Joe Navarro | Become an Exceptional Communicator by Mastering These 5 Traits

In today’s episode, we cover becoming exceptional with Joe Navarro. Joe is a retired FBI special agent and recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on reading nonverbal communication. He has co-authored many international best sellers including What Every Body is Saying, The Dictionary of Body Language, Advanced Interviewing Techniques, and his latest one, Be Exceptional: Master the Five Traits That Set Extraordinary People Apart.

Being an exceptional human doesn’t require anything out of the ordinary, but there are a handful of necessary traits to focus on if you want to be exceptional, so what are they and how do you develop them? 

What to Listen For

  • What does it mean to be exceptional – 1:53
  • Why aren’t we taught how to be exceptional or charming when we’re growing up, and how can we learn to be so today?
  • The five traits of exceptional people – 15:21
  • What does self-mastery look like in today’s world and why is it important if you want to be exceptional at anything?
  • Why is the skill of observation important and what can you do to improve it?
  • What is more important to us than validation and why do we mistake it for seeking perfection?
  • The biggest misconception about giving validation – 38:30 
  • Can you give validation to someone while also disagreeing with them?
  • How are validation and trust related?
  • Strategies to start divisive conversations on the right foot – 45:02
  • How do you have a productive conversation with someone who is clearly married to an ideology and doesn’t want to listen?
  • What simple exercise can you use to better understand yourself and your worldview? 

Anyone can be exceptional, but not everyone is willing to understand what it takes and work at it. For example, being observant is a trait of exceptional people according to Joe Navarro, and being observant seems like a rather basic trait, doesn’t it? The problem is most people don’t think about or question what they observe. When most people think they’re being observant, they’re really just noticing something and instantly passing judgement on it. 

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Resources from this Episode

Speaker 1: Well, I'll go back to the art of charm podcast, a show designed to help you communicate with power and become unstoppable on your path from hidden genius to influential leader.

Speaker 2: We know you have what it takes to reach your full potential and each and every week we share with you interviews and strategies that help you transform your life by helping you unlock your X-Factor. Whether you're in sales, project management, engineering, medicine, building client relationships, or even looking for love. We got what you need. You shouldn't have to settle for anything less than extraordinary. I'm AAJ. And I'm Johnny

Speaker 1: Now. Thank you everyone for tuning in let's kick off today's show. And I have to be honest, Johnny and I are so excited for our guest today. Today we have none other than Joe Navarro with us. Joe is a retired FBI special agent and recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on reading nonverbal communication. He was personally approached to join the FBI while he was working as a police officer at the age of 23. He retired from the FBI in 2003, and has since been teaching the world to read and interpret body language and facial cues. Joe has co-authored many international bestsellers, including what everybody is saying. The dictionary of body language louder than words, advanced interviewing techniques. And he's here today to talk about his new book, be exceptional master the five traits that set extraordinary people apart that just came out in June. So let's jump in. Thank you for joining us, Joe, you have one of our favorite books behind you, what everybody is saying. And Johnny and I have been a huge fan of yours for years. We first just wanted to pick your brain on what made you decide to write be exceptional. And what does exceptional mean?

Speaker 3: Yeah. Great question. And thanks for, uh, for having me on the show. I, uh, aji, I know you come to this light, but uh, Johnny's been stalking me for a long time, so

Speaker 2: It's, it's

Speaker 3: Good to finally be on, on the show with, with you, you know, I, I never, I never thought I would be a writer. I retired from the FBI with no intention of, of writing and, um, people asked me, Hey, you know, you, you learned all these things in the bureau. Um, why don't you share them? And, um, so, so I began to, uh, I mean, I, you know, I, I only started writing in 2003 and there was a, there was a sort of progression to it. Um, books about interviewing books, about terrorism books about, um, well, uh, Phil Hellmuth asked me to write a book on, on, uh, on gay, uh, not gambling, but on a poker tells it, even though I'm not a poker player. And, uh, and so there was a sequence to it. And, you know, it's you come to that point where, w w what is it that I have not shared?

Speaker 3: And one of the things that I found it was accidental then in my career that, yeah, you run into a lot of bad things, but boy, oh boy, when you run into the good, um, I paid attention to that as much as, uh, as, as those things that were really awful. And I thought, you know, if you ask the average person, what does it take to, to be exceptional? And, and, and your question is, is good. AIJ, you know, it's, well, what do I mean by that? I mean, you're the kind of person that when you walk away, you say, wow, I feel better for having known that person. I feel better for having been around that person. I somehow have benefited from that person. And I don't know why, and it, obviously it has nothing to do with wealth or property or anything like that.

Speaker 3: And there were some people there that I I've, you know, ran into and studied. And I said, what is it that they have in common? You know, because you can't go to the university and say, I want exceptional 1 0 1, because I'm going to graduate in, in this, come to find out, find out that no university teaches you to be exceptional. They teach you skills, but they don't teach you what, what really matters. And so I thought, why not? Why not write about those five things that, that I have found that really set the exceptional apart

Speaker 1: When we started our journey and the art of charm, you know, we were trying to codify exactly that exceptional, and we chose the word charming, and it really focused more on dating at the very start. But as the company has grown, I just see so much overlap between what we do here and these five traits and how many of our clients come to us for that exact reason, so that when they leave the room, they know they've made an impact in a positive way. And people pursue them, want their time versus the opposite, chasing others and trying to win people

