Robin Dreeke: ...that the secret to success is being a resource to others
Welcome to. Nobody told me I'm Jan black and I'm Laura Owens with us on this episode is Robin Drake, former head of the FBI's behavioral analysis program and a recognized expert in the field of interpersonal communication. Rob is also the founder and president of people formula an organization that offers advanced report building training and consultation. And Robin is the author of several books including the code of trust and American counter intelligence experts, five rules to lead and succeed, Robin, thank you so much for joining us today. I'm really talk to you about you the former head of the FBI counter intelligence behavioral analysis program. What exactly did that job entail? It sounds very interesting. You know when you first do anything, it sounds like it's really complicated and that's kind of where everything originated from. So the job really tailed, you know, working with case agents, you know, especially across the field in the FBI that worked out our intelligence and they come to requests on their cases. You know whether they need a strategy for trying to recruit a spy or w agent operation or interviews strategies or false flags, all hoop, he spooky spice stuff, which is still very live and well, you know, it can seem like it's an overwhelming daunting things like, how do you do all these different things on it took a step back years ago a number years ago and try to co fight it because someone else to write an article about it. What I quickly realized was all it was strategizing every time we did a consultation or anytime I worked any of my own cases started rising trust, honest, genuine trust with no manipulation deception, just trust. Because everything life that happens, whether it's at home or work or anywhere is based on relationships and so that that's the bottom line of what I was actually doing. So everyone thinks you know, or might think that the world of counterintelligence or spies Burstein. I've is all this deception and everything. Some might do that, but I've found the most successful ways forward in life, whether it's at work or home with your children or in any job is to have good healthy relationships. And that's always based on trust. But how do you become an expert in terms of behavior analysis. I mean, one question. So I'll tell you and an expert is that's always a relative term because I consider myself practiced, I guess, as to put expert, you know, thank you. It's very flattering in my own case, here's how I sucked at it. You know, being self centered Taipei, narcissistic moron. When you're twenty years old and then placed in the jobs that I've had where really took inspirational leadership to execute them, you can buy that would being surrounded by some fantastic experts on on relationship building and having thankfully enough humility to know that I was doing something wrong and then just and then it comes down to. I mean, I've been with the government over thirty years, you know, with the FBI twenty one years and day in and day out my job every day was to build relationships with people. And I, I was considered the one of the most challenging sales jobs in the world because I was selling the concept that helping protect the national security nited States. Great idea. And I'm trying to sell the people that don't believe that. And there's no reason why they haven't talked to me. So it's, yeah. So that was really is just years of continually to try to figure out what these. Awesome people were doing and what inspired you to write the code of trust kind of goes back to what I said at the beginning. Whereas, you know, I had written a number of articles for journal called the law enforcement bulletin and back in twenty thirteen. The editor had asked me to write an article on counterintelligence never want written a specific counter-intelligence article, and I was really asking myself what can actually right? Because you know, some of the stuff is classified and you can't really share it. And I said, and I really hit me, oh, let me write about what my team does. My behavioral team and I'd never really step back and horrified it before because I just figured we came in, we listened to some what the case agents were saying about the people that they wanted interact with. And we came up with some adjusted great ideas by the end of the day. But when I took that step back and thought about the, you know, hundreds of Cessna's I'd done, you know, running the team in both in my own career. That's when it hit me that all. I was ever doing what's driving trust. And I, I came up the five septa trust, which was what I was doing every time I thought about a challenge of communicating with someone and I call it my my, my new car affect and why new car, we'll because when you buy that new car also and you start seeing that same make model as you're driving down the road everywhere. And so as I soon as as soon as I started giving the labels of meanings to all the behaviors that I was doing, I seen it everywhere. So it wasn't just that worked. It was. I mean, my son, he's eighteen and at the naval academy sons and my daughters, George Mason University for nursing, and we my whole family and all my friends. All we all live by this code of healthy relationships through trust. And so the code is based on five simple principles the first being suspend your ego, why is that important? Because the code is actually flawless. Nothing. I came up with what I call the elusive obvious. It's it's how people wanna be treated and. People are seeking to be affiliated with meaningful groups and organizations, and they wanna be valued, and