted to for example if you need it to be like this you could say, I am really excite to see you here and you know I have to tell you that I am excited about this interview, I am just starting out and Skype is new to me so bear with me and I am really looking forward to continue the interview together. You can actually be somewhere in the middle of that vulnerability continuum and often that builds a little bridge.
Andrew: But that doesn’t make you say, I am a freaking armature, I wrote a book for goodness sakes, I am a New York Times best seller and I am doing an interview with a podcast who can’t even do a podcast. If we are in business and we get in to a meeting with someone and we say, oh our website is still not doing so well, can we partner up. Doesn’t that make that other person think, what I am doing? I got to work with professionals.
Ori Brafman: Right and you know if you are admitting to me that your business is really crappy that no one likes you and that your mother even disowned you then of course, no, that would be going too far. You have to recognize this thing about people reciprocating vulnerability and that’s what’s the surprising part here. It’s that when someone opens up to us, you talk to a hostage negotiator, again a hostage negotiator you think would be a guy who would be very much about asserting his dominance over the hostage taker and yet what this guy does is talk to people about five to ten hours you know, and when he waits for moments when he can build a connection an authentic connection, and he says to you, he says my mother passed away, and you say, oh wow my mother passed away too, but the again, this has to authentic and true and often they build that rapport and it has one case where the hostage taker actually did give him a hug at the end of the scenario. He’s off to jail and he is giving the hostage negotiator a hug. Bill Clinton did a fantastic job in the ‘92 election and again this is politics you don’t want to be like, oh I don’t think I am going to win this campaign and I don’t know guys it looks really kind of bad for me in the elections ahead and what Bill Clinton did is he opened up about growing up in a really difficult family situation where the dad was kind of abusive with alcohol in the family and in one month from him going vulnerable obviously the numbers start switching and all of a sudden he starts getting ahead of the polls.
Andrew: And that also answers the question I had earlier on, are there people who can do this deliberately and the hostage negotiator in you book, obviously he has to do this deliberately not only is his job on the line that he has to be able to deliberately connect with people, click with people and then turn them around but in many cases I think you said in the book, his life was on the line.
Ori Brafman: Exactly.
Andrew: Here is another question about vulnerability, when you’re vulnerable with someone and they come back and they share a story that opens them up, I can understand how you click. What if you are vulnerable and you say, oh my mother died last year too, to use the example that you gave and they come back to you with a fact or more commonly I think a solution, they say, oh what you need to do is read this book. I read this book. What you need to do is just learn think about the good times. Now they are in a teacher position and not only are they not vulnerable to you but they pushed you to be even more vulnerable and they’ve made themselves in to like your daddy in the conversation.
Ori Brafman: Yeah, that sucks, I mean…
Andrew: How do you solve that?
Ori Brafman: Well, you really have to roll with the punches on that one. I mean there is times when you are vulnerable and people are just kind of, there is this silence, it’s like the room just cleared out and maybe you know that you said an inappropriate thing at the time and maybe you backtracked a little ahead and maybe you __, let me ask you a question, let’s try this and see if it will help, tell me about a time, I don’t know, tell me about the most meaningful experience you had in the last month.
Andrew: Well, most meaningful last month, just recently Olivia said let’s go for a run, I didn’t feel like running, I didn’t even want to do any training for this marathon that we have next week, I finally went for the run and it just felt so exhilarating that I felt like an idiot for not doing more training because I just remembered how much I loved it.
Ori Brafman: How did you feel about Olivia at the time?
Andrew: At the time when we started I thought that she was being a little pushy and I said, come on woman understand I am exhausted and then afterwards I thought wow, this is just incredible to have somebody around who cannot just be you know my wife and not just be someone who I care about but be someone who can also help push out the best in me.
Ori Brafman: I just changed the tenure of the conversation, and I wasn’t trying to manipulate you. We didn’t talk any time about asking you this, but all of a sudden I know more about your wife, you know, I did not know you were training for a marathon, I didn’t know you’re…, a certain feeling came out and, I am not trying to be overly simplistic about it, but just a little more trusting, so you can talk…vulnerability can be like that it doesn’t have to be again being bullied in high school or… but how many times do we have an opportunity to actually bring something like this into our conversation and do we kind of avoid or don’t take up that opportunity because we think hey, this is a business conversation. This is a conversation by entrepreneurs so let’s actually talk about the facts that are close to you, just exposing a little bit of our emotional context, if it’s interesting, a lot of the, my personal experience with this was from Stanford business school and the most popular class at the business school isn’t finance or accounting, it’s a class affectionately called touchy feely and what you do in touchy feely for five hours a week is you do this, you talk about your feelings and what’s incredible about it is in that group people formed incredibly strong bonds with each other. I am still friends with the guys that I did the group with and we might have different politics or our lives have gone different in the last ten years and yet we have that basis of that trust that we built.
