Human Hacking, Empathy and Influence with Chris Hadnagy

April 28, 2021

Human Hacking, Empathy and Influence with Chris Hadnagy

Human Hacking, Empathy and Influence with Chris Hadnagy

“I realized that we can use human hacking skills in a positive way. How do you use it as a partner, employer, employee, a parent or as a child? How can you use these skills to get things you want out of life, while leaving people feeling better for having met you, and not being a malicious person?” - Chris Hadnagy 

If you’ve ever wondered how you can show up so that the person you are talking to is more receptive to what you have to say, while leaving the other person better off for your interaction with them, you’re going to love this episode. Today on Brave By Design I’m scratching my human behavior itch with one of the most renowned experts in the field of social engineering, as we talk human hacking, empathy, and influence, to name just some of the topics we cover.  

Chris Hadnagy is a global security expert and master hacker. He is the founder and CEO of Social-Engineer, LLC, the creator of the popular Social Engineer Podcast, website, and newsletter, and designed “Advanced Practical Social Engineering,” the first hands-on social engineering training course and certification for law enforcement, military, and private sector professionals. He is the bestselling author of four technical books for security professionals: Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking; Unmasking the Social Engineer: The Human Element of Security; Phishing Dark Waters: The Offensive and Defensive Sides of Malicious Emails; and Social Engineering: The Science of Human Hacking, which is now in its second edition. He is also the founder, executive director, and board member of the Innocent Lives Foundation, a nonprofit that fights the sexual abuse of children.

By shifting your approach to difficult conversations and making a conscious effort to practice empathy towards the other person, you will see more great things come to you in your life. Try it, and let Chris and I know how well these techniques work for you! 

Connect with Chris: https://humanhackingbook.com/ 

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What You’ll Hear In This Episode: 

  • How Chris got into the type of work he does today, and the unique occupations he’s held along the way [2:21]
  • The way he discovered the power of social engineering and what motivated him to begin writing books on the subject [6:07]
  • Why human hacking is so important for people to learn about [8:11]
  • What are the key differences between influence and manipulation, and a fascinating experiment from Chris’ own life that demonstrates this [10:24]
  • How we can begin to genuinely build more rapport with others, and what not to do [18:59]
  • What he means when he says that we can elicit emotions in others by expressing those same emotions in ourselves [22:50]
  • The approach Chris recommends taking when engaging someone in a difficult conversation [26:50]
  • His thoughts on “cancel culture” and the only way that we can move forward from it [38:43]

Support the show (https://www.paypal.me/bravebydesign)

Transcript
Chris Hadnagy:

Realize that we can use human hacking skills in a positive way. Then how do you use it as a partner or as an employer, as an employee, or as a parent? Or as a child? How can you use these skills to get things you want out of life while leaving people feeling better for having met you, and not being a malicious person?

Laura Khalil:

Welcome to brave by design. I'm your host, Laura Khalil. I'm an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. I love thinking bait, exploring the power of personal development and sharing the best strategies from thought leaders and pioneers in business to empower ambitious women and allies to bravely rise and thrive. Let's get started. Everyone, welcome to this episode of brave by design, we are going to be scratching my human behavior edge on today's episode of brave by design. With one of the most world renowned experts in social engineering. You're not going to want to miss this episode. Chris had naggy is the founder and CEO of social engineering LLC during his 16 years in the information security industry. He created the world's first social engineering framework, what is that we're going to talk more about it. He is the host of the social engineer podcast and the author of four books on social engineering, Chris's new book, which we are going to dive into today, human hacking when friends influence people and leave them better off for having met you, is what we're going to discuss. I am like, so friggin excited that you're here. I just cannot get it. I feel like you are. It's like I'm at the altar of like the human behavior experts. And I'm just like,

Chris Hadnagy:

thank you. Thank you. very gracious.

Laura Khalil:

Well, I got introduced to you through Robin Drake, who was amazing. He's awesome. For our listeners. He's been on two episodes of brave by design, you can go listen to those all on how we understand people better and understand ourselves and accomplish our goals. But before we even talk about human hacking, what that's about, Chris, how did you even get into this? Because you didn't follow a typical path.

Chris Hadnagy:

