How to Boost Your Value Immediately: Listening With Your Body

We live in the midst of a crisis of listening. Most men don’t listen well enough, so if you choose to listen better, you boost your value. Show up and be deliberate in your listening and you’ll be more valuable.

Listening with your body means using your body language to communicate you are bring attentive and being conscious of what you are doing with your body can actually improve your ability to listen. Leaning forward, opening up your stance, furrowing your brow, all of these physical indicators communicate attentiveness. Remember, too, that what we do with our bodies affects our minds, so the benefit doesn’t go solely to the other person. Just think, do you feel differently when you stand up straight? Do you feel differently when you smile, even if you do not feel like smiling? Of course.  Likewise, if you position yourself to listen more carefully, you will find yourself actually listening more effectively.

Call to action: Today, choose three opportunities to deploy your body language to strengthen your listening posture. Lean forward, open up your stance, and communicate interest through your facial expressions. Note how what you do changes—or fails to change—the way the other person speaks. In all communication today, be deliberate and listen aggressively.

How to Boost Your Value Immediately: [Using a Slight Delay] The Golden Pause

We live in the midst of a crisis of listening. Most men don’t listen well enough, so if you choose to listen better, you boost your value. Show up and be deliberate in your listening and you’ll be more valuable.

The golden pause is what you do in a conversation when you give the other man a chance to say more of what he wants. We tend to rush a conversation. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we formulate a reply even while someone else is talking, which means we are missing valuable information. To change that, try this: make a deliberate decision to wait 3-5 seconds for the other man to add more to what he is saying while you listen carefully. Sometimes he will say more, sometimes he won’t, but either way, you are in a stronger position. If you’re like most of us, this pause will make you uncomfortable because we tend not to like silence. Using The Golden Pause serves many goods—it puts you in control, it slows the conversation down, it communicates self-confidence and is a good diagnosis of your own listening ability. The more uncomfortable you are with silence in a conversation, the more likely you should work to improve your communication skills.

Call to action: Today, look for three opportunities to insert The Golden Pause. Once you get comfortable with it, it becomes addictive because it gives you control and is very calming. In all communication today, be deliberate and listen aggressively.

How to Boost Your Value Immediately: [Learn to] Hear What You Listen For

We live in the midst of a crisis of listening. Most men don’t listen well enough, so if you choose to, you boost your value. Show up and be deliberate and you’ll be more valuable.

It’s true, we always find what we look for. A lesser known truth, though, is that frequently we hear what we listen for. If you aren’t listening specifically to hear something, you might miss