Speaker 3: Over. No, and I, and I think, and I, and I think that's a good fit, you know, whether you call that charm, whatever term you use, you're trying to encapsulate a group of behaviors that in essence are transformative. And so it doesn't matter what we call it, whether it is, you know, I think that's a great term is, you know, how do we charm people? How do we, how do we make them feel better? And, um, and, and this is what the exceptional have in common that their focus is outward much as what you guys, um, talk about. Their interest is always curious. It's benign curiosity. Um, it's not necessarily putting someone else on a pedestal at the expense of yourself, but certainly valuing others and validating others there. That's, that's the art of, of, uh, of the charm, right there w what I wanted

Speaker 2: To add to that, which is when you're talking about these traits, and you're talking about transformation, we're talking about who we would like to become and, and, and who we are as people. And I believe one of the questions, even in the book as, uh, I think it was in self-mastery of what do you want to be known for? And when we look at questions from that, from that lens, these are things that your parents should be instilling in you because you're representing yourself and that not only that, but, but your family and, and we're in your community and schools are going to be at least back then one of the make sure you're focused on being able to get educated. So you can fit into the, in the industrial revolution, working in a factory or whatever it would take for you to be in contributing member to society.

Speaker 2: But what we're seeing now, when people come to our classes, when, when people listen to our podcasts, the questions we get is like, why hadn't I learned this stuff in school, because this is very impactful for everything that I need to do once, like, well, schools had a different purpose before this should have been in your community and from your parents. But what we're seeing is with the way culturally things are going right now, we don't have a lot of strong male role models. And because of that, those traits aren't being taught in school nor in the family. So I think people are looking for those. They find them on their own. Hopefully they find our resources, all of us here at speaking on the internet, rather than some of the more toxic, uh, materials that they could find that skim over this, or look to the, uh, try to steal traits that allow you to bring in things that you want in life, but not through high value manners and high value ways going about it. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 3: I, I, I think you nailed it there, you know, institutions used to teach us these things, but the institutions have, have been watered down. Um, you know, I mean, even in my own family, uh, much of what I learned, I learned from my grandmother who took care of us because we had come over as, as refugees and both my parents were working two and three jobs, uh, as waiters and as a waiter and waitress. And so they didn't get to teach me these things and there's any number of, of reasons, but I think you're right. I think, uh, uh, people nowadays, I run this into, into this all the time. And as you say, one of the things that pops up is why didn't they teach me this in junior high school? Why didn't I learn this in high school? Why didn't I, I graduated from college and they didn't teach me this. It's like, they've been cheated out of, uh, out of this stuff. And yet in any organization, you know, I always say, you know, and I, and I, and I think in the art of charm, you would agree with this, we're all in the people business.

Speaker 2: So why, why wouldn't

Speaker 3: You want to learn these, these, uh, the skills, you know, we used to say, well, these are the soft skills that is utter nonsense. These are, these are essential skills. I don't want to hear that term soft skills. You know, these are essential skills. And, um, and, and unfortunately, a lot of people are just not prepared to utilize the skills when they need them the most, right before an interview, you know, Hey, Joe, yeah, I got an interview tomorrow. How should I prepare about eight years? Exactly. What's the hack,

Speaker 1: The shortcut. That's the one phrase I can say to get me the job. Should

Speaker 3: I sit up straight? Yeah, that's good.

Speaker 2: When I think of a lot of marketing, there was a shift. It was either late eighties, early nineties, where there was this commercial. I think this was for Deborah's Institute or something like that, where they did, they showed a series of interviewees who were sitting there and they, they kept saying, well, I'm a people person. Why should I hire you? Cause I'm a people person. Why should I hire you? Because I'm a people person because the rise Institute or whoever it was who had this marketing campaign wanted you to learn these hard skills. But that marketing, I F I feel like it had such an impact back then that all of these people had focused on these hard skills, going to school, stacking up all these skills, which are great. But without the soft, the soft skills in quotes there to move these along, what does it matter? How w how many of these skills that you have, if no one wants to be around you, if you're, if you're not a good teammate, if you don't allow the people on your team to feel empowered, excited to be there.

Speaker 3: Yeah. It exactly right. The, you know, and, and, and now w with the, with the internet, because you know, they, now they invite you to a meeting and you say, oh, yeah, I'll be there. And then you don't show up.

Speaker 2: Why? Because what's his name or what's, her name is in charge. And so, you know, we hire these, we hire

Speaker 3: First skill. We fire them for attitude. And yeah. You know, they say, yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm a people person. Listen, if you're a people, person we'll know it within the first 20 minutes, you

Speaker 2: Don't, you don't have to say it. You don't need to front

Speaker 3: It. Um, you know, every style, I mean, it's so interesting. I mean, there, there is actually, as you know, I, I look into this research. There's actually research that within the first minute and a half of just listening to clinicians as they interact with, uh, patients that, uh, uh, observers can, can tell which of those clinicians were sued the most, just, just by the tone of voice, whether they're talking down to their, their, uh, their patients and so forth. Um, but you know, but I think you would both agree that the people that listen to the art of charm, the people that follow me on Twitter, or read, read my books, these are, I think they're genuine people. I think even though they may have difficulties adapting to certain things, I think they want to learn. I think they genuinely want what is best. The, the, the problem that I find is there's a lot of noise out there. There's, uh, there's there, there's just a lot of blah, blah, blah, and finding that quality of, of, of instruction or guidance or mentoring. Um, that's often difficult to, to find

Speaker 2: Stop tired of inconsistent results. Are you dating who you want to be dating? Are you where you want to be in your career? Do you have the proper roadmap to get you where you want to go? If you're tired

Speaker 1: Of wasting time and tired of seeing other people effortlessly build their dream lives while you work twice as hard with fewer results to show for it, perhaps it's time to get the guidance, skills and accountability. You need to reach that next level. In our X-Factor