I did not you know, it's a weird story, which I'll try to condense because my itch kind of started like that word you use. I'm going to steal your word. Like it kind of started when I was younger. And there was something in a way back in the day, there was something called phone phreaking. Which is because you know, computers were relatively new, right? So you kind of learned how tones work. And then there was this Captain Crunch whistle. I was trying to remember what his name was. I was like, was it popcorn? Yeah, crunch. In the end, the whistle had a tune of 2600 megahertz. And when you blew it into a payphone, it registered as a quarter. So you can make free calls. Right? So I'm FrankerZ. We're interested in how phones worked. And I went to college and I wrote a what now would be considered a war dialer. But what is that? So it's a program that dials a phone number, and then plays a certain amount of tones or codes and makes the phone do something? Oh, I didn't do this to be destructive. But I shut down a whole County's phone system. It was it was an experiment, right? This is before the days of hacking today. So I didn't know that that was going to happen. And it worked terribly. It worked. And I got kicked out of college after two months. No, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, hold on a second. Okay. Why do people do that? Why would you do this phone? phreaking just for fire? Yeah. So for me back in those days. So sound like radio back in the day? It was it was about learning. Right? I didn't understand. Like, when we would hack a server. We never destroyed anything or stoled anyone's property. We would get in look around and go wow, why is this wide open? And then we would leave? Okay. No. And that's it. It was more about like educating. Yeah, you know, that embarrassed the school. So they asked me to leave and do something else. But that started this. Ah, I need to understand. You know, now, through the years following after that, I kind of went away lost interest, you know, found interest in girls and surfing and other things. You know, that took my time. But there was always in their 20s do. Yeah, always you know, and then I jumped around from job to job and I would talk myself into these crazy jobs. I was a vice landlord for an apartment complex. I was an international negotiator for stainless steel in India and China. And you were a chef. I was a chef for a few years but zero experience. Wow. So after a while I started to realize like man, I have this weird knack of talking my way into places. But the world was starting to catch on to information security, cyber security. So I took a course was all about penetration testing. So learning how to hack servers and systems for work, you know, it's a not legally but to do it to help companies stay secure. And the company that offered the training was impressed with me and offered me a job. So I took the job, and I just had a love affair. Like, this was the thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Quickly, I realized I really stunk at writing code. And it's a required attention to detail. I didn't have commitment to things, but we would have these audits for companies. And I would be like, Look, I'm really bad at this code thing. Can I just call them and ask for their password? And they would like you can try? And I would do it. And they would give it to me. Oh, my gosh, right. So any hacker mentality for any expert does this, that when something works, you're like, I want to know why that worked. So I started buying like all these books, you can see by like, on psychology on influence on nonverbals, on all of these different aspects and reading them, and highlighting areas where I'm like, wait, I did that. I didn't know I was doing that. And then trying it on the next test, but doing it intently and saying, whoa, that worked. And that's what led to the thing you mentioned in the intro, which was the social engineering framework, I realized that people had never documented in, in human history how this stuff works. So I started to document it. And I launched the framework online. And then I had a publisher call me and offer to write my very first book. In 2009. I wrote my very first book, social engineering, the art of human hacking. I wouldn't read it. It's horrible. I

Unknown:

don't read it.

Chris Hadnagy:

Not a good book, although has sold 100,000 copies if you can believe that crap, no, one believable, right. Unbelievable. Like, it was the first book ever that came out that defined social engineering from a psychological perspective, but it has a lot of lacking science in it. So that's why I say don't read it. And that's why we always say four books because I wrote five but that's my first one, guys. And then the second one I wrote with Dr. Paul Ekman, who's like the granddaddy of micro expressions, and facial expressions, and human I co authored a book on the science behind non verbals as social engineers. Then I wrote a book on the psychology of fishing, then my fourth book, I rewrote my first one. So that's the one you want to read, if you're into the that's called the science of social engineering. And then my latest one is this one that you mentioned, which is human hacking. And I don't know if I'm going off on a tangent, but the way that came about was by realizing that these skills over so that 10 year span that we just talked about 1011 year span, like where I met Robin, and did all this other stuff, I realized that these skills were more useful outside of the infosec industry, than ever before. We can learn to communicate, we can learn to show empathy and compassion, we can learn to just be better humans. And that's what kind of motivated the new book.

Laura Khalil:

Yeah, talk a little bit about that. Because people who are listening may be thinking, Well, what does this have to do with me? What is this human hacking thing? I have to go into work, I have to deal with my boss, I have to deal with my partner or kids or whatever. So Chris, why is this important for people to learn? Yeah,

Chris Hadnagy:

when I first started off in the career as a social engineer, I used what was easy, right? So what's easy to motivate someone to make changes fear? So if I make you afraid, right, so if I email you, so think about here's a scam going around right now, they find the passwords from another breach, and they email you and they say, hey, Laura, we have your password, and they paste it in the email. And because we have this password, we hacked your webcam, and we have a bunch of nude photos of you. And we're going to release them online unless you do this, this this unless you pay us this money. Now, if that password is real, and you see it, even though they most likely don't have access to your webcam, fear makes you go Oh my God, that's my real password. Because 68% of the people use the same password over multiple platforms, right? Hey, so you see that? And fear goes, What if it's true? Well, all they want is $1,000, I'm gonna pay the $1,000 on my news, don't get out there. And that fear of embarrassment makes you take an action. So I was doing that I was using fear. And what I was finding is that when the tests were done, and they were successful, people did not have a very warm, fuzzy feeling towards me. And although I was really successful at the job, people kind of felt bad, and I would not have returned customers or return clients. So I started to challenge myself and say, I wonder if I can do this very same work, but use positive pretexting. Use things that don't involve making you feel fear, right, but making you take an action using a positive emotion, and I was just as successful. That's when so now when you ask the question, what does it have to do with me, as well? And I realized that we can use human hacking skills in a positive way. Then how do you use it as a partner or as an employer, as an employee, or as a parent, or as a child? How can you use these skills to Get things you want out of life while leaving people feeling better for having met you, and not being a malicious person.

Laura Khalil:

And that's really the key. Yeah, leaving people better off for having met you. Yes. So that brings me to my next question. Because what it sounds like what I hear when you say, hey, there's a lot of fear based tactics to sort of get people to do things I want to ask you is that the difference between influence and manipulation?

