BEHAVIOR SKILLS MATTER - A LOT
We can trace almost all of our failures back to three things:
1. Our Communication
2. Our Observation
3. Our Behavior
When we communicate, we persuade. We do it all the time. Whether we’re convincing someone to try out a new restaurant or sitting in a job interview. We can trace many of our failures back to communication, and how we failed to persuade someone, or a group of people, into adopting our way of thinking.
We can all look back and find several events that we regret. In many of them, we failed to notice red flags, or we didn’t recognize something about a person that we should have. Observation entails not only reading people, but situations. How well we can observe the world drastically changes how we interact with it. A lack of observation, and inability to see the truth, has been responsible for a lot of bad stuff in our past.
How we manage and carry ourselves matters a lot. Something as simple as a poor choice in habits has resulted in failure for us before. The way we speak, walk, talk, move, and interact with humans tells them a lot about us. Sometimes, even with our best intentions, we fail to get the outcome we want, not knowing the whole time that someone might have a ‘gut feeling’ about us that sets the stage for failure from the beginning. I’ll show you how to manage this in this book as well.
This book will teach you about observation, the critical superpower that makes the difference in every single interaction.
Mastery over a topic is something that’s easy to gain, if you put in the work. In my (extremely basic) estimation, there are four levels of mastery.
SURGEON - LEVEL 4
At the top level, we have a person who’s put in countless hours toward a specific skill. It’s not the classroom education that made them have the skills of a surgeon, it’s the ingrained skills they are able to repeat due to training and repetition. Although the education is necessary, no one’s a surgeon without thousands of hours of practice and repetition. We would never allow someone to cut us open and mess with our organs if they hadn't done it before. We want the experience, the reputation, that comes from thousands of hours of practice.
I’d like you to get to this level, and I think you’ll be very surprised when you discover just how fast it can be done. It may have taken me twenty-two years to develop the 6MX system, but I’ve done it in a way that makes it easy to learn, and even easier to adapt into a skill.
The skill part is on you, however. I’m the college that educated you and gave you the degree, the practice is up to you. I wish I could be here right now with you to walk you through the steps, but I have faith that once you see how powerful this is, you’ll be as addicted as I was. My job is to show you how powerful this is, and get you juuuuust addicted enough to keep going in daily practice and become the behavioral surgeon.
NURSE - LEVEL 3
The nurse has put in the hours of practice, but still can never accomplish what the surgeon is capable of. The nurse has put in the work for the education, and is able to perform some complex tasks and diagnoses with the skills.
The nurse knows a lot about medicine, and still knows enough to be dangerous, but will never see the world through the eyes of the surgeon.
PARAMEDIC - LEVEL 2
The paramedic went through an education that allows them to use a variety of limited skills. It’s easier to get to this level, and doesn’t take that long relative to the others.
GREY’S ANATOMY GUY - LEVEL 1
In level one, we have the person who’s watched a few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy - and thinks they are at the surgeon level. This is called the Dunning Krueger Effect.
In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of skill.
People who have read a few articles or books, and have limited skill in a subject, are far more likely to call themselves an expert. In this book, please be careful, and be suspicious if you find yourself thinking ‘I’ve heard that before.’ The best way to get the most from this book is to get into the ‘beginner’ mindset, as if everything here is brand new.
In the military, they have a common phrase I’ve heard thousands of times: “Knowing is the enemy of learning.”
KNOWLEDGE VS. SKILL
I have a small online presence, but I’m amazed at how often I receive messages from people who tell me how many journal articles they’ve read, books they’ve consumed, and websites they’ve ‘researched’ on behavior.
Of course, they are all well-meaning, and many of the things I’ve received have been fascinating. But I noticed a trend over the years: people get addicted to information—to knowledge.
They have an insatiable appetite for information and knowledge, but are very rarely able to perform the techniques. It took me a while to understand it, and I realized that many of these people are the ones teaching body language, people-reading, persuasion, and influence around the world. The difference between academic knowledge and real-world skills is so vast that it could be a book in and of itself.
If we took the top salespeople from every Fortune 500 company, and the top 100 interrogators in the world and analyzed them, what would we discover that they had in common?
If we really were able to sit down and speak with these people and get to know them, would they be...
1. The people who have read every book on techniques, tactics, and tricks for interrogation or sales?
2. The people who have social skills that are through-the-roof, can read anyone they speak to, and can make anyone feel incredible?
It’s just about universally agreed that they would all be number two above. Skills beat information. That’s what the 6MX process is all about.