Speaker 2: Accelerator, you'll develop the tools to communicate powerfully, cultivate, unstoppable confidence, and be held accountable by a community of high value members, mentors, and coaches. This is no

Speaker 1: Ordinary community or group each member has been selected and vetted to make sure your experience is a prosperous

Speaker 2: One. That's right. AIJ our members are driven, knowledgeable and dedicated to advancing their lives and the lives of our community. They are CEOs, professionals, entrepreneurs, service men. So come join the fun. If implementing

Speaker 1: These concepts from the podcast has enhanced your life. Imagine what a year long mentorship by me, Johnny, and the art of charm team inside the X-Factor accelerator could do for you. Unlock your own X factor and become extraordinary. Apply today at unlock your X-Factor dot com. Pause this podcast and apply today. Unlock your X-Factor dot com. Well, I think another big part of this being exceptional is it takes work to develop these traits. And unfortunately, with the power of the internet, the speed at which our attention span is disintegrating and us looking for cheats and hacks and shortcuts. We're not putting in the time and effort. And when you talk about the first trait, self-mastery, that's a lifelong pursuit. That's not something you're just going to check that box in the ninth grade. And okay, let me move on to observation. Those who are in self-mastery and the guests we've had on this podcast, it is a life long pursuit. It's a way of living. And of course not, everyone can do that. What we're talking about being exceptional, this is not a participation trophy. This is not a ribbon for showing up, right? This is going that extra mile that no one else wants to do so that you do stand out for the right reasons.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Reading the cliff notes, reading the cliff notes, doesn't get it. I, you know, this is something that you habitually work at because there's always a degree of finesse that can improve whether, whether it's how I address other people, how patient I am. Um, my emotional reactions to things. When they happen, we have to decide this is important. And if it's important, then as you say, Jay, how do we work at it? How do I, how do I build that? I, you know, I talk about that scaffolding. That's that? Okay. I have a little crisis today, but I may have a big crisis in the future. And if I can't prepare for that, it's gonna overwhelm me. And, and so I, I think when as, as you guys do, when you're in essence mentoring, what you're doing is you're, you're adding to that robustness so that as things happen, they can handle it better, that they can prepare for that future, whatever that is. I

Speaker 1: Think we've all seen as the pandemic hit, just how quickly things can change. And those of us who are unprepared had our legs knocked out from under us. Those of us who've been on a self-mastery journey, just realize that this is another challenge as we make our way up that mountain. What is your journey been in of? Self-mastery obviously learning is a big part of this and, and having the opportunity to then gain all the experience that goes along with learning. You know, Johnny and I have a running joke at the company. People would love to work here. We get people applying for internships, and they always say, I've read all the books. I've read Joe's book, I've mastered body language. And it's like, we're about to have Joe on the show. I don't even know if he would

Speaker 2: Argue, he's mastered. This comes through years

Speaker 1: Of experience, immersing yourself in something, not picking up the book, flipping through some chapters, checking the box and moving on.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I, I, you know, it's funny I get those too. And I've, I've, I've read all, I've read all your books. And I said, well, that's nice. Cause I've got 12 books I'm working on right now. And

Speaker 2: I'm still, so

Speaker 3: Don't, don't, don't start, uh, there, I think for me it was the realization that, um, uh, I was, I was always at a disadvantage because I was, and this isn't a sob story because for me, it's not it, you know, I had to learn English first. Then I had to catch up because I was setback one year of schools so that I, I could, uh, I could catch up. And it, it just seemed like I was always catching up. And in the book, you know, the story where on graduation day, I go down to the local library and I get a library card finally, so that I can read what I want. And I, and I literally said to myself, you know what? Yeah, uh, you know, college degree is good, but now I'm going to read what I want to read. And, and it was a matter of reading broad, uh, of everything from, you know, Pacific Islanders who can navigate using the stars to ethnography fees about first contact with Mesa Americans, to any number of things.

Speaker 3: So long as no professor was telling me what to study, especially if it was his book, um, and, uh, music, right? Th th th th th the study and enjoyment of, of music, how it, how it, it, it has evolved how it exists in every society. What, what is the benefit of music? You know, the, the, this, the swaying motion that, all of that. And so to me, it was about exploring, explore, explore, explore. If you, if you said Joe D do you know everything that there is to know about body language? No, no. And I, and I have no books with over 5,000 descriptions of behaviors, and I find stuff all the time. And, and I tell students, that's not the point, the point isn't some line, the point is to grow outward, like a, like, like a wave to keep expanding, keep expanding and, and, and that's, and I think that's, that helps us to open our minds.

Speaker 3: Number one. But I think when I, when I, when I've talked to really exceptional, um, individuals, they had a yearning to learn and, um, and they were always seeking. Um, it's interesting because in many instances, they weren't sure what they were seeking, and I'm sure you've run into it. People who come to you and say, well, you know, I'm 27 years old. I'm not sure what I want to do, do do in my life, understood, continue to seek, um, because you will find it. Um, history is replete. You know, I talk about the, these two bicycle mechanics from Ohio who invented the airplane.

Speaker 2: Okay. You know,

Speaker 3: It's, you know, they didn't know they were going to create, you know, powered flight. They didn't know they were everything that we now have, the arrow domes. Everything else was, was a thanks to two guys without an engineering degree. That

Speaker 2: Story is utterly fascinating, too, for anyone who wants to get into, I mean, the incremental steps that it took to just get the thing to fly a few feet was remarkable, but yet the dedication and the, and the wanting to do that, the desire and motivation was there. And what's interesting about writing. And I think so many people look at it as, oh, if you wrote the book, then you're an expert on this subject, but I don't think we've ever interviewed anyone who would, would think that they were the definitive expert on the book that they wrote. They wrote the book because they had a lot of questions and they went on a journey to answer those questions. And they decided to document it for other people who have those questions. That was that why they wrote the book. It wasn't because I need everyone to know what I need to know to make the world a better place. It's, I'm on a journey I'm going to do, I'm going to talk you about it.