we wanna do this generally every day, but our ego and vanity or own security overwriting what comes out of our mouth throughout the day. So if we have the ability to recognize when we're being to centered on self sharing too much of our thoughts opinions than ideas without regarding those of others, it's going to get in the way. And so being able to spend Rio and truly doing for others without expectation reciprocity. So you're doing it for their benefit and not necessarily yours. That's both leadership and suspending ago. What are some good icebreakers when you meet someone and how can you make a good impression with them? There's there's four critical things that I try to include and everything either say right to make sure that everything I say is completely about the other person, and that is, I think there's an opinions when you seek someone's thoughts, opinions, you're, you are demonstrating to them that you actually Dow you them and you wanna affiliate with them. The next thing I do is I seek to understand what their priorities are. There needs lawn streams, aspirins, what kind of challenges they're dealing with and basically how they view prosperity from their point of view. Because again, if you're not talking in terms of what the priorities of other people are the chances them listening to you are slim to none. The next thing I do in this is critical. Also, I'm going to validate those thoughts and opinions and those priorities non-judgmental doesn't necessarily mean I agree with them. It's just means validate means I'm seeking understand how do they come to be the people. They were the person. They were the choice. And they've made and do that non-judgmental. But for a desire to understand because, again, all these three things so far are rewarding their brain with dopamine because it says, I'm part of the tribe. I'm being affiliated in our brain rewards us chemically for these kinds of -ffiliated. And lastly, if appropriate, I empower them choices. So in other words, people don't like being told, what do they like having a choice and taken the time to understand what it is I'm trying to do, and I've definitely taken the time to understand what they're trying to do their priorities. And ultimately, when I give choices, these choices are going to be overlapping. And so again, it's going to be very good for them, and that's how I basically communicate. And in the cornerstone of that, you heard me say at once, but a great icebreakers is those challenges questions. And what I mean is apple what their challenges are. How important is he using a slower rate of speech when you're talking to someone and trying to build trust. Very important and as an extrovert from the northeast, I struggle with this. Which is really funny because for me right now, I know him probably talk and really fast, but I'm actually slowing way down for me. It's important and caveat this. It's important, slow it down for the demographic and what you're speaking. 'cause you don't wanna be too divergent. You know the words. You don't wanna be an xer from the northeast while you're trying to speak with someone from the deep south. It might be too divergent, but you wanna basely slowdown enough. So people understand the words you're saying the meaning of them and your pronunciation of otherwise. If you start talking to fast, it gives that impression of overselling and overselling starts at Troy, destroying trust. Did you know that eighty eight percent of financially successful. People read at least thirty minutes per day. 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Another three hundred people before yesterday. First of all, for me, it's pretty simple. Having a lot of self awareness and no one really stink at so you can start out with self deprecating humor is fantastic because I think people recognize elements of that in themselves, you know, especially when they're younger or less mature in their interactions with people. So I do that a lot. And when I also do is so I, you know, I go through the anecdotes and background of where the coda trust came from. And then I actually show Email exchanges our, I demonstrate how I use this method of communication with people, so you can see what I written composed, and then you can see the reactions and all I do, and every sentence is state. I just highlight how that is about them and not about me how truthful non-manipulative and that it's providing them, you know, resources to take. Care of their priorities, and so I do those. But the next thing I do is I show them from every aspect of my life. I show wellness for more. I do this at work. I show interactions in dialogue between myself and my children, and my children's teachers at school strangers that Email me questions that they say, how do I deal with this kind of situation. So I tried to hit as many different walks of life as possible. But I do use my children a lot when I when I do this because I think everyone can relate to either being a child having children, having nieces and nephews, and I can't, you know, my my, my family's a big part of my life. So cutting that out is impossible. So I think that's a pretty big unified thing when I when I share this, you say it's often harder to trust people than it is to love them. Tell us more about that. Often harness crust in the low. Sometimes I, I wonder what I say too. Well, actually, this is going to bleed a little bit into what I'm currently working on. My next book is called, who can you trust? And the first thing I do when when discussing a trusting others is redefine what trust actually is the and this. This'll go back to your question. I price the trust. People will often associate