Chris Hadnagy:

It is for me, okay, is for me, that's exactly the difference. And if I can even answer that by telling you a story, please let me So one of the ways that I've outlined this in the book that this kind of really hit me, is the first time we got a first class upgrade on Virgin Atlantic, we were in London, and we were flying home. And I just said to my wife, I want to see if we can get an upgrade, you know, want to see and we enter the airport, we walk up to the ticket counter, there's a really nice woman there, she's smiling, she's happy. I had told the joke before we got up there. And she had laughed. And if the joke wasn't to her, it was just out loud. And she laughs I thought, okay, we have a happy person here. Now, my wife is just naturally like a really friendly person, just a really great kind person. And she looked at this woman and her makeup was done perfect. And it matched her scarf and the Virgin Atlantic people wear these really bright purple pink scarves. And she was just going off, and this wasn't planned. This was just happening. She's going off, tell her how beautiful she is, and our makeup matches. And now the social engineering, he sees this woman is smiling from ear to ear, all of her nonverbals are relaxed, her chest puffed out, or chin had went up, you could tell there was high confidence, really good emotional feeling. And I'm like, oh, man, this is great. And then the social engineering, he says we can use this. But now here's where the influence manipulation part. So my wife became the very best friend of this woman now. So if I wanted to manipulate, I can tell her the story. And it was a real story. Like, hey, we're, you know, we're here in the UK, because one of my friends lost relatives. So we're here for a funeral. And we've had a really long, three weeks, and you know, we just want to fly home. I'm wondering, is there any chance you could upgrade us? Now, that sad story mixed with these really positive emotions that my wife just built, may make this woman feel obligated to give us an upgrade. And I thought that's manipulative, because she's gonna either be forced to say no to her new best friend, or forced to give us the upgrade to keep that good feeling going. principles that Cialdini teaches of commitment and consistency, that woman will want to stay consistent with the commitment of her brain feeling good. So she'll make the choice. So I said, How can I use influence here? So what I did is I said, Look, I know we probably can't afford it. But I'm just curious, can you give me the price that it would cost to upgrade to even business class or first class or Premium Economy? You know, just give me the price. And that woman just looked straight at my wife type type type type starts typing, and then she leans in close to my wife, not to me, I'm the one who asked the question, right. This is her best friend. And she goes, I'm giving you a present today, all three of you are getting upgraded to first class. Oh, damn. Now Eileen, and I go, I don't think we can afford that. She goes, it's a prison. And she gives us that. So now, after analyzing the story, right, analyzing that. I said that's between influence and manipulation. See, the whole time she had a choice? If it wasn't possible, she could have said, sure the price to upgrade is $11,000. A person? Yeah, right. Or she could have said, I really can't there's no upgrades for you. But either way, the answer would not have made her feel bad about us. Because we gave her the out by saying we probably can't do it. But if we can, can you let us know how much it costs? So she was left with a choice?

Laura Khalil:

Chris? I'm only traveling with you from now on.

Chris Hadnagy:

Okay, we could write because I'll tell you the ending of that is we tried that six more times. And it worked for at a six shut up?

Unknown:

Yes,

Chris Hadnagy:

it worked four out of six. The key factors just so you have to know in case you try it. Okay, here we go. You have to find a real reason to compliment the person. Yes. Right. So the two times it failed. We were in a wr in Newark. And the person behind the counter was just having a rough day. And they were mean and they were rude. And my wife could not find something to compliment them. She just couldn't. So it was not a real compliment. Things like, looks like you're having a rough day. I hope it gets better not enough to validate and to create the dopamine that the person needs, right? So when we can't make a real compliment, then we found that didn't work. The second thing is is you have to have the ability to give them a choice. So one of the times it didn't work, there really was just no upgrade path and to do it, it was going to cost way too much money and they offered it to us. I said yeah, we are here. Here's the upgrade, you know, she said it was something like you know, it's $1,000 a person and we can give you a discount If you want, you know, like, maybe I can give it to you for like $500 a person, we just didn't want to do it right? It was like 1700 bucks. So we just didn't do it.

Laura Khalil:

There's a couple things you mentioned, the first is giving a choice. So when you gave that example, is the choice. Hey, I know we probably can't afford it. But could you tell me what it is?

Chris Hadnagy:

Yeah. Can you tell me the path to upgrade? Like, how much would it cost? Now the choices I didn't say to her? Can you give me a free ticket? Right, which is what I wanted. I said to her, can you tell me how much it cost to upgrade? So now her choices? No, there's no upgrade? Or Yes, here's the price. Or let me do something nice for you and give it to you for free. So she has a choice between multiple avenues to either help us or not, but any one of them is her choice. She doesn't have to feel bad about it. So you're manipulating. I'm not manipulating where if I say to her, look, we've had a really hard week. And the way you can make this week better you like in essence, what you're saying is the only way you can make this better, you're the only person who has the responsibility to make this amazing woman who just complimented us life better is by giving us an upgrade. Can you do that? Are you a nice enough person to do that? Even though you won't say all those words, that's the feeling right now, her choices? I'm gonna be really rude and horrible and say no. Or I'm gonna say yes and feel guilty about it, because I did it. And you really want to write and either way, she does not feel better for having that us. So by giving her the choice, she feels better its influence, and we got what we want out of it.