Speaker 3: You nailed it. I really, all the people that I know that have written on any, any topic, this is like, okay, this is what I know now.

Speaker 2: And I'm sharing it. And

Speaker 3: It's a contribution to the literature. And by God, if 10 years from now, this is all we know, then, you know, I've been a failure. Um, you know, depending on who you talk to, they say, uh, information is doubling anywhere from every three days to 11 days, there's all sorts sorts of numbers out there. That's true. But I think a more important, uh, quotient here is how fast are we adapting to it? And how fast are we adopting it? Because one thing is to adapt. We did, we, you know, all of a sudden now everybody's on a zoom call. Okay. We adapted, but how we adopt that's, what's critical. And I, and I, and I think this is where, you know, the kinds of things that, that you do with the art of charm is that guidance that helps us to adopt those best traits, those best traits that will benefit the individual, their family, and, uh, and, and so forth. And I think that's why we write, we don't wait. I certainly don't finish at the end of 14 months of writing and this little room and say, okay, that's it, that's all it needs to be said. Uh,

Speaker 2: But he does that.

Speaker 1: Well, I want to pick up on that thread because technology and information is advancing rapidly in our lifetimes. And part of the problem with the technology and the information. And now the disinformation misinformation is we don't have a keen sense of observation. So leading to the second trait, Johnny and I were just in Las Vegas this past weekend. And we are hosting our clients who are in our X-Factor accelerator, in a mastermind session. And they had interacted with each other online in our zoom sessions. But this was really our first time having an in-person event in the last 18 months. So we thought it'd be fun to sort of test their observation skills. All of these clients are coming to us, working on their communication, and they're excited to get to know other members and halfway through the first day after lunch, we said, all right, I want you to write down three things you learned about each person you interacted with today.

Speaker 1: We gave them some time, pen and paper, and you'd be amazed at how many were stumped at one or two bits of information. And Johnny and I are sitting here and we feel like we could write pages for each one of these individuals, because we've really worked on our power of observation to be great coaches and be great mentors and be great interviewers. These observation skills are all we have to work through all the information, the technology that we are confronted with to make sense of it, to move forward, to advance. What are your thoughts on strengthening observation skills? When Johnny and I are looking around wondering what happened, everyone's curiosity, what happened to their ability to observe others?

Speaker 3: You know, I'm glad you bring that up because that's not surprising to me. The, the part of the problem is we out sourced observation, right? We, we leave it to the security camera or the security guard in the lobby, or, or I have to be careful that thing we called a L E X a, I don't want to activate it when we say what's the weather. I mean, I could look outside and say, holy macro, look

Speaker 2: At their cloud about no, we outsource,

Speaker 3: Uh, observation. We, we, we go to Google and say, okay, tell me everything about Joe Navarro, right? Um, hello, he's in front of you, you and yet, and yet, and you guys know this, you cannot be exceptional if you're not a great observer, what are we observing for that? The needs, the wants, the desires, the, the fears and concerns of others. As a, as a mentor, as a coach, as an instructor, as a leader, you have to be observing all the time that it's, this is a requirement. This is the first thing that sets the exceptional apart. There are great observers. They may not know everything, but they're going to find out they're going to, they're going to exercise that benign curiosity that says,

Speaker 2: Hey, Jay, where'd you go to school. Oh, cool. How was that?

Speaker 3: And it's like, why is he asking me? Cause he's genuinely interested, but you walk away and you know more about the person, you know, more about their, their background just by listening to how they talk. Oh, you like music? What kind of music? Hey, did you ever hear? You know, there used to be this little group called Maggie's dream in New York. Do you ever hear of them? They had an interesting, you know, no, I never heard of them, but did you ever, and now all of a sudden, you're, you're expanding your horizons. Here's what I often see people go in and they have an agenda and they want everybody to know their agenda. And that just shuts everything down because you're not learning. You're not interpreting, you're not decoding. You're not expanding. Um, and this is one of those things where, um, I'm glad you guys do this. This has to be, um, a part of, of your growth process. This is not optional. It's, it's an absolute requirement.

Speaker 2: Well, to go along with it, with all the, we have, it's easy for people to get into this head space where everything is very pragmatic. Next step, next step. Next step. Some people learn in a very organized fashion. Some people like myself need to just walk in and make a complete disaster mess, and then start picking up the pieces to see how it all fits. And I had to get comfortable with that idea, because that was the only way that allowed me to function in a learning capacity, doing it in a very pragmatic, organized way. Made me so frustrated that I, that it, that it, it made me hesitant in starting a learning process because it wasn't as fun to me and with life in itself. I think for a lot of it, it has to be done in a very messy fashion. Life is not going to be fair with you. Nature is certainly not going to be fair with you. There's going to be a lot of uncertainty to it. And so trying to deal with life in a very pragmatic, organized fashion is going to leave you pulling out your hair because it's just not, it's, it's not going to be dealt out to you that way. And you have to get comfortable with that uncertainty and learn how to maneuver through it.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Because you never know what you're, you know, talking to AIG, talking to you, it's going to be different. And that's one of the things that, that we're not taught in school. That every person that you talk to you talk to them differently because each person interacts with the world differently. You know, Johnny in many ways, you're like my sister, Terry and I, and I love her. She, she comes into, into a room and she's talking to everybody and, and she engages everybody, you know? And, and, and I, um, I'm kind of shy. I go from one person to the other and so forth, but she can engage a whole room and people love to be around her and so forth. And we have to learn that each person talks differently, interacts differently, has different comfort levels. Um, you know, our spatial differences, the cadence at which we communicate, uh, the energy of, you know, if I'm talking about this, if you're talking about music, you're going to talk about it with a certain energy, like earlier, we were talking about, uh, jazz, you know, and you're, you're arching your eyebrows. So those are the exclamation points and you're, you're excited, uh, about it.