This book will present you with a lot of information and skills. It will seem overwhelming at first to see them all, but stay till the end. I’m going to show you exactly how to learn this one step at a time, in a way that won’t overwhelm you at all. In fact, the method I’m going to show you at the end of this book is something you can do that takes about two minutes and fits on a Post-It note.
All of these skills will culminate into one behavioral profiling tool called ‘The Behavior Compass,’ allowing you to develop a behavioral profile beyond what 99% of psychologists are capable of seeing, in less than six minutes.
“THE 2/3 RULE”
There are a lot of body language trainers around the world who all enjoy citing a study that was done by a man named Albert Mehrabian at UCLA in the 1970s.
His study suggests that 93% of communication is nonverbal, and that the words we use are only 7% of what’s going on in a conversation.
I, and many other experts such as Mark Bowden, Scott Rouse, Greg Hartley, and Tonya Reiman, disagree. It’s a ‘body language myth,’ as Bowden called it.
If you’re reading this with your eyes right now, 100% of this communication is words. I also can’t show you a movie in a language you don’t speak and have you understand what’s being said by the characters in the movie.
Here’s the interesting part: the same university that published the study doesn’t teach nonverbal communication...to anyone. If you obtain a PhD from UCLA, you will average eight minutes learning about nonverbal communication. This isn’t that UCLA is a bad college, in fact, all universities have about the same amount of training for psychologists in nonverbal communication. If nonverbal communication is 93% of communication, and all psychological therapy is communication, why do we spend less than .003% of the time training people in what is so critically important?
We may never know.
Let’s conservatively estimate that about 2/3 of communication is what’s being said. If the study shows us anything, it shows us that nonverbal communication is massively important, regardless of what precise number we assign it. It’s more than half for sure.
For simplicity’s sake, we will simply use the 2/3 rule for this. So somewhere around 66% of communication with people is nonverbal.
In the grand scheme of our time on earth as humans, we only began talking to each other a few minutes ago. For tens of millions of years (if not more), we didn’t have language at all. Our ability to communicate with each other was nonverbal—the same way dogs communicate.
Not only did language evolve over time, our brains did too.
Our brains evolved in three fundamental ‘parts’:
• The Reptilian Brain
• The Mammalian Brain
• The Neo-Cortex
The reptilian brain was the first to form in our heads. It’s also called the Basal Ganglia or brainstem. Its functions are mainly instinctive responses, impulses, and physical sensations. It’s basically what’s in a snake’s head—pretty basic.
The next phase of our mental development as humans was the mammalian brain. This is where we store implicit memories (we’ll talk about this later), emotional experiences, feelings, and desires. This part of our brain is literally right between our ears. For a hundred million years or so, this part of our brain has been communicating with other humans nonverbally—it predates language by a long shot. The mammalian part of our brains is the reason we make most of our decisions in life.
The mammalian brain reads behaviors of other people. For millennia, this part of our brain has passed down nonverbal communication techniques to the next generation. Humans are capable of passing down ‘genetic memories,’ and nonverbal communication is one of the pieces of ‘software’ that comes pre-installed in all of us. This is the reason we are born with certain nonverbal communication skills. For instance, facial expressions are pre-installed, along with hundreds of other gestures and behaviors our ancestors used to communicate with each other before we all invented language. Babies smile and cry and frown all because our ancestors gave us these behaviors.
Let’s examine a quick example of this brain in action. Think back to the last time you met someone, and everything really went well; their behavior was great, they were well spoken, and seemed very pleasant. But...something didn’t feel right. Maybe it was a feeling that something was off, or something about the conversation didn’t add up completely, and you couldn’t put your finger on it. It was just kind of a ‘gut feeling.’
This happened for a few reasons. First, the mammalian brain can’t speak English. Actually, it can’t speak any language at all. The mammalian brain deals in behavior and emotion. But it’s also the part of our brain that ‘reads’ other people. Using the accumulation of millions of years of training, this part of your brain is scanning other people all the time, in every conversation you have. The trouble is, the mammalian brain can’t let you know what it’s seeing. It would be great to get some kind of crystal-clear thought from it, but we can’t; it deals in emotions. So, when it sees something that doesn’t add up, it gives you a feeling that some people might refer to as intuition. The reason we can’t put our finger on it is that we’re experiencing an emotional reaction to what our mammalian brain saw, not what we thought about it.
Second, there’s an information barrier from the mammalian brain to the neocortex. When the mammalian brain sees something relevant, the neocortex takes all the credit, so we will go backwards in time to rationalize what we saw in the conversation, and even fabricate memories of what took place to justify the ‘gut feelings.’