Andrew: You also said in that class that I think it took four weeks to get to that point.
Ori Brafman: It takes a long time because you have a bunch of consultants and bankers in the room. The last thing they are going to do is talk to you, open up their soft spot to you.
Andrew: So here is a new answer I am understanding about this, about this fist click accelerator. The first is, you have to look where it fits in, where it’s natural, either the hostage negotiator didn’t just walk in the room and say hey, my mother died let’s talk about that, and connect that way. You look for that opening and in some cases that opening is more available than in others. So that touchy feely class you took with those bankers and consultants, it was harder to start it off quickly and another case is the opportunity presents itself quicker.
Ori Brafman: Exactly.
Andrew: Okay, that’s the first click accelerator. When we are talking about ways to really ensure that you click sooner, right?
Ori Brafman: Exactly. There is elements that you can take, there are specific strategies, specific factors that you can help control the click for actually happening so one is that you create an environment where people could share their vulnerability or that in an authentic way you are able to expose yourself and that just builds trust.
Andrew: Okay. Alright, another way, I could spend by the way a whole hour with you on just vulnerability and frankly Ori I could spend a whole day talking to you. You’ve got three incredible books. This one I love just as much as I love the other two. What was the first one? ‘The starship and the, starfish, ‘The starfish and the … help me out.
Ori Brafman: Spider.
Andrew: ‘The starfish and the spider’. What a great book on organizations, ‘Sway’ was the second book I think, right?
Ori Brafman: Yep.
Andrew: What persuades people and this one, ‘Click’ is the third book, you two, you and your brother are incredible writers because you tell good stories, you remember that at the end of the story telling I need to go do something with it and you break down topics that seem hard to break down, like how to click with people in ways that we can understand them.
Ori Brafman: Thank you.
Andrew: I love it but I know, frankly I really could spend two hours with you here but I know you got to move on, you got other interviews. Second click accelerator is what?
Ori Brafman: Second one is proximity, so this one initially sounds really obvious, right? You’re going to… you are more likely to click with someone living down in southern California than you are with someone who lives in Canada just because you are in the same city. What research has found out is that those last few feet really, really matter and there was a study that was done at MIT dorms, and it was a series of dorms that were all on a line. It was the old school type of, just like a motel. What they found out was that the people who had formed the most connections were the people who actually lived in the central dorms and you say, well what is it about the central dorms maybe they are, people who live in the central dorms are just more friendly or something like that that’s why they want to live at the central as opposed to live at the edge of the dorm where you are a little bit out of traffic. But the dorm assignments were completely random and what it turned out is that people tended to form relationships with the folks who live right next door. So again, that seems pretty common sense. Here is where it gets weird, if you go just one door down, just nineteen feet more, the chances of you clicking with the other person go down by fifty percent. Move another door down and the chances go down by fifty percent again. They did a similar type of study in a lab, looked a the majority scientists say which scientists collaborate together, low and behold the scientists who collaborated together, it didn’t matter whether they actually worked together on the same, had the same interests, were people who sat right next to each other. If you go down to the end of the hallway chances go down by half, if you go down to a different floor, it goes down tenfold, if you go down to a different building it changes, the chances are infinitesimal that you will actually collaborate together. Even in these days when we have Skype, when we have email and we have phones, it really matters who you are sitting next to in terms of who you are going to form these connections with. The implications that we look at especially in business is the importance of actually showing up to meetings, to face to face meetings. In one study they exposed a classroom of people to three different women and in one scenario the women went to five classes and in all scenarios the women were assumed to be very snobby so basically the women didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t make any eye contact, they just went and sat. And the second scenario the women showed up to ten classes then stood to fifteen classes. The women who showed up to fifteen classes, were substantially more likely to be considered good looking, attractive, moral, approachable, just because we recognize someone, just because we, someone looks familiar to us, all of a sudden we are going to start liking them more. So the implications are, show up to meetings, the important things that happen in meetings actually are not due to the meetings themselves but what happens right before and right after because that is when we have the time to be vulnerable, to actually have the relationship and if you’re in a corporate environment, really pay attention to where you are sitting down. Make sure that you are sitting in the middle of things because people will recognize you and just by being recognized, just by multiple exposure to someone they are also going to like you better.