Laura Khalil:

Once this world opens up more, Chris, I'm gonna be trying that out. You're gonna hear from me? I can't wait. I want to know. So you mentioned another thing, which is the release of dopamine, you talk about this in the book, when we build rapport with people. We're helping them release those feel good chemicals. Can you tell us a little bit more about building rapport, the dopamine effect? Why this is important? Yeah,

Chris Hadnagy:

yeah. So there's two chemicals that are super important to this process. A dopamine is one which is a reward molecule. So when we do something we like, when we were intimate with somebody, when we eat something that we enjoy, drink, something we enjoy, get a feeling that we like get a compliment, our brain releases dopamine that says, hey, that felt good, here's a little happy drug for you. And your brain gets rewarded by giving you that chemical. The next thing that gets released is something called oxytocin. And oxytocin is a molecule that builds trust and rapport, very heavily released, like when a mom is breastfeeding a baby, this intimate moment, they're very close to each other in physical space, their eyes lock, there's this connection, not just physically, but psychologically, they found that oxytocin is surging through both of their brains at the same time, and it creates that bond that mom bond with their child that is unbreakable. Right? But it happens also, when two people are intimate. And I'm not just talking sexual. I'm talking like just two friends. Yeah, we probably had a we got on, we smiled, we laughed, we joke with each other. Yeah, you know, we both got rewarded with dopamine and oxytocin. So now, think of it this way, an hour from now, after we're done with this podcast, I go to LinkedIn, and I find you and I see your picture, my brain is gonna go, Laura, I like her man, she was cool. And it's going to reward me again, with dopamine and oxytocin, which will confirm that you are a good person, and I like you. So report with those chemicals is important. And it's only built when it's positive, not when it's negative. So when you make that positive connection, then the brain rewards us for having done kind things or receiving kind things from the people we feel rapport with. So dopamine is, you know, again, a chemical that when released, it builds a lasting connection between two people, which is why if you break trust, it's really hard to build back.

Laura Khalil:

So you mentioned your wife building rapport in that story by genuinely complimenting the woman who worked at the airline. Yeah, what are some other ways that we can in very genuine ways build rapport with others?

Chris Hadnagy:

Yeah, that's a really nice question. So if we think about the world today, right, so just just the way people communicate, we are argumentative, and violent, almost. And if you don't believe the same thing I do, I have to hate you. I can't just disagree. Your worth as a human is based on my viewpoints of your viewpoints. So think about how validating it is, if I can just go into a conversation thinking this to myself, What does Laura need out of this conversation? Not what do I need out of it? What does Laura need out of this conversation and I'm going to do my best to provide what you need out of this conversation. You're going to feel that now I'm saying it now because you don't have to say that at any point in time. And I should never say because that ruins report even at the end that shouldn't go well. Laura gave you everything you want for this conversation because I'm pretty awesome. That takes away all the good feelings, right? If I say if I just say that to myself, and Then I do it. As the conversations going, you're like, wow, this guy really is like he's given me any like, I really like talking with him. It's a great conversation. And now your reaction to me will be filled with positive emotions. And it's cyclical, right, we'll go back and forth returning this. So one of the best ways we can do it is just that our thought process, enter a conversation thinking about the other person, not yourself. And you will be amazed at how it changes your communication style. How have you gone to a conference with everybody, go into it with your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, girlfriend, your kids, your boss, your employees? Right? So I think of this as an employer, I have 20 employees, and I go into an I need someone to make a change, they're not doing the job, right? So I can walk in and go, listen more you work for me, I need you to step up because you're not doing the job, right. And if you don't get it together, we're gonna have problems. Maybe you'll comply because you want the job. Right? And maybe I'll get compliance and it will be okay. But I'm not going to get loyal compliance, right with the kind of veiled threat. But if I say, Okay, what is lower want? Well, man, you know, she's been really tired lately. One of her family members got COVID. And she was really sad for a while. Maybe she just feels like to overwhelmed. Right? Maybe I come in and I start the conversation off with, you know, Lord, tell me about what's going on lately and how you been? And then you tell me all of that. And you've been really worried about your mom, she's been sick. And it's been really bad for you, and you can't go see her because of the restrictions and that depresses you. And you just kind of felt lonely like, oh, man, that explains a lot, you know, what can we do to make it better? So that way, the work stress and your life stress don't collide, because it's impossible for them not to be in the same. So maybe we could lessen your work for a couple of weeks give you a little break? Or do you want to take some PTO. Right now, what I'm going to get is a person who feels so motivated to work hard for me because they feel cared for that when they do come back or whatever they get from that conversation is going to validate them extremely. And you want to build strong and lasting rapport, and you do that you have one of the best employees you'll ever have.