When we go buy a product, for example, we tell ourselves we’re not manipulated by television commercials, ads, or other people. We think we did lots of research and continue to rationalize the decision in our neocortex that, in all reality, was made by our mammal brain in response to something that provoked a desire to buy the product in the first place.
When we are exposed to communication that influences us, it lights up the animal brain. It creates emotional drives to action that flow upward to the neocortex. That’s when all of us, as humans, reverse-rationalize the decision and convince ourselves that it was based in logic, fact, and cold-hard science.
Think of good communication like a tool. It’s a tool that breaks through the wall between the neocortex and the mammalian brain. It creates desire, action, impulse, and emotion.
The neocortex is what makes us human. This intellectual and executive functioning part of the brain is pretty young compared to the other two parts of our brain. This is where we process logic, creativity, questions, art, music, and ponder why we even exist in the first place.
We read behavior using our genetically inherited skills. The reason the 6MX process is so effective is that it capitalizes on seeing behaviors that are not only unconscious but are deeply programmed into our brain. We are learning to see with the ‘human’ part of our brains to bring what’s hiding behind the mask into the light.
YOU’RE COMPETING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
For years now, an article has been circulating the internet suggesting that people’s attention span over time has been shrinking. While it makes sense to assume that as we become inundated with marketing, popups, ads, flashy videos, and non-stop notifications on our electronic devices, it’s not true.
Our attention spans aren’t shrinking, they are evolving over time. While we do get flooded with attention-grabbing material throughout our day, we don’t lose attention span. Our brains simply learn what to pay attention to. It has the appearance of an attention deficit, but it’s not. It’s interest deficit. You might struggle to focus during a horribly boring college lecture, but the capacity to binge-watch three seasons of Game of Thrones is completely within you.
We are able to selectively choose where our focus goes, and our brains are getting better at rapidly identifying something that is interesting or important.
Our brains are highly adaptive; they are able to memorize patterns to instantly recognize when something is relevant or interesting. With this new skill that our electronics have given us, we’ve become selective even in conversations. Scrolling through social media and having the ability to flick away a video the moment it becomes boring or uninteresting to us has led to the eventual development of a hyper-screening brain.
When you’re in conversations, you’re competing with clickbait, cat videos, and even whatever porn that person watches for attention. Later in the book, I will walk you through the ‘Surgical Communication Protocol,’ which will show you step-by-step how to create massive focus in anyone you speak to and pierce through the barrier between the neocortex and the mammalian brain.
THE ‘WAIT TILL THE END’ FALLACY
In sales, dating, interrogation, or whatever scenario you’d like, people tend to wait until the end of the interaction to discover the other person has objections. Interrogations sometimes last countless hours before an officer must face the reality that he’s not going to get a confession. A sales professional may spend several hours talking with a customer, only to find out at the end of the interaction that the customer is a ‘no.’
This was one of the problems I spent years addressing. The 6MX process will show you exactly how you can spot all of these as they happen in real time. This will allow you to not only spot the objection, but also allow you to deal with it in the moment as it occurs.
You’ll also be able to see every hidden, concealed, and repressed disagreement that your customer is experiencing, even if they aren’t fully aware of it.
But it’s not all negative behaviors you’ll be trained to see. As you interact with people, you’re going to see every single instance when they are happy about something. Whether they’re excited about a topic, or interested in something you’ve mentioned, you’ll know it immediately. This is valuable insight as to what they will respond to later on in the conversation. I’ll show you exactly how to build their behavioral profile in less than six minutes, and it’s a skill you can use in every conversation you have for the rest of your life...and no one will know.
THE WORD ‘DECISION’Why do homicide and decide end with the same letters?
The root word of decide is ‘cide,’ which means to literally ‘kill’ or ‘cut off’. The ‘de’ part of the word means off.
When we are encouraging people to make decisions, we are making them ‘cut off’ the options to do anything else. The. More you know how to see behavior, the better you will be positioned to make this happen. To help others ‘cut off’ from all other choices for their benefit.
Human behavior matters a lot more than most people realize. In every decision, interaction, and choice, behavior takes the reigns – mostly in the background, and without our awareness. So much of what influences us arrives through a nonverbal channel, and secretly influences how we behave.
As our brain evolved, we became human, but there’s still a mammal in there that calls the shots when it counts. When we can read behavior with clarity, the whole world changes. We know more about an interaction that anyone we know, and we can almost see the future based on how we see someone react.
In the next chapter, you’re going to be shown the exact way that a true behavior profiler sees the world around them, and exactly how it can literally change your life overnight. The four Laws of Behavior, and the four ways of seeing people in the next chapter are what make all the difference in reading people. Start with those…