with themselves when they're Sesing. Others is liking someone as well as their morals and ethics. So someone thinks that because they think someone has their similar morals and ethics and they like them that they can trust them. But what actually trust does is trust is actually very specific things, and it's actually predictability is what you're trying to do. And so what I mean is so because you like someone and you agree with their moles and ethics, that means you have, you might even love them, but does that actually mean that you can actually trust them. Mm, or reasonably predict what they're going to do. In other words, he's a great example. You can trust a stranger coming down in the opposite side of the road that's across the road and hit you because he has repeated patterns of behavior coming at you that he's not crossing the double yellow line. So you trust and not to do that. It's very specific skill set. Does that mean you like him? No doesn't mean you'd leave your kids with him? No, but it's very specific and so similarly, like I'm deeply in love with my wife. We've been married over twenty five years. I, I love her. I, I say morals and ethics that we share. We have great liking and loving each other, but I'm a pilot. She's not a pilot. I would not throw her the keys to the plane and trust her to have plane because she has. She does not have reasonable skill sets and predictability for those types of things. So that's where I think we it's important. I think that. The distinction, because if you associate what people can reasonably do with liking them entrusting them and when they let you down and things that they fall short on what they can do, it's gonna hurt your relationship if you liked them together. That's why I keep them very separate. I keep the liking love and and all those emotions very, very healthy. And then I reasonably predict from behaviors, past patterns, behaviors, and all these other signs that I'm working on, I keep them separate so that can actually manage my own expectations. So we keep a great healthy relationship on both sides. And what if you found are the most effective strategies to repair relationships? Trust has been really broken. That's that's one of the I was hoping you'd have the answer. I do. I do have the answer, and people are generally don't like it because it's not easy. So here's what you have to do. So if someone loses your trust or what is basically happened, there's been the -ception of some kind in general. You know where there has been a lack of transparency. There's some sort of maybe an attempt of manipulation of thoughts or controls time, something like that. In order to regain trust, you have to be willing to do the following things. I the the person that has lost trust in new. You have to give them complete control and transparency in the areas that they have decided they need transparency in your life, whether it's cell phones, text messages, emails, the credit cards, business schedule, any of these areas because in order for them to get trust back, they need to have it full Transpac. Insanity in the areas that they decide they need it as frequently as they say they need it and it's gonna take as long as they say it's gonna take tax repair if you're willing to give up that much control over that many things and be that patient good for you, but otherwise don't blow trust because you have to, you have to give complete control and transparency over to the person and then hope you can eventually repair it. What's your advice if you have to deal with someone, you don't trust and I can imagine in the FBI this happened a lot of times for you. I making very specific kind of goes back to what we're saying before. Trust trust me isn't blanket. Trusted to me comes very specific. There's there's everyone that I work with. I admire nearly I have great people that are great patriots that do a great many things to protect national security, and but I'm very clear on their skill sets. I'm very clear on their competence in certain areas, and I know what I can reasonably expect any cheese areas. And so where I do is I manage my expectations on in on each individual ideal with on what I can rues me expecting all these things. And so now if what happens at some point, if someone lets me down or I, they fall short of something that they either obligated themselves or expected them to do the first thing I do. I take ownership of it because I must have had, you know, I, I will do a full assessment of where was I off on my reasonable expectation on their skills that where. Where did I not provide them the tools and resources to be successful. Now, if I did all those things and they still fell short, then then it's a different conversation of all right. Maybe we're just don't have overlapping priorities and we don't have same interest anymore. So we know we'll have a discussion on, well, maybe we should part ways and move on. But I take a very pragmatic approach these things where I don't get hurt feelings. I don't have resentment anger, discontentment frustration with people because as soon as you start having those emotions, you going down the road to an unhealthy relationship, and you start acting with lack of clarity and clarity is really important so that you recognize the great opportunities that we all have and the resources we all have and how we all want in Iraq. So I try very, very hard to understand what people can do, give people the resources to do what they can do, and, and for myself, I do the same thing to others. You know, I have. I, I'm, I'm trying to be extremely mindful. I'm I, I'm very transparent and open with my skills what I have, what I don't have, so