Laura Khalil:

Chris, you're talking about empathy? Yes, empathy for other people empathy for when you go into a conversation, putting yourself in their shoes, what are they looking to get out of this? What can I offer them? what might be going on in their lives? We all know, actually, we don't all know. But there is research that strongly corroborates what you're sharing around the value of empathy within organizations, with our friends with leading with that curiosity rather than condemnation. There is a line in the book that I circled and highlighted. And I don't know if anyone else has told this to you. But this was like a major light bulb going off, you wrote, and I quote, in many situations, you can elicit emotions in others by expressing those same emotions in yourself. Okay, I just want to like throw the headset off and drop the mic. Because most of the time when we go into a conversation, and I'm angry, or I'm hurt, or I'm mad, what I guess I don't realize or I don't think of is, wait a minute, I'm eliciting that in the other person by showing up that way. Tell us more about that.

Chris Hadnagy:

So there's multiple things at play there. First, we have a group of neurons in our brain called mirror neurons. And mirror neurons only job is basically to look at you start to analyze your nonverbal and to determine what it is that you're portraying to me because then we could become a tribe. Right? So if I see happiness, it's kind of like, think of it this way. You're walking down the sidewalk, you look inside of a restaurant, and you see a group of people sitting there laughing. And you find yourself smiling. Well, why? It's not because you know their joke, but you know what they're laughing at. You smile because you saw other people smiling. Or you walk past another window, and it's a funeral parlor and you see a bunch of people crying, and all of a sudden you feel sad? Well, it's because you see them sad. So those mirror neurons trigger the emotions you see. The second thing at play, is when we talk about eliciting the emotion is that usually when we enter a conversation, like I was saying before, is we entered very one sided. So it's what do I want out of this, and I'm gonna portray the emotion I think I need to to get what I want. And that could be very devastating, right? So I'm going to give any of the husbands here that listen to this podcast, the biggest secret on the planet Earth. Like my wife loves this so much that she started bragging to all of her girlfriends about this. Now all of their husbands are calling me asking for this advice. It's the simplest thing on the planet. About four or five years ago, I figured out that my wife has two modes. When she comes to talk to me. She either wants me to just shut up and listen. Or she wants a solution. So when she comes in, angry, upset, whatever, I say hey, before you start, I have one quick question. Is this a listen conversation or solution conversation? And she tells me, this is just a listen conversation. Now I sit and actively listen. And don't let my brain go. Because when she says it's a solution conversation as I'm listening, I'm coming up with answers. Right? Now the big secret. That's what I tell all the guys, that when she says it's the listen conversation, don't become a solution provider. Right? So

Unknown:

what I'll do

Chris Hadnagy:

is guys want to do, that's what they want to do all the time. So I'll literally just listen, when she's all done. Usually what she'll say is because I did exactly what she asked, she'll say, so do you want to say a solution or not? I said, Well, if you want me to, I can think of a couple. And then she like, Okay, go ahead. Now I got commitment from her to let me do it. Now I do it. But she got out of the conversation what she wanted, which was just someone to listen to her.

Unknown:

Yeah.

Chris Hadnagy:

So when we talk about your question about eliciting the right emotion, it's about literally understanding how a I'm going to enter the conversation, then B, how to communicate that properly to the other person, and then properly responding to the emotion I see on them. And it sounds like a lot, but it's not when you practice it, once you practice it, it actually becomes just part of the way that you communicate. And it feels better. It feels like you're onto a conversation, get more out of it, and it feels good.

Laura Khalil:

So for people who are walking into, let's say, a hard conversation, could be with their partner, their boss, I know that you give sort of a framework for walking through that. Can you tell us just what are some of the most important things to think about because typically people don't prepare? They're just kind of like, I don't know what to do. And I'm going to blurt something out. So what's a better approach?

Chris Hadnagy:

Yeah, so I talk a lot about using prepare, right? Using an acronym. I talk a lot about using pretexting as part of that, because it

Laura Khalil:

is that protects pretexting

Chris Hadnagy:

