Nick Morgan | Power Cues (Episode #288)


Every communication is two conversations: the content and the body language. When the two are aligned, you can be successful. – Nick Morgan

Did you ever do something and then think, why the heck did I just do that? Our guest for episode 288, Dr. Nick Morgan, can shed some light on that for you! He says there are two parts of every communication, and he explains what they are in this episode.

Nick is the author of “Power Cues”, he’s also a keynote speaker and one of the top communication theorists. Today we talk about the two parts of every communication, as well as how our unconscious  determines most of our communication, how we can influence the emotions of others by cultivating those emotions within ourselves, the primal power of vocal tonality and how to focus on our own emotional power in crucial moments to leverage it for success.

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Nick’s early career began in the academic world. He was a professor of public speaking and earned a Ph.D. in rhetoric. Til one day a friend of his asked if he wanted to see if he had what it takes to make in the real world. The invitation was to join the governor of Virginia’s office as a speech writer. And so Nick accepted the job, pole-vaulting his career in a new and public direction.

Since the governor’s office, Nick has written testimony for Congressional members, he’s written speeches for Fortune 50 CEOs, TED talks and TV. He’s certainly well-versed in communication and the impact it has on our lives.

And one of the things he’s studied at length is the role our unconscious plays in our behaviors, our actions and our results.

He says our unconscious guides our actions, including our body language. And in order to control this we must be aware of the internal conversation happening in our minds and our bodies and then practice shifting them. When you can control your own attitude, you can reset your unconscious to dictate positive behaviors which will lead to positive outcomes.

You can confidently walk into that all-important meeting or securely ask out that amazing woman by retraining yourself to perceive the situation in a positive way. Visualization is a key tool to use. It’s what Olympic athletes do to reassure their unconscious mind that things are going to go exactly as they want and they will be victorious.

In short, Nick says we have to align our beliefs and our intent, then our body will fall in line. We shouldn’t leave it to chance, we really can take charge of our unconscious communications. It takes time and practice but there is big, big pay-off.

The finer details of this show include:

  • Body language or content: which wins every time?
  • How many millions bits of information is our unconscious mind taking in every second?
  • What is the friend or foe zone and why does it matter?
  • Why charisma isn’t something you’re born with.
  • Can you read others’ body language to know what they’re going to do before they do?
  • And so much more!

Nick and I talked about so other fascinating topics. Like did you know you can influence other people’s emotions by being in a particular state yourself? Mirror neurons work unconsciously to reflect the emotions of people around us. If someone’s in a bad mood, you can usually feel it. If someone’s happy, it’s equally contagious. You can use this effect to your advantage: if you want someone to feel relaxed and happy around you, tap into those feelings yourself. Their mirror neurons will pick up on that and they’ll begin to feel relaxed and happy with you, often without knowing why.

Another facet of this topic we tapped into is how to read others body language to know what we’re receiving from them. Most of us know about the open and closed body language signals, but by simply listening to our own unconscious reactions and feelings about the other person we can know what they are feeling. From knowing this you can determine what they’re about to do, before they do it.

One last piece we discussed – which was utterly fascinating to me – is vocal tonality. Did you know that when we get people together in a room, we unconsciously elect a leader with the sounds of our voices? It’s true we do. And within 5 minutes after a small group has gathered, we line up our undertones and overtones with the person who is the leader of our group.

The great thing about this discovery is that we can increase our own undertones in our vocal range to increase our chances of being perceived as a leader. Nick gives us some real-life examples that highlight this phenomena.

Nick was a veritable wealth of information on the importance of understanding and controlling our unconscious mind and it was a pleasure to have him on the show. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and will use some of the actionable items he passed along!

Resources from this episode:

Nick’s web site

Power Cues, Nick’s book

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-The Art of Charm Toolbox

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AJ Harbinger - author of 1161 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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