they can. So I can help others manager speculations of me as well. I thought this was absolutely fascinating. I'm a millennial and I feel like my generation is absolutely obsessed with titles and getting his high up in a company as quickly as they can. But you say the titles aren't quite as important as I thought they were. Why are they not as important when it comes to help people respect a leader. People really don't care about titles and positions care about how you treat them more than anything else. So titles and positions designate who is responsible in cannibal for things. But ultimately, you know, you're gonna follow someone and wanna be around people that again, they demonstrate affiliation to meaningful groups and organizations and decorated how your values because I'm I've, I done jobs. I followed titles jobs earlier in life because I thought they were important. But ultimately I wanna following the people in where they went because I wanted to continue to be around those people because they made you feel good about who you were. They made you feel good about the mission that made you feel good about the things you're doing and made. And most importantly, they made you feel good about who you were not food. They were say that from time to time people, you don't trust temporarily at least half power over you, but that doesn't last long. Why why not? Mostly probably because as soon as. Someone SARS exercising power over you. That's that's a form of control and control. Generally will again control if it's if it goes into the unhealthy words manipulative in some way where they're using some sort of the -ception or lack of transparency, it I, it starts wreaking of unhealthy to me and I just don't do unhealthy relationships. I don't. So I will. So people ask me this all time. So Robin, someone's got really great skills like this and they come at you. How do you, how do you counter manipulation and which is very similar your question? I think and I say it never happens. How's it? Never happened? So we'll because relations a form of control and using the step Shen in some way or subterfuge and and everyone gets this if people have questions about why someone wants to do something, or they're looking for clarity on rationales reasons or the direct role going, and someone's not giving that kind of clarity and transparency and openness. Well, that's unhealthy. And so if I'm going for those things and they're having a lack of transparency player and a sense of teamwork on this, then I just I asked them for it if they don't give it, I'll walk away with no animosity there for whatever reason that's who they are today. They're having a bad day and if they're having a better day tomorrow. Okay. Okay, but if not just won't engage. I 'cause I refuse to allow people to bother me because if people start bothering me, then I get emotional hijacked. And again, that lack of clarity of interaction and healthy goes away. I'm curious to know what you think the best strategies are to develop good listening skills. Another another great. When I talk about I'd love is it's having exactly nothing to say. That's probably and here's what I mean. So human beings when we're interacting what we're actually doing unless you're at a situation where you're standing there as investigators, they just the facts ma'am. And you have used bullet list of questions, but in general human beings, what we're doing is we're sharing our thoughts, opinions, anecdotes stories with each other. 'cause we're seeking that affiliation were seeking that tribe, mentality where seeking to be accepted for who we are thoughts and opinions. So and they did a study at Harvard back in the April of twenty twelve where they found on average people share the thoughts, opinions, and ideas that they have roughly forty percent of the time during the day. And what they're doing is when we're doing this, we're testing the accent me I am. And then when we get the head tilt, the nod smile the positive encourages or share even more because our our brain is rewarding this for rewarding us for that. And so in. As soon as someone shares their antidote story would do what happens in our brain within microseconds. We wanna share our stories again and those with them. And so it's just it's bad. It's his battle for time. And so what listening is very, very simple shutting up is different if you want. Some people think that if I just keep my mouth closed, that's that's listening. No, it's not because you're still thinking about the things that you wanna say. 'cause your brain is screaming after what listening actually is as the active act of taking the thoughts appears that idea that you can't wait to share back with them and tossing out your brain. Paying attention then to the things they're saying because everything they're saying is important to them and then pick one any of those topics because all topics are opened and find out, you know, how did you decide to do that? When did you side? Is that what kind of challenges along the way? Did you have with that? That's listening because what you're doing is you're paying attention to their words exploring day or soon beings without actually any need to interject your own. What do you think is happening to the one on one personal skills people had in the days before social media. Transitioned. You know, I, I know people I, I'm not a type of person. I don't think things are better worse or anything or anything like that. Whether it's generational, whether it's technology, I think things are what they are. I also think that you know, human beings been around a long long, long time. We haven't lost our genetic desire for certain things