in a social engineering world, right. So in my work world, pretexting is the act that I'm going to put on to make the security guard believe I belong. So I'm the pest control guy. And then what the pretext is, is my clothing, my tools, my outfit, my attitude, everything about me should say Pest Control guy, right, yeah. But now, when you're talking about a real relationship, I don't want to have a fake pretext. So I'll give you a scenario. Let's say my daughter has done something that she shouldn't have done nothing terrible, right? nothing illegal, but she's done something in the house, she broke a house rule. So now I have two potential pretexts. Right. On one side, I have the ANGRY DAD who's mad because daughter broke a house rule. Yeah, the other protects his empathetic dad, who wants to understand why would she do that? So I have to decide before. And this is before I even say I'm going to speak to her. I have to decide before which pretext I'm going to stick with and I can't say I'll figure it out as I go based on her. No, no, no, that's the wrong thing. Many parents will do that. Many people will do that. I say, Okay, you know what, Chris, let's go with empathetic dad. Now, here's the hardest part. Now I need to stick to that protects the whole time, no matter what said. And if I find it impossible, I need to take my leave and complete the conversation on another time. Right? So okay, I enter the conversation with empathetic dad. So what does that mean? Now it means I have to think through the whole scenario. So when would be the best time for empathetic Dad? Well, my family and I, we eat dinner together every night. And eating dinner together usually is a time where we talk about the day we laugh, we joke. We try not to use their technology, if possible. It's not the time for discipline or serious conversation. So that's a bad time. When we're setting the table for dinner, bad time to because we're walking back and forth. Not really a time to focus. But you know what, every night I go into my daughter's room and I spend 30 or 40 minutes with her talking and we read or we talk about her day, or she shows me thing on her Instagram. And we just talk that's a good time for empathetic dad. Right? So I have to say now, because it may be burning inside of me. I want to know why she did this. I'm going to go attack it right now. But empathetic dad says okay, best timing is evening. So now I'm sitting on the bed and I say, Hey, Mike, I want to talk to you about something, you know, the situation where you did this thing. I need to understand why. Like, I know, you know, it's a family rule. I don't want you to do this. So can you just explain like why you would do that? Now if I approach it that way, no accusation. Like Why are you such a bad daughter? or Why did you do these horrible things? Or why would you disobey you? Obviously, don't listen to anything I say, you know, those things that parents may normally say, I'm more than likely to elicit an explanation. And let's say I don't let's say her answer is because right now, don't switch pre text to ANGRY DAD. Now I say, you know, honey, I think if I came to you, and you said, Hey, Dad, can I go with my friends this weekend? And I said no. And you said Why can't I and I went Cos you probably be pretty frustrated with me wanting you about that answer. And I'm telling you a real story is that she would say, yeah, yeah, I wouldn't. I said, so maybe you can try again to give me a, an answer that won't be frustrating. Like, why would you do that? Well, to my friends kind of pressure me into it. And I knew you wouldn't like it, but I thought maybe I can get away with it. Okay, so you fell for some peer pressure, and then you went into this chat room I didn't want you to go into and it wasn't the best scenario. So do you understand why I don't want you to go in there. Yeah, but your rules are stupid. Okay, I can see why you think that, right. But in that chat room, when I've been in there, there's lots of older boys wailed the new talking about various sexual things. And I just don't want you to be in that situation. As a young girl, I feel like it might be detrimental to you. And my job as your dad is kind of protect you from those things. So and then I feel like maybe I'm failing at doing my job, because I'm not protecting you from that. So tell me how we can make this work. Right? What are your ideas? Well, at the end of the conversation, we have a solution. Right. And now, it doesn't mean that there's no repercussions, she broke the rules. So maybe there's a grounding from the phone or something like that. But instead of screaming, yelling, and all of this, we had a conversation. And it's because I used a pretext and planning out how to implement that. And then use the right line of questioning. Even when I didn't get the answers. I wanted to build the proper type of engagement with my daughter that's using it not on a job. This is using the same skills but with my family.

Laura Khalil:

You know, Chris, what I love about that is one sort of the modeling of empathy. And to you Don't let your emotions run you, yes, you are in control. Even if you're a little hot or upset, you're still saying, hey, this isn't the right time, I want to find the right time to step into this. I want to find the right pretext. Because we all know, I mean, listen, I'm sure you grew up this way. I certainly did. Where our dad pops off and is like, What the hell are you doing? Yeah, and everyone shuts down. It's like, it's a recipe for shutting down. And so that seems like a much smarter approach.

Chris Hadnagy:

Then can I have one more thing? Yeah, because I do this all the time. You're gonna screw up as a parent, or an employer or a mate or a significant other, you're gonna screw up, right? So same scenario, she says something really snarky to me and I fly off, and I'm like, What the heck? Why would you say that? Like, that's really annoying. Now, what do you do? Well, I'll tell you, one of the best things you can do if you want to teach by example, is when it's all over, apologize. Apologize, even though choosing the wrong. It's, you know what, honey, I shouldn't have said when I said and I shouldn't have responded that way. Because I know that I was trying to get a point across. And by losing my patience, I really ruined that moment. And I'm really sorry, I did that with no explanation. No, I did it because you said this, right. Or I didn't mean to, but you were really rude. Those aren't apologies. Right. So apologies, I'm really sorry that I did that I should not have done that. I know better. I'm going to work better on it next time. And when I do that, what I see is not only true forgiveness, but then she's more willing to apologize to me next time she messes up,

Laura Khalil:

because you're modeling the behavior

Chris Hadnagy:

online to behavior I want to see.

Laura Khalil:

Yeah, I love that. Chris, I asked Robin Drake this question when he was on the show, and I suspect you'll have a similar answer. One of the questions I always get from audience members when we talk about human hacking or human behavior influence is, well, how do I know if someone's lying to me? People always want to know, what are the tells for lying? So can we talk about that?

Chris Hadnagy:

Yeah, it will be an easy answer. There are none. Right? There's no like lookup to the left, and you're lying or anything like this. Here's how you can truly tell deception first, and it's not easy. But here's what you can do you need a baseline. Right? So you need a baseline. So let's just say your baseline when I entered this big smile, you know, you're standing confidently, you have great facial expressions, you have wide open gestures. So there's your baseline right? Now, I say something that you don't like, and you become closed, right, your eyebrows go down and left smiling. Yeah, your close up now down. Yeah, that could be because you're cold. Right? That could be because you like standing that way. Or that could be because I said something that didn't make you happy. Now, I could make an assumption, but that would be the wrong way to go. So what I should do is if I'm really curious, is start to ask questions that may lead me to the proper answer. So maybe I say something like, Oh, yeah, man, when I get cold, I always and you're like, I'm so hot in here though. God, I gotta go change a sweater, put a T shirt, right? And now I'm like, okay, so it wasn't because she was cold. So now Could it be because I said something. And now maybe, you know, I start to look at Did you lighten back up? Is your face changed back to happiness? If not, maybe there's something between us. And then I have to determine is it appropriate for me to ask at this point? And it may not be right in this setting on this podcast if I noticed that it may not be appropriate anymore. What's wrong with you? What Why don't You look so angry, that may not be an appropriate

Laura Khalil:

question to me is very uncomfortable conversation on air.