Andrew: That’s incredible because using the example of scientists who I tend to think of as cerebral, as people who think analytically and using the example of even in business, when you’re with someone even when you’re in a job that forces you to analyze, you can’t help but be swayed by proximity. So, is it that we are shutting off the analytical portion of our brain or is this an important piece of data for us? Who we know how close we are.
Interviewee: We are social animals. A lot of this comes to the fact that if you grow up in a community and you have the people who live next door to you, those are the people that you have to depend on if things get tough; whether you are under attack, whether there’s starvation or whether your family is in trouble. And there’s just a natural biological drive to protect the people who are closer to us, to value them, to view them as part of our community. I don’t know if it’s rational or irrational or if really it matters much whether it’s irrational because even scientists who are very rational people still have that natural tendency. It’s so hard wired into us. Just like the vulnerability how it’s so hard wired into us that we revolve well with the computer if the computer opens up to us a little bit.
Andrew: And it’s amazing too, the computer. Resonance, how is that… What does that mean and how’s that a Click Accelerator?
Interviewee: Resonance is the one that’s a little trickier to describe in a few words. So, resonance, we view it to as comprising of two things: One is being present and there’s a lot of research in that in nursing actually. So, when you talk to someone and let’s say that there’s a patient and you can either just look at their chart or you can say, “Oh, Andrew, how are you doing today? What’s going on in your life?” And just by nurses showing up and being more present in that moment, it turns out that patients actually have a much better healing process. And they feel better about themselves and they feel much better about their hospital visit so with whole presence is one thing. And the second thing is flow. And for flow, there is a Dr. [Chiksimi Hai] worried about this extensively. We actually interviewed a race car driver, Mario [Dredi], for this and we said, “You are sitting in your car, and what distinguishes between you and other really fantastic race car drivers? Right? You all have really fantastic cars…” And he talks about being in that moment and being so engaged in that moment that you find yourself being truly alive, truly part of… connected to your surroundings. And he talks about one of the races he won way back when and just how he was able to know everything that would happen before it actually happened. And there’s two elements to that to being in the flow, there’s doing something that you have mastery of and also challenging yourself. Combined presence and flow create resonance. Now, why is resonance important? Because it’s just like vulnerability, presence is actually contagious. There is something called [neuromurons] neurons. And that if you see someone say they are lifting a big stack of books or something like that, your activity part of your brain actually lights up as well. It’s kind of an inborn empathy. The same thing happens when you see feeling an emotion. So, if you see someone feeling really sad, then your mirror neurons all of a sudden line up which is why some people cry during sad movies. If you’re really present and if you are really in the flow, if you really have this element resonance, often people are completely drawn to you. And because they become a little more resonant themselves and it feels so good. The example that we looked at in the book is the audition process for law and order. I sat through two weeks… it was a lot of fun in New York, with the Executive Producer there. He interviews 7,000 people a year, auditions, 7,000 people a year. So, it’s like the liquor store guy who says one line, he’s going to see sixty of those! And he just rejects… most of the people he rejects are really fine actors; they were people who are on Broadway, they went to all the finest schools, and yet who lands the role and who doesn’t often times is determined by how resonant they are, how present they are. How able they are to be in the flow. And think about going in front of [VCs] who see a hundred people a day, or get [tens] of thousand ideas, how are you going to make that little difference between who they actually connect with, who can have that five hour long conversation and get investment, as opposed the guy who has an idea but isn’t present enough to actually make that connection.
Andrew: So, I’ve seen that in people when they go in for job interviews, there are certain people who just feel more comfortable in offices. And as they are walking through an office they feel like this is their home and so you can see that they get into flow easier. And some people it’s the opposite, offices never make them comfortable, even after they have the job. And so when they go into a job interview they are always a little bit out of flow. How do you change it? How do you cause yourself to go in flow so that you can get the benefits of this Click Accelerator?
Interviewee: Yeah, that’s it. As I said, there’s two elements in terms of… with people. How do you connect with people? How do you try to be more present with people? And how do you really take a moment and understand what the other person is in an emotional way, in a broader level, just like we are trying to do here. How do you tune in to that person? How do you have your radar on? The second one is, are you doing something that you feel you have mastery of? And are you doing something that you feel like you are being challenged at? So, interviews for example, the websites, feels like you are building something that you are really excited about, that you’ve done for a while that you are getting good at. And yet, how do you feel that you are creating… how do you keep on feeling challenged everyday? What do you do for example, to make sure that you’re not just like, “Here’s another interview guys and I have X many more followers…” How do you avoid that grind?
Andrew: I see, okay. You want to be in a place where you feel mastery and at the same time challenged and at the same time present enough to pay attention to the other people in the surrounding. Alright. Out of all these that we have talked about so far, that one seems like the hardest one to use with the next meeting at the next party. It is. Alright. Similarity?