Speaker 3: Each person we have to learn that, um, there's a benefit to talking to two, each one, engaging that energy, um, on us, on a similar plane. You know, I, I always say synchrony is harmony. And, and if we can achieve that, you know, if you want to have a quiet moment with me, we're going to have a quiet moment. And if we're gonna, you know, get excited about something, then, then let's get excited. But to observe, you know, to detect that you have to be able to observe it. And I think that's where you guys shine is that you can observe, Hey, this is this person's personality. And I'm sure you see it, you know, in, when you're doing your live instruction. And, you know, as you call people up, oh, this, this person, uh, you know, he's shy. He needs to be brought up or, oh boy, you know, this is Mr.

Speaker 3: Theatrical or whatever. Um, but that's one of the things that I wish was, was taught more often. Um, especially now, you know, w where we have more, um, we have more executives, frankly, more, uh, more leaders who are on the autism spectrum. And, um, I know of a few of them and they have, they're, they're mild on that, but you have to approach them differently. You have to talk to them. And if we don't learn that, if we don't, uh, learn to, um, to have that respect and, um, and, and also be aware of culture, um, that, uh, we were harming ourselves because in the end, that's who we're harming. We're not, we're not harming other, other people we harm. We're really harming ourselves. Yeah.

Speaker 1: I love that you brought that up because that's what we mean by the art of it. Everyone would love just a one page, one, she'd crack the code. How do I instantly build rapport with someone? How do I make them a lifelong friend? Yeah. And it's the art of it. It's understanding, Hey, what are they not sharing about their college experience? Right. What did they do when they looked away? When you brought up jazz, was there discomfort there, maybe they're unfamiliar with it. You know, that level of observation and curiosity is really what fuels these exceptional communicators leading to this third trade of understanding that everyone wants to be valued. Everyone wants to be validated and feel heard. And if you're not observing, you're not going to be an exceptional communicator.

Speaker 3: So valuable that point that we humans don't seek perfection. We seek psychological comfort, number one, but number two, we seek validation and validation. I know, you know, this, Johnny it validation is something as simple as, oh, you know what? That's a good point. And that means so much to me that you would say that even though you may disagree with it, it's the Fe you know, w when I look at failure to validate, especially intentional, when I see managers who failed to validate people who absolutely I, you know, I just read a book on Humphrey Bogart. Um, and I wanted to see you gonna say, Joe Navarro, body language guy, what's he doing? I w I wanted to see what it was like when the old studio system existed, these guys would sign up literally for seven year contracts. Humphrey Bogart had a 15 year contract with, with that's one, what, one fifth of your life

Speaker 2: In those days.

Speaker 3: And, you know, they're, they're signing their, their, their lives away, but what did they want the most? They wanted validation.

Speaker 2: They

Speaker 3: Wanted to be validated. And we, and we forget the importance of it. Um, they had money, but it was, if you asked these, these old stars, what, what did you really value? You know, for a studio executive to say, Hey, you know, you're helping us make 56 movies a year. And, uh, we, we wanna thank you for that.

Speaker 2: Love this. And in our classes, we talk about the value that you're giving in a, in any social situation and in an interaction and the value we define value as attention approval and acceptance, which is, um, it's a very simple thing, but we all crave it. And you mentioned, and I love this term. I'm going to have to steal it, but it's the failure to validate. And the consequences of that foul, that failure to validate. And this is what's great about everyone is so worried in interactions are, I think it's easy to think about how do I get something out of this for myself, which makes then every interaction increasingly difficult, because you're asking for something and you're trying to get something rather than focusing on the other person. And we've always said the answers for every one of your questions in the interaction or in the other person. So you need to be present and focusing on them with your listening skills. And I just love that because, and you stated it, validation is such a simple thing, but it has such a profound effect on how the other person feels about hanging out with you about spending time

Speaker 1: With you. And I want to unpack one thing. You shared their job, because this is so key. And this is a misconception that many in our audience and our clients have around validation. You can validate without a green. Oh yeah. That's a great point. I've never thought of that. That doesn't mean you agree with the direction they're going. And I stumbled across one of your recent articles promoting the book around this exact thing that it's important, whether you're interrogating someone or you're just trying to build a friendship that we're not in this constant disagreement and I'm right, your wrong actually valuing someone else's opinion. And then shifting to your opinion is far more effective than telling someone you're wrong, shutting them down, proven to them all the ways that they haven't thought through something. But that nuance is lost on many people. When they hear validation, they hear, oh, I have to be a people pleaser. I just have to be really agreeable. I have to sacrifice my own wants, needs, and desires to make other people like me. And that's just not true. That's not what we mean by validation. You're both

Speaker 3: Exactly right. And in fact, that article, the lead author on that was, uh, uh, my business partner and a marched out because she runs into this in, in her business, in, in Europe. And, and it's true. People think that validation means acquiescence, that if you validate others, then you're basically becoming their chew toy. No, no, you're not. When you validate others, it is, it is, it is the ethical thing to do. They have a point. We listen to their point. We, uh, try to understand their perspective. And I've, you know, I've done this, I've sat next to criminals who have done really bad things and they're explaining things, okay, I am validating what they are saying. Yes, I can. I can see that. Okay. That was a bad mistake. I understand that. But that doesn't mean I yield. That doesn't mean I, at the end of it, all I say, yeah, but you're still going to jail because it's not grade point. Those are great points. And, you know, and I think a trial, I mean, I've literally said this maybe 10 or 12 times over my career, as I said, you know, I think a trial, those might be useful points for, for, for you to make, but we're, but you're still going to prison because, you know, society just, you know, frowns upon bank robberies. So,