Unknown:

Yeah. And then

Chris Hadnagy:

it would be really weird. So people don't think that way. They go, well, it's my right to know. So I'm going to ask, but sometimes it's not even when it's let's say, not on the podcast with your families sitting at the dinner table and you see somebody looking bad. It may not be the appropriate time to be like, Hey, what's wrong with you? Right, it may be better to pull that into a private conversation. So deception. I always tell people, here's what you look for. Look for baseline changes between comfort and discomfort. That's the first thing you look for. And then look for income ruined body language versus verbals. So nonverbals versus verbals. Right. So in that same situation, I'm saying to my daughter, you know, so did you go into that chat room? And she's like, No, I didn't do that. Well, her head is nodding. Yes. Voice is saying no. Now I'm starting to see Oh, maybe there's some intimacy now. Does that mean she's automatically lying? No, I need to find out more. So I'm confused them because I heard from another one of the girls that you were in that chat room, the one I asked you not to go in. Now? She does. Yeah, I don't really remember that. Oh, a single shoulder shrug tells me that you are not sure of the word you're about to say. See, so nonverbals will tell me incongruency. Now, does that automatically mean she's lying? No. But it means that there's something she doesn't want to tell me. Okay, so. So what I'm going to ask them that if I call Beth on the phone right now, if I just get her on the phone and I say, hey, I need to ask you the other night when you said you saw Am I in that chat room? Did you mean my Am I or was there another person that she's gonna tell me it wasn't you? Yeah. Now? Well, I don't know what she'll say. I'm not I'm not in her mind. I don't know what she's gonna say. You know, now we get a little bit of the anger. Okay, so let's call her now and find it. Okay. Okay. Okay. Don't I was there? You know? Yeah, I was there. Oh, okay. Yeah. Right. So but King for multiple queues, looking for multiple queues, and then proving it through questions, not accusations. Right. Because time you get accused of anything you get defensive. Right, right. So not accusations but with questions. Because if you come ripping in my office, and you say, Why the heck did you? You know, leave your clothes on the floor? Like, what do you think I am? your maid? Oh, my gosh, no, I don't think that but that's, that's really attacking. I didn't know I left it there. Oh, my, um, they were as opposed. You came in? And we're like, Hey, Chris, you know, when you're done with this meeting? Can you go in there and just pick up the stuff he left before I left stuff on the floor? Really? Oh, dang. I'm sorry. I didn't even see that. Well, now. You know, I didn't do it on purpose. But if my answer was, Oh, come on, you're my maid. Go pick it up. Now you have a right to be angry,

Laura Khalil:

we're gonna have a problem. We're gonna

Chris Hadnagy:

have a problem. Because my answer was disrespectful. Right. But if you come in and accuse me of thinking that when I don't, now we're gonna have a problem, because you accuse me of something that I don't think. But if you come in and say it the second way, I'll be like, I didn't even know I did that. I'm so sorry. I was, who knows I'm done with this. I'll go pick that stuff up. Now, you don't have to be angry because you realize it was just a dumb mistake. And I'm going to go fix it anyway.

Laura Khalil:

Chris, there's one thing you mentioned earlier on in our discussion that I want us to wrap up with, because it was that idea that if I don't agree with what someone says, I just don't agree with anything. I just can't talk to them. And we see this so much today in this quote, unquote, kancil culture, which I find incredibly alarming. I want to ask you, you know, how do you feel we're gonna find our way out of this?

Chris Hadnagy:

Oh, wow, that is a really great question and a very deep one.

Laura Khalil:

I know. But I mean, I feel like conversation is maybe the only path forward, I don't know how else we do it.

Chris Hadnagy:

But here's the interesting thing. So I agree with what you just said. My caveat to that is, conversation has to be willingly open ended on both sides. You know, like I just had, I just, I was giving a speech at a university, and I had this conversation with a group of, you know, 20 somethings. And it was an interesting thought process about how this generation that generation is maybe one of the most accepting generations that we've ever had in human history. They accept everybody for everything, almost, you know, like, despite like people who are horrible, you know, violent criminals, but they accept you for whatever preference, belief, sexuality you have. But here's the but unless you don't agree with that system, that you can be anything you want. If you're old school, where you think there are just male and female, there's just, you know, zeros and ones. Yeah, then you are a racist. And say, oh, but wait, I'm not. I'm just really old school. I just don't understand that I'm not a racist, and I don't hate people for it, it'd be different me holding a sign saying, you know anyone sure not a gender is wrong or something that's a horrible person because you're hating another human. So how do you fix that? Right? And I'm getting to your your answer, because I know it's long winded. But

Laura Khalil:

this is important because what you're talking about, it's actually very nuanced.