Interviewee: Easiest one! Other than proximity, that’s probably the easiest one. It turns out that it doesn’t’ matter much what you are similar with someone on, what really matters is that the quantity of similarness. And as of right now you told that your favorite band was ‘The Smiths’. So, if you told me that we went to the same college or something like that, if you take that, it only takes about seven or eight similarities for people to start viewing each other again as better human beings, as smatter, as more moral, more like us. And the reason for that again comes back to the, to our backgrounds living in communities. We are similar to people in our families and therefore we tend to protect them, we tend to have a feeling of they are part of our tribe, if you will. Really interesting studies have been done in terms just how much that similarity affects us in everyday lives. In one study, they have a bunch of people leave the lab and they were approached by someone wearing an __ and they asked them for a donation for charity. And most people who gave like a buck or something like that on average. And then they did the exact same experiment but this time they knew the people who were leaving the lab; they knew their names. And the only… they sorted out all the Oris, people who had similar names, and so they had like Johns and Brians and, Erics, Andrews and… So now, here I am with a name tag, with my Andrew name tag, give money. Lo and behold, you are twice as likely to give money. Lo and behold when you did give money, you give twice as much. The experiment was run in the similar way, but this time people were asked to help edit an eight page English paper, which is, talk about… I’d rather pay fifty bucks just to avoid doing that. People with similar names were twice as likely to edit the paper. People with similar birthdays were twice as likely to… if you thought that we had the same birthday. The same thing happened when people were told that they had similar fingerprint pattern, which again, why should a fingerprint pattern, just because you and I have similar patterns on our fingerprints, why should that make me more likely to give you money and to help you out in editing? It comes down to again feeling that you are part of the community, feeling that you are part of this inner circle around you.
Andrew: I can actually see that. It sounds ridiculous but if you were to say, “My name is Andrew,” and then start talking to me about donating money, I would be much more open to you. I’ve met a few Andrews here since I’ve come to Buenos Aires and I instantly feel a connection to them even if it’s freaking ridiculous even though in my head, ‘This is going to be annoying, now I’m going to have another Andrew that other people are going to and want to know whether they are referring to him or to me.’ I should be upset but I kind of like the guy.
Interviewee: unlike Oris, I haven’t met many.
Andrew: Safe place, last of the Click Accelerator. What does that mean?
Interviewee: It really matters to have a clearly defined community. So, think about a time when you’ve really clicked with someone and often times people think about, ‘hey first day in College, I met my college roommate, we hit it off, we’re still friends.’ And you wonder why are there certain situations when you feel more like… when you are more likely to make these connections. And it turns out that context is really important. And just specific things are important in context. The first important thing is whether it’s a clearly defined community, whether you feel like you are part of the community. Because again, that taps into this notion of we are in it together. Turns out that people who are in, say first year of college, or first year of boot camp, are much more likely to form long term interconnections with folks. The second element that really helps is kind of intuitive, is joint suffering, or joint adversity. There was a very interesting study looking at soldiers and looking at who they bonded with. And it turned out that the soldiers had life threatening combat experience together they were far more likely to attend reunions twenty years down the road, and far more likely to keep in touch with the folks that they went through this experience with. Because what the experience does the outside, which is ironically the advantage of working for a really crappy boss, is that the pressures from the outside building on the community really help build the community together. So, it turns out the same thing happens when couples go on dates or something like that, and if they go rock climbing as opposed to going to the movies, they are going to be more likely to hit it off because they’ve had that feeling of joint adversity that they overcame something together.
Andrew: Okay. Let’s see if we can now apply all these to business. We’ve got these five Click Accelerators, I know these aren’t the only ideas in the book, but let’s see if we can use these before we move on. Let’s suppose Ori, in two weeks, you and I are in business together, we want in two weeks to meet with adventure capitalists, or someone who is going to be doing business with us or someone who is going to be buying from us, I don’t know who this person is, but Mr. X and I… the two of us are going to meet Mr. X in two weeks. We want to click with him quickly so that we can build a business relationship together. Let’s start talking about this, vulnerability is one of the Click Accelerators, so as we talked about earlier what we might do is look for opportunities to talk about actually, maybe I should turn it over to you. We are about to talk to this guy, what do we do? How do we use all four of these techniques?
Interviewee: Sure, all five.
Andrew: Five, right. Thank you.
Interviewee: First is, show up. And I know we are talking about Skype here, but show up and wherever… even if he tells us, “Hey, you know, Video conference is fine,” or, “A phone conversation is fine.”, find a meeting, find a place where you can actually be together for a while.