Speaker 2: You know, we w we,

Speaker 3: Validation is what you don't realize is the power of validation that by listening to others, that, especially in relationships and in the workplace, your children come, you, they, uh, claim I did this. Okay. You give them that, that validate that. Uh, that's really interesting. How did you do that? Right. So the first, a lot of times, you know, they come in as, Hey, I built this. Oh, good boy. And then off they go, that's, that's really nice. Yeah. Validation. Here's what validation sound sounds like. How did you do that? So by yourself, you gathered up these things and you know, the, the twigs and the sand, and you made this, this castle, how did you put that in your mind? How did you put that together right now? Now we're validating because we're using that, that, that sweet component called the benign curiosity. Okay. So now we're making this person, we're, we're elevating this person.

Speaker 2: Yeah. But we're elevating ourselves. We're

Speaker 3: Elevating ourselves because that person grows to trust us, you know, and we talk about rapport and trust. It's not that common. It's, it's really not. When you begin to validate, you're, you're both being elevated and, you know, the worst thing we can do. And, and, and Johnny, you were hinting on that from the book where I say failure, validate, invalidates. Think about how many, how many times we, as humans are invalidated. When we look at the me too movement, we look at people that are habitually abused. When we look at, um, uh, you know, any, any minority, any group that, that has suffered anything, the minute you do not validate, you're invalidating them. And, and that's just that in many ways, that's just cruel. It's, it's, um, you know, one of the things that I wrote about recently for psychology today, I said, um, the bully uses invalidation because they know no that it's the wound that doesn't go see if I hit you, you're going to have a hematoma, but it's going to heal. It's going to heal. Right. But we have the hippocampus, we have two of them, everything negative goes in there, a daycare for more than a daycare or Kate, or more, when we fail to validate any kind of suffering air experience of others, we're just compounding that suffering and the bully they're using it because they know that pain will not go away while we failed to invalidate. And that's why the exceptional, um, really make it a priority to, to validate, uh, the experiences of, uh, of others.

Speaker 2: It brings up a question, um, and, and discussing us right now, where we're seeing a pretty wide divide politically. And we, I think all of us here understand that we're going to need to be able to communicate together in order to forge a path forward. Right. Um, however, with, you could say that there's a lot of folks who were uninterested in starting off the communication on any sort of equal ground and an agreement on any sort of truth, where we can begin to have a conversation now in your line of work. I certainly know that you've talked to a lot of bad apples, a lot of folks who are being very uncooperative and you were, and you were experience, did you feel well, I'll just flat out, just give you the floor on that. What were your tactics in order to be able to get people comfortable that come to the table with a shared agreement of reality and, or a stance where you can start communicating from, because I see they're like, well, I'd love to talk to this person, but they're a bad actor. And it's like, well, okay, well, do we move to the next person? Or what can we do to try to get them to, to, to be able to validate each other on our, on our points to begin this conversation?

Speaker 3: Um, that is, uh, one profound question. And, uh, how long has this show?

Speaker 2: Because it,

Speaker 3: No, it's, it's, it's th this is one of those questions that, um, really is, is for the ages, because this phenomena is with us, that we now have shorter fuses. We don't have the time to sit down and have the, um, the salons that you would have in Paris, where you would invite everybody and you would sit and discuss things and, and so forth. I think my methodology is one. You have to consider the venue if, if, if it's a shouting match and you've got 30 people, and they're shouting at you, there's really not much, um, you can do, I believe on the one-on-one approach. And my approach was always, and this is an approach that I use with not just extremists, but with, with people who are so married to an ideology that they're just simply inflexible. And that was to see whether they belong to a cult and they were protecting a cult leader, or, um, or, or maybe they were a, um, you know, part of the, um, Islamic jihad or whatever the, the, the trick or the artistry was, let them vent.

Speaker 3: Don't cut them off, hear them out, get them to explain things, but in different ways, try to get as much out of them as to how they came to that philosophy, what they believe in, what is their world view? What have they suffered? You know, many of these people are wound collectors. They're constantly collecting wounds of well, you know, um, uh, you know, you Americans did this. Okay. Um, you know, just, listen, listen, listen. And one of the things that I found over time, and that's, the problem is often we don't have enough time is people purge themselves of all this angst of all this animosity of, of all these things. And when you've given them that opportunity, I found that it's at that point, that then they become receptive to talking to you that if you intercept them earlier and say, whoa, wait, no, no, no.

Speaker 3: America gives more aid than any other country. Right. And we, we tend to cut people off. No, no, no. Let them express themselves as we do. So what we're doing is building face time, and then the system of reciprocity kicks in and they sort of, okay, you were decent enough to listen to me. Now, I'm going to listen to you. And I have, I can tell you, obviously, I can't give you specifics, but I can tell you that the most ardent of anti-American of anti government, whatever, at the end, we're willing to, uh, to talk and to be considerate where in the beginning, uh, it wasn't going anywhere. And, but you know, that has applications at home.

Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1: Well, what I've noticed about that exact strategy is people who have such extreme viewpoints tend to clump together and only be around people who share those viewpoints, right? So they've never actually had to express them fully. And their thinking behind them, they're operating around assumptions that everyone in their in-group is carrying. So all of these logical fallacies are never pointed out because it's just assumed we have the exact, same viewpoint and goal in mind. So let's move forward together. But if you give someone enough opportunity to actually explain how they arrived at that point, they're going to start to see the logical fallacies without you having to do anything to point them out. And in fact, if you point them out, it's just going to harden their views and their beliefs further because they don't see you as being on their side. And this works, whether it's a terrorist or even in a conflict situation, amongst friends where, you know, one side has dug their heels in the other side has dug their heels in. And many of us just want to jump in and insert our viewpoint instead of giving them the space to actually express fully how they got to that conclusion, because how they got there is often fraught with some assumptions, some false data, some experiences that maybe now upon reflection are different than they thought, but we're not giving people enough time to express themselves. And, you know, we were laughing earlier when we started, much of this conversation is happening in 140 characters.

Speaker 2: That's not enough time or space to

Speaker 1: Express anything meaningful. You know, you need, you need pages. You need time to really unpack. And as you said, to get someone comfortable enough to trust that you actually have their best intentions in mind, you're not adversarial. And what I see in the political discourse, what I see and how we're communicating with the people on the other side, who maybe don't agree with us in our worldview is nothing that's persuasive. You know, when I look at all of my changing in my views over my lifetime, from the way I was raised in high school to my experiences in college. And now as an adult, it's all come from me having to explain it to actually vocalize it and sit with it for me to, to have that shift in opinion, and realize like, oh, maybe I was making an assumption that really wasn't true. Oh, what other assumptions might there be? And is there another way to look at this? You don't arrive at that viewpoint if you're just hanging tightly to your side. Well,

Speaker 3: Think about this. How many people in your life actually give you the opportunity to fully explain yourself? Just think about that. How many, how many times does that happen in a day in a week or a month? It's rare. It's rare. Uh, you know, if, if, if I were sitting down with w w w with, with Johnny, this, this might take three days, right? Because you, you know, you think about all his experiences and, and things that he's done. The people he's known venues, where he's been at J you know, we would, we would have to explore a lot of, uh, a lot of territory, but how many people take the time to say, you know, give me the, the full thrust of, of, of, of everything you got. Most people don't do that. They, they know you're wrong. They just, they just, they just cut you off. Most

Speaker 1: People haven't even done it with themselves. You know, we, we recommend a self-authoring program for all of our students to really understand who they are at a deeper level. And, you know, many of us have never really thought about those turning points in our lives and those experiences and those memories that we attach so much meaning to, to really unpack and understand where that meaning comes from, you know, and especially in today's culture, we're living for the future. It's just like, what's the next snapshot? What's the next opportunity. What's the next experience. And we haven't really taken enough time to collect our thoughts around. Okay, well, what was that turning point in high school that got me off of Madison and got me more interested in communication and what truly happened in that cancer lab that made me decide that I didn't want to do this anymore. And it's remarkable to us, how many of our clients, when they go through that journey, realize that there's so much more to their personality. There's so much more to be expressed and they can connect and relate to others in a deeper way, all because they understand themselves.

Speaker 3: I like that. I, that the con that concept that you guys teach of like a, do a social self journal. Why did you make those decisions? You know, it, it would be interesting even in my own life. I'm th I'm thinking, what if somebody had come to me and say, why did you leave south Florida? Why did you decide to go in the bureau? Why did you decide to, to, to, to, to start writing? Now, what's interesting about that is we can turn that inward, but as you guys teach in your classes, what have you turned that out or, and had your executives say, you know, tell me, why did you decide to go that route? And I, it, there's just, I think there's a, you're onto something that's very powerful is the why of, of our humanity certainly

Speaker 2: Goes to something. We started this with, which was, you were, um, can't remember which context it was, but we were discussing of finding out who you are, that, that self-mastery journey in that can't start out with you being the best or a complete person that God starts out with you admitting that you have, you don't know. And there's a, there's a lot to do here. And I'm going to go start making this, taking those steps to start becoming complete, at least getting as close to that as I possibly can on this journey. I mean, what I love about it, what it's self-development as a whole is the minute you decide I'm interested and you start gaining little pieces and implement them in your life, your life changes your direction, changes, your trajectory changes the opportunities that present themselves change. And it's all from the little things that you add, the little skills, the, the acknowledgement of where you are, some self-awareness to who you are as a person.

Speaker 2: I haven't mentioned earlier, the way I like to learn, I had to learn that the hard way, but still, yeah. And even when it was presented to me, I was like, why do I want to learn that way? That, that sounds like a giant mess. I was like, we'll try it the other way. It's like, well, this is even worse. It's like to, except that it was like, what? Didn't make me happy. I was like, well, everything's going to be frustrating. Every time I try to learn something new. Oh great. But, but also coming to accept that, that frustration is only an indication that I'm moving in the right direction. I'm, I'm, I'm I

Speaker 3: Have this visual of you being in the middle of a court and everybody's throwing a ball at you. And, and, uh, eventually one of them is going to aye. Aye, aye. You're talking exactly about in the book. I referred to, um, Joseph Campbell, who, the great cousin, uh, a, um, uh, he, you know, the mythologist and he talks about, you know, and he said it in, in the terms of the 1970s and eighties, and he said, you know, find your own bliss. And people made fun of that and said, oh, what, you know, I'm going to sit in a lounge chair and my bliss is going to come to me.

Speaker 2: No, no. And

Speaker 3: It's exactly what you're talking about, Johnny, it's you go out and you script what that future's going to be. You go out and you seek and find, and sometimes it's like that crazy ball thing where you've got to do it your own way. You're not going to do it the university way. You're not going to do it. The coaches where you're not going to do it your father's way or your mother's way, but you go out. And one of the things that I learned from Joseph Campbell was you don't know the doors that will be open to you. The personalities that will be that you will meet that all of a sudden things that you anticipated are now open to you. And in my own life, I can tell you of just incredible amount. You know, I, we grew up, I mean, we were poor. And in Miami, we were, my parents were, were working for tips that sometimes were 15 cents, 27 cents.