Chris Hadnagy:

Yeah. And because the thing is as accepting as they are, they're not willing to have that open conversation saying that you will accept my beliefs, even though they don't agree with yours. So how do we fix it? Well, I have to be willing, using myself as an example, to have an open conversation and realize that there will be people who are not zeros and ones, and that it's not made up, and that it's not fake. And that it's not an attention thing, that it is real, that they really, honestly feel that and I have to accept it. Right now, it doesn't mean that I have to agree with it. But I have to accept it, and acceptance and agreement, shoot him things. So I cannot agree with it, but accept it. But I don't have to try to convert you now.

Laura Khalil:

Right?

Chris Hadnagy:

So you come to me and say you don't identify as an agenda? Well, it's not my job to convince you that you are a woman. It's not my job to do that. I can just accept that and go, Oh, that's interesting. Tell me about that. How did you come to that conclusion? or What does that make you feel like, show genuine interest and how you got there? Right? And now that validates you? Yes, no need to try to convert you to my belief system. But what happens is in this world is that open conversation doesn't exist. There's always someone trying to convert someone to something. And it's, you know, you hate this politician, and then I have to hate you. You hate this belief system, then I have to hate you. And you know, there are very few things that we really should hate, you know, violence against minorities, women, children, you know, people who believe that, you know, like racists, you know, or whether you're ISIS or you're the Ku Klux Klan, right, or people who believe in demolition of whole cultures, yes, we can all agree that we probably need to hate them. But just everyday belief systems, why do we need to be so angry about it? So the fix is agreeing to have an open ended conversation, which is just so hard.

Laura Khalil:

It is so hard, it's so necessary, I think the tools you describe are very helpful in walking into those conversations. But to your point, both parties have to be open to saying this person's in a different system. I don't have to agree with this system. But it is wise, if I accept that that's their reality.

Chris Hadnagy:

And you know, what I think really helps is, because I want to clarify, one thing I said in that last answer is because when I was just replaying it for a second in my head, it can sound like what I'm saying is that that generation needs to fix the problem. So we can have an open communication. But here's the deal, each person needs to be self aware about themselves, not about the other party. So it is not my job in this conversation to tell you where you can improve so we can communicate better. It's my job to be aware of my biases, my potential prejudices and my weaknesses as a communicator. So I'm very direct, right? I'm a very direct communicator. For some people that worked really well. And for some people, they can look at me like a giant jerk, you know. So I have to be aware of that. My self awareness says, okay, Chris, if you're meeting with somebody, or talking with somebody that doesn't have the ability to handle that directness, you need to calm it down. Your answer can't be let's just deal with it. This is the way I communicate. So it's not my job in a conversation to make you a better communicator. It's my job to adjust. Now, my hope is, is that in this conversation, you will think the same thing about yourself. Because we're both entering this conversation. Management. Our first thing, I enter this conversation, what does Laura want Laura into this conversation? What does Chris want? Yeah, percent of this conversation, thinking about his weaknesses and his strengths and making sure that I keep them in check. Laura enters that thinking about her weaknesses and strengths, keeping them in check. Can you imagine the conversation we're going to have? Well, I'll tell you what it is, is the one we just had.

Unknown:

They did it.

Laura Khalil:

Chris, I think that's a great agenda. And you talk about that a lot in the book, you talk about disc profiles. And you know, you and I, when I read the book, I really had an affinity for you because I'm very direct. And I can at times really kind of be like that bull in a china shop who's like, Alright, let's go. Let's get it done.

Chris Hadnagy:

Me. Amen, sister.

Laura Khalil:

Yeah. So I was like, Oh, I get Chris. I know his number. I know what he's doing. But to your point learning, okay, how can I show up for this person in a way where they can be receptive. That's what we've been talking around all hour is how can I show up if they can be receptive to me and what I what I want and leave them I'm better off for it. Christmas has been so awesome. I just want to talk to you forever.

Chris Hadnagy:

I think I could think I can actually stay here for the day. And don't be like, Oh, well, it's like 5pm. Well, we just had, I was talking.

Laura Khalil:

Chris, do you have any final takeaways for the audience?

Chris Hadnagy:

Practice empathy. That is a thing. And I say practice it. Because in this world, I feel it doesn't come naturally. So takeaway is practice it in everything you do. Think about the other person. And I guarantee you, you will see more great things come to you in your life by thinking about someone else, and it doesn't sound like it should be logical, but try it right back to me and tell me how well it works. Because you will be amazed at how well it works in your life.

Laura Khalil:

I love it. The book is human hacking, Chris, where can people go to learn more about you the book? Where should we send them?

Chris Hadnagy:

So if they go to human hacking book calm, they can find out more about the book and there's a wonderful resources section there that if you log into it has all these worksheets and stuff that you can use. I'm reading the book on Twitter, I'm human hacker. And on LinkedIn, you can find me just under Chris had naggy and any one of those ways I would love to communicate with you and chat with you and keep the conversation going.

Laura Khalil:

Chris had naggy thank you so much for joining us on brave by design. I want to thank you for joining me and remember to subscribe to your favorite app so you can stay up to date. And I would love your review. If you've enjoyed this episode. Please leave a review and comment on Apple podcasts. You can also keep in touch with me online. You can find me on LinkedIn and I'm also on Instagram at force of badassery. All that information will be available in the show notes. Until next time, stay brave