Andrew: And that’s because of proximity?
Andrew: Okay. Can I also add to proximity that if you know that he’s going to be at a conference or he’s going to be at some kind of meet up, or some kind of cocktail or event, it sounds like it would help if you went to that event too even if you didn’t get to talk to him, even if all you said was, “Hey, I’ll see you in two weeks, we’ll talk then.” Sounds like that also will help accelerate the way that we click.
Interviewee: Exactly because he has already seen us once, we are already more familiar with each other.
Andrew: Alright. So that’s one thing. Then what else can we do?
Interviewee: Second thing in terms of similarities, do your homework. And it’s not just similarity in terms of, “Hey you invested in Google, I like Google too.” Find out, does he like sailing? Does he or she like sailing? What are their hobbies? Where did they go to school? Where did they grow up? What do their kids do? Really try to delve in there, again in a natural way. I have a friend who talks about doing a meeting and all of a sudden in the back of the guy’s __ there’s a sailing ship. And all of a sudden, they start to talk about sailing for the entire hour and all of a sudden the guy says, “You are hired!” It’s a really stupid way to hire somebody because they like sailing as well, but hey, it works. Think about vulnerability. If I was to think about vulnerability in a business context, in a pitch context, I would say, “Had to tell you, I have you been putting a lot of effort into this company, and __ it’s one of the most meaningful experiences in my life, doing this business right now, and the reason for that is XYZ.” So, go somewhere you can so go somewhere a little better, vulnerability can also be a positive thing. You can be vulnerable about positive emotions. “I am really excited about working together because I’ve looked up to this venture firm and I know you guys have this…. And it would mean something to me to be one of your investments… in your investment portfolio and here is why.” You can make a bunch of different statements but it’s basically share some of the emotions that are going on for you in an appropriate matter.
Andrew: Before you go on, I’ve heard you use the phrase, ‘Make up’, you said, “Make up some of these statements”. Can I ….
Andrew: Not manufacture, but can I come prepared to conversations by maybe having five or six things that are a little bit personal that I’m nevertheless comfortable sharing, that I’m prepared to share, you can.
Interviewee: Exactly. And a lot of it, is the appropriateness of the conversation so again don’t start off by saying, “My High School girlfriend and I broke up and I was really sad, I’m still not over her.” So, think about things about, you go into a meeting saying, okay, what is important for you about this meeting? Sure you want money, and sure you want to grow your businesses, but really inside of you what about is it that excites you about it? What is that you… that makes you tick around this, and be willing to share that kind of information.
Andrew: Okay, and then when the other person opens up on something my tendency used to be, and it’s not so much anymore, used to be just to back away. The other person says, “I got into an argument with my wife on the way over here, sorry it took so long.” I would back away. Or, “My wife and I just had to go do something else and then I needed to meet you, I’m sorry I’m late.” My tendency used to be just to back away, and now it’s, “What do you and your wife do?”, or “How long have you been married?”, to go towards that openness.
Andrew: Okay. So we used similarity, proximity, vulnerability, resonance, how do we do that? How do we use that?
Interviewee: So, can you tell… we interviewed in the book a guy who was a stand-up comedian and talked about how long it took him to learn one important, what he thinks is the most important element of being a stand-up comedian which is connect. So how do you go into a meeting and how do you frame in your mind that… You know what, I’m a master of business meetings. I’ve been to a zillion business meetings and know how to do a business meeting. How do you create that feeling of mastery and how do you create the feeling of what is the challenge here? What is the fun challenge that I’m going into here? So, going into it with that frame of mind you can help create some flow into the situation. And of course you are going to nervous and of course you are going to say some of the wrong things and that happens. But how do you go in with it as let me try to be as resonant, as present as I can be in this context. And the last thing is think about if you have any power in this, where are you going to be having the meeting? So, often times you’re going into their conference room and that’s that. Let’s hope that we don’t create joint suffering like… that’s not a good idea. But if you are meeting in a café or something like that, scope out your location first. Can you find a location that feels… that is closed in? Can you find a location that is not that open, that you are actually part of the room? Where maybe you have to sit a little bit closer to each other? May be it’s a booth as opposed to a table, or maybe it’s a more intimate surrounding, again, this feeling that you are somewhere other-worldly makes a difference. The other day, I was having coffee with friends, and this poor guy was getting interviewed and it was horrible! It was this place in Palo Alto and it was outside and they were asking horrible questions. And you could tell that there was no chemistry between him and the people interviewing him, and part of the reason is that they were sitting far away from each other, they didn’t have any separation between them and the outside world, so some of the Andrews were looking around at the cars passing at the street and I felt for the guy and I realized that if he could have had any say in terms of where they met, like maybe meet them at a place where a little-tiny bit more secluded.