Speaker 3: Uh, things like that who never anticipated that I would be, you know, giving a presentation where, you know, the formators Supreme allied commander of NATO would be there or, uh, a president of a bank or, or anything like that. Right. You know, or I would meet Paul Lachman or, or, you know, the, all these dignitaries, but, but Joseph Campbell was right when we make that effort, whether we call it the universe or happenstance or whatever things, just open up, look at how many people you've had on your show. Could you have imagined that when you were in high school, never in a million years, you know, maybe you, maybe you thought about it, maybe it was in the back of your mind, but those things didn't begin to happen until you started moving in that direction. When you started to claw to build your future. That's when those things started to happen.

Speaker 1: Now, many in our audience are at that point of climbing and starting to build their own future. And not only do we love your curiosity and all of your books, but you've been through so much training and sought mentorship yourself. What's that piece of advice you wish you had starting out in your career, or maybe you are fortunate enough to have it early in your career.

Speaker 3: I think if, if I had to summarize it into something really compact, it is feed my curiosity and, and don't stop. I could have easily stopped with a baccalaureate degree. I could have stopped with a master's degree. I could have stopped with 10 books, 12 books, but you know what, it didn't, it hasn't hurt me to read 5,000 books. It does, it hasn't impacted it hasn't debilitated me in, in, in any way. It has not hurt me in any way to ask people, how do you do that? Or how did you achieve that? Or what was your, you know, what did you think about when you decided to get into that? I genuinely want to know from others what they know, and I see nothing wrong with doing that. I think the biggest problem we see in society today is people who say, well, I've, I've achieved. I need to learn nothing more. And, um, and that's rather unfortunate.

Speaker 1: Well, we recommend all of our listeners read your latest book, be exceptional. The last question we ask, all of our amazing guests is what is your X-Factor? What is it that makes you exceptional and extraordinary out of all the traits and everything you've experienced in your career?

Speaker 3: Well, I don't, I don't see myself as a exceptional, um, perhaps because I know my weaknesses, but I think, I think if I, if you were to say it's, what is an admirable trait that Joe Navarro has? It's that it's curiosity, nothing else. It's, it's not my flying skills. It's not what I did on a SWAT team. It's not interrogations or anything like that. It isn't even the books on non-verbals. I think it's just my, my, uh, my curiosity. Yeah.

Speaker 1: I think we could add humility for that list. We find you exceptional. Thank you for joining us. Fantastic conversation. My, my pleasure. Thank you guys. [inaudible]

Speaker 4: Holy cow,

Speaker 1: Joe Navarro is such a fun guest, Johnny. I know we've been such a fan of all of his books on nonverbal communication, and he certainly knows what it takes to become exceptional.

Speaker 2: Absolutely. And again, I just love talking to other people from other fields who understand this stuff, as well as we do, but from a different lens, it gives you more perspective and shows you just how important non-verbals and your communication really

Speaker 1: Is. We're so excited to work with him in our upcoming boot camps and potentially in our X-Factor accelerator. Joe is one of a kind

Speaker 2: Sweet shout out, goes to all of our X-Factor members who came out to the Vegas mastermind. It was our first live event and over 18 months, and it was a blast. We have masterminds every quarter, and it's an opportunity for our community to meet strategize and get feedback about where they are in life we're builders. And that's what we do.

Speaker 1: And we have a specific shout out this week to show pass shoe rights. Prior to the start of the pandemic, I experienced a breakup of a six year relationship. At that point, my confidence was at an all time low a year ago. Around this time I came across the art of charm after weeks of going back and forth. I finally decided to say yes, and sign up for the X-Factor accelerator program via the weekly coaching calls with AIG and Johnny unstoppable confidence and implementation sessions with Michael, I've been able to work on myself and get out of the funk I was in during this past year, I got the courage to start doing things I wanted to do. Even if that meant I had to do them alone. I had an accountability buddy and made weekly commitments that are a large part of the daily routine I have for myself now, which includes morning workouts, work, healthy meals, reading and meditation.

Speaker 1: This routine alone has led to a 40 pound weight loss and a much more positive mindset. I worked on building my current relationships, and now I have deeper friendships due to the communication skills we're learning and the homework assignments. Another highlight this year was receiving a promotion which had a lot to do with the skills I learned throughout the course. If you're on the fence, debating whether to sign up, my recommendation would be just say, yes, I have to say Johnny, over the last year, working with shill Pash seeing that growth and the growth like other members inside of X-Factor has been tremendous. I know at the start of this pandemic, we were so disappointed that we had to shut down our in-person training and it's been great to be able to work with all of these clients around the world, virtually with weekly coaching calls, implementation sessions, and now our masterminds. Well,

Speaker 2: Again, when you have support and encouragement and accountability, sky is the limit and show Pesh has now realized that, and that's why we do what we do. So join us in the X-Factor accelerator and unlock your X-Factor at unlock your X-Factor dot com. That's unlock your X-Factor dot com. Apply today before

Speaker 1: We go, could you do us and the team here, a huge favor head on over to apple podcasts and rate this show. It helps us bring on our dream guests like Joe Navarro and others that you've heard on this show. And it really means the world to us. The art of charm podcast is produced by Michael Harold and Eric Montgomery until next week, go out there and crush it. Yeah,

Speaker 4: [inaudible].

Check in with AJ and Johnny!

AJ Harbinger - author of 1175 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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