like affiliation and being valued by others. They just manifest in different ways. And so I think probably the the the, the skill sets at ages, I think might vary a little bit, you know, because you know when I was growing up, you know, I'm a gen xer hardcore generator born in sixty eight. So you know, no technology was existing when I was at that age level, the amount of jobs and everything I had and interacted with people. One on one was a lot greater at a younger age, one on one. But conversely. Really, you know, my children who are millennials, you know, they're doing vast amounts of interaction, you know, via texting Email with many more people than I ever did when I was one on one now, but there's a lot more misinterpretation because they don't have non verbals ago with as a motor cons, the share emotion. So there's there's great strengths, I think from being able to communicate with that many people. But there's some drawbacks obviously, because you're losing context until you can actually little later on in life when you actually maybe in positions wearing to work place and you are more one on one that they'll come up to speed. I really think it's job dependent though. I know better. No worse just gets in a transition, and I just had to ask, what is your favorite story from your time with the FBI. Oh, favorite that. So that's an interesting question. I'll bet you have a few. It's funny when you when you when you write books you you are, you are maize about how much you actually did when I don't feel like it did very much. I would say I was in New York are nine, eleven, and the, I wouldn't say it's a favorite story, but the the most I would say the most memorable time in in probably my life and not just the guy was the days in months, following nine, eleven in New York City. The what, what I witnessed was amazing. Not just amazing. You know, our office in Manhattan was only blocks away. I saw people jumping from the towers. I had an engine land, not too far from my car, but what was most amazing thing to me as you know with this fascination with human beings was the outpouring of people every day on the streets lining, the streets going down to ground zero with all these checkpoints. I've never seen so many volunteers. Mine tire life, and you had to go down with your windows open because they would flood your vehicles with water gas masks, homemade sandwiches, with notes from kids. In New Jersey. I mean, it was the outpouring of humanity and compassion that was probably the most impactful thing I've ever seen in my life and it was it was funny it that memory of the this collaboration of human beings doing all they could for each other. I wouldn't say it's it's a favorite, but his most impactful, no doubt and along those lines are show is called, nobody told me and we always ask our guests. What's your nobody told me less than what is it that you have learned over all of these years in the field of behavioral analysis that nobody could have told you. This is really easy for me, and people did tell me, but they didn't tell me how to do it as best way because I, I'm I, this natural drive and desire to to lead. I was naturally self-centered. I thought my I thought the way to get ahead was to make myself look, great grey cases, great behaviorist run piles and position. And when I folks on that, I had success success still your because like up and down all over the place. When I finally realized that the way to be successful and the way to have healthy relationships wasn't Senator focus on my success. When I started learning how to focus on being a resource for the success of others, that's when life started changing and Robin, how can people learn more about she wants social media? That's easy. So you could follow me on Twitter? It's our DR e e I'm on lengthen. You know, I, I go through. Erz you know, I love to re post science research basically on on mental health. You know, like easy. You know, you know how to maintain positive outlooks. How take care of people. My my my website is WWW dot people, formula dot com. A one word, and I'm pretty easy to get ahold of. So I I am freakishly obsessed with understanding Newman being and trying to be the best one I can. There's no doubt he's got great Twitter account. I was gonna say, I love the articles were posting. I read quite a few of those myself. Thank you. Yeah, thanks. I love them too. The under some great folks out there doing some great work and I and I love. I love frame it for everyone and tell us more about what people formula does in case people are interested in contacting you about that. Sure. So I do a few things. You know, I basically consult and I speak, you know, I do whether it's keynote speeches or can do up to six to eight hours of training as well where you get a full dose of death by Robin for eight hours. So can you, you know, I, I don't call it motivational speaking, although it's pretty inspirational, but I'm very much tool based. I love to share the tools berry. I call the allusive obvious about how you communicate effectively with human beings and it's good for I work with a lot of companies in the especially wealth management companies or people in leadership positions. Companies that have leadership programs about how to be a more effective leader to inspire people to action, inspire people to move forward in their own careers and collaboration, whether it's with internal off oaks or with external art. Thanks to Robin Drake whose latest book is called the code of trust in American counter intelligence experts, five rules to lead and succeed. I'm Laura Owens said, I'm Jan bland. You're listening to. Nobody told me thanks for joining us.