Andrew: I see. That’s for safe place? Can you create a safe place with joint adversity by maybe talking openly about how dangerous the city has gotten or by how tough this business has gotten or why is Google is trying to crush start-ups like us, or something like that, that is not necessarily physically a shared adversity but it’s part of the business landscape.
Interviewee: Sure or you can even say, “We are in this really tough economy right now, and the entrepreneurs and the VCs we are in it together really right now.” So, you build in the similarity, ‘We’re in it together,’ but also say, “We are on the same boat.” So, absolutely.
Andrew: Okay. A lot of this sounds a little touchy-feely to me, and maybe even feels a little too vulnerable, to say, use the example of…its LA. The people who came to LA who were sitting around were talking about how tough LA was and how much they missed the [kibuts] back home in Israel, to me that sounds like, ‘quit your bitching men, I know that it might bond but it binds you to people who are just bitching, why don’t you just get up and go do something and enjoy Los Angeles instead of bitching about it?’ How do we avoid that? How do we avoid that the way we, how do we avoid it with vulnerability, how do we avoid it everywhere?
Interviewee: I think it’s important to distinguish between bitching about stuff and being touchy feel
Andrew: And being what? Touchy feely okay.
Interviewee: And I think that touchy feely, I think touchy feely has a lot of, has a lot of merit in fact and actually working with the army organizations these days. And around specific things, a round figured a house, officers can create stronger bonds with each other, stronger bonds based on trust. And a lot of it is coming from vulnerable place. So the army is a place actually where they are completely not about, you can bitch, you have been in Iraq for tourism, you have to go for tour, you have to take a, take orders, the commander in chief tells you what to do. That is the mode of the army. The challenge with that is that people are still carrying with them some really challenging experiences that they’ve have had overseas that they can’t share in normal conversations. And I have been in circles where people just always open up just a little bit. And its amazing how again these are, I mean you talk about business being tough right? These are choosen- guys who already know that , these guys have seen combat they have seen people die in front of them and how just sharing a few stories of being a little bit vulnerable it wasn’t bitching, it wasn’t like ahhh, oh this war is bad or do we really got there at all. It was more like a really tough experience. This would, this is would effect that it had on my family. This is what it was like to see my best friend die in combat. And I just sitting there in silence listening, there were sending these guys who at least [toucha felly] guys in the world, are building a community with each other. Are building the sense of comodory where they are in touch with each other another. Once later and have this incredible level of trust which each other because they said I said these are stories that we couldn’t share in a normal context of our peers. So I think we need to separate vulnerability from just bitch sessions and the sure like I think I am no big fan of just sitting around retching.
Andrew: Okay. Alright I wonder about your process. How do you, out of all the different possibilities for how people click, how did you even come up with the 5 [of click] accelerators? How do you analyze a human interaction this way? How do you sum it up into the points that matter? How do you know these are the only points that matter?What’s your process?
Interviewee: See I am really lucky my brother is a psychologist, so his research was actually around magical experiences so he, and his dissertations was about this as well. So he spent quite a bit of time trying to understand these moments of feeling of connection. The challenge of course is that there is no department in the world that is the clicking department, there hasn’t been research about, a lot of research about level for a psych. So what we had to do. We had to go to very different disciplines. In behavioral psychology, in business research, in team work and said okay what makes teams official? Well, turns out that the teams that are really official are teams where people have that kind of connection what makes people trust each other? Well turns out similarities, and we really that packed into a lot of these materials and proximity for example, All over sudden we discovered all the stuff about the last [few feed] really matter and something you called exponentials, exponential proximity so that you know, from 18 feet to 2 feet that’s where the big difference is. You really have to start building the house as you start to see, one or more interesting thing . Wait a second there is a lot of stuff here that suggests that meetings are really important, so let me figure out who studies meetings. Who studies relationships in corporate meetings. Well probably there is research here and it was, I don’t know from doing it, it was a four year process of talking to a bunch of folks, doing research ourselves, doing, it was very important for us in this book that, although the book is for general audience, its heavily cited. And all the citations are from published studies. But it’s not something like yeah I have heard this in some pop magazine somewhere, this is actual real studies, real data, because we really wanted to isolate these specific factors.
Andrew: how do you know you got them all? How do you know there isn’t a 6th accelerator that there isn’t something else that play too? That maybe not even a play accelerator but the whole other thing that’s going on that’s not, that’s more powerful than all this? How do you know that you’re at a hundred percent?
Interviewee: I pretty exhaustive research of the literature so far, but if there’s a sixth factor and if people think of it, I’d love to hear about it and maybe that’s the next book. For me my favorite part of this entire work has been hearing people’s stories about how they [effect] each other. And the meaning they derive out of it, for me its been , I can spend hours and days talking about this. Because it’s always whenever you, and ask someone. May be ask yourself or someone else, next time you have lunch, tell me about something you couldn’t tell me. Is there something different about, and this is how they’re going to be cheating: people’s eyes, all of a sudden it goes a little bit, they’re becoming softer. And so, yeah they might be a sixth or a seventh and I am hoping there are and I am continuing to.
Andrew: Alright. Who are the high self monitors and what does it mean to be a high self monitor?
Interviewee: So high self monitors are people who will naturally form quick relationships. And we talked to a guy who runs the biggest modeling agency in the world and this is, he says of models you know, once you’re presented by, this is a lead models, once you’re presented by, you’re really, really, really, really beautiful you basically, the clients are choosing between one woman who looks perfect and another woman who looks perfect. And its, if [relief] has been given about that, about why is it that one woman would be signed up for just a catwalk and the other would be given I don’t know, the huge account and bill boards, and become a spokes person. And really that is where the big money is in modeling as [the spokes would show]. And what he found out was that it was less about looks and more about personality. And more about people who were able to have, form those natural connections so quickly. So if [IB] a high self monitor, lets say you go into a restaurant, and it’s a candle lit restaurant, it’s really quite and people kind of talking like this, and a low self monitor, I want something, low self monitor, every one’s talking, a low self monitor would kind of talk like this. He wouldn’t talk about their last anal exam or something like that. They’d tell you inappropriate things and they’re just, they’re just not able to mould themselves to the context and to the environment. A high self monitor is going to very easily fit into the environment that they’re around. Their natural social familiance. Now when you look at high self monitors in the work place, they tend to do much, much better in two ways. The first way, is that they’re able to get within the core of the social network of the company. They’re able to do within three months what most people take eighteen years. They’re able to delve right into the, into the middle of things. The second thing that they’re able to do, is that they’re able to get promoted much more quickly. And you say well, are these kind of brown nosers, that are just kind of like “ayayay you looking great [Ivan] today, let me march it”. Chances that they may do this without even thinking about it, they do it, there’s experiment where they have a woman sitting and she kind of shakes her legs and they put high self monitors there, and high self monitors start shaking their legs as well. They kind of naturally change themselves to more the situation. Or they naturally meet you where you are. And we tend to just like these people better. So even when you’re, again, the experiment, the longitudinal study about MBAs the high self monitors tend to get promoted because they’re so much, they’re such a stronger part of the social network of the company. So the question is, so of course is, so this is a natural trait, some people are more high self monitors than others, what can we do to [learn from these high]connection [IB]? Well the biggest thing we can do is we can try to match our emotional state to the emotional state of the other person. So if they’re really excited, how do you get excited as well? How do you modulate your [IB] to really kind of like “oh, what’s up?” Then you don’t want to say like “eeeeih!” you know and so many times I know I personally, when I am seeing meeting someone who is really kind of low energy, something like that, I want to try to pick up their energy, well kind of I am a high strong guy myself, I am high energy, I am going to be like “hey, yeah!” and its going to be possible “hey, what’s going on”. You know And with someone in that way it turns out psychologically when someone meets us when we are, when they mirror our own emotions, they, we tend to just gravitate it the more.
Andrew: What’s one thing that people can do after they listen to this? I want them to go and use this and see result soon. I was going to say today, but let’s say within the next 24 hours and definitely by the end of the week. I want them to not just listen to this and say that this has been interesting, a great collection of stories, but I want them to go out there and use it and come back and say, “man this really does work!”
Interviewee: Whether it’s in your personal life or at work, whatever, try this experiment, try to go into a room and I tried this with my wife. My wife is much more quiet than I am, and sometimes when we are in the car, she’s just quiet and there was one time that I just you know I haven’t tried to think of stuff to say and chat. I was just me to her the way she is and match her. And so we sat in the car and just it was quieter, I mean I let 3 minutes pass and it was weirder I started feeling more connected to her. I saw what feels I saw she okay with what she was. Going into her room I saw someone’s emotional state and see if you can just match that emotional state and see what happens, and see how they feel about you, and don’t mimic them you don’t need to say “oh yeah __” don’t be ridiculous about it. But see how it feels to, to be in a similar emotional state with someone else and if I can give two homework pieces, the other thing I would say is, see what its like even with the company to take something, just a notch on a more vulnerable side where as you do that. So in a competition with someone you know, see if you can know if bring in a tiny bit of vulnerability you can ask them a question about things a bit more and see if you are able to be in that place again without giving advice, without trying to solve it for them or back off from them and see what happens. And some people say wow this is really fantastic and you might think that, you already do this I don’t know, but I think its worth definitely at least experimenting with this and seeing how the tenor composition can so quickly change.
Andrew: Did you by the way click with your wife, were you someone who as soon as you saw you wife it was love at first sight, or did it take a while?
Interviewee: Yeah we found out that both of our mothers, we had happy parents and both our mothers mad home made vanilla and the rest is history.
Andrew: And so what you saw in the studies is that your figure of life too, when you think back, when you think about the person you most want to spend most time with is still your wife is, all those things you said earlier?
Interviewee: Totally because we have this, we have this ease, we have this very fundamental co-ease and we actually, I don’t know if we are similar in a lot of ways in terms of the, our personalities, she is much more introverted, she’s much more organized than I am which is definitely a good trait. But we can go back to that place where when we met and it was like seeing someone’s quo, being able to connect with that feeling like I knew her forever and even in times of stress that we have, its really important for me to remember that, and saying, ‘you know what there is this place that we have, that we can go to, and is unique from any other relationship I have ever had in terms of just being able to have that connection’. Because it was so instantaneous, because we always knew, there was never a moment where we were like no, no, no about the relationship, I don’t want to go on and it was always clear for us that we wanted to be together.
Andrew: At a professional level, knowing what I know, now after having read your book and after having spent time with you here on Skype you are on this interview. If I dissolved it all, would I be able to dependably create that kind of click with somebody? Or how close to that can I come?
Interviewee: Well you can, I mean you can definitely create the, you can definitely raise your odds, you can definitely create the context, you can definitely swing the scale in your favor. And it’s you know you can use a couple of __ you can loose one, but why not given all the researches shows how important these connections are. How important the touch feely, the soft type of connections are in life. Why not do everything we can in our power to be able to foster these, as opposed to just say aah no, separate business and personal stuff there is really no reason to.
Andrew: you feel it’s the kind of things that anybody the person listening to us may now feel that is a little bit shy or she’s really not that out going could still do this and still connect? Still click?
Interviewee: Absolutely, and that is really the purpose of the book, it like, you know what lets study this phenomena. But let us see, what can we do about it? it’s not just like “oh yeah this is nice and I understand why is happens”, like what can we, how can we actually take steps to form these connections because all of us are, we all want these kind of connections, whether it is a teanees or not, we are all thirsty for them, we are all hard work to make them and that, what can we do to actually foster them, it turns out that the societies where you have this kind of connections tend to be happier, they tend to have less forms of depression, there is less… companies where people are clicking tend to have much higher work satisfaction, tend to be more effective I mean the research is out there to show that this stuff really, really matters.
Interviewee: I believe that too, I wouldn’t have you on if I didn’t think that this book made me a better person and if I didn’t think that this interview would make me a better person still, and more and more importantly if I didn’t think that that would happen to my audience. This is what I am going to ask the audience to do; we have now gone through at least the 5 click accelerators, I’d love for you to go out there use them somehow. What we used, what we talked about in this interview. If you use it and you come back and send me an email and tell me what happened as your the result, I will promise I am going to do the same thing not in the next seven days but I got a party tomorrow, I will use it within the next 48 hours if you tell me what happens in your experience, I will email you private email telling you what happened to my experience. I just believe in this and I want to see you guys use it and I want to us guys to more than we choose it. If you have heard the interview all the way through and I know you have, use it and email me what you thought and I will do the same thing for you. And if you have read the book and I really hope you guys go out there and get the book tell me what you think of the book overall and how you view the ideas in the book. Ori Brafman thank you for coming her and doing this interview, Ori is the author of Click. C-l-i-c-k for the transcribers, everyone else out there go look it up its available everywhere. I got on my Kendal on my blackberry because I phone is broken. You can still read it on that little screen
Interviewee: This has been really fun and I would really like to continue with the conversation. Well it’s about vulnerability or are the topics that I would love that and Skype, and any other medium so this has been really fun for me
Andrew: How can people connect with you? I would really like for my audience, to say at least hey I bought the book I thought it was great. Instead of holding in what it did for them, I love for them to tell you, how do they do that?
Interviewee: Sure, I’ll give you my email its firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew: Awesome. Everyone thanks for watching, and I am going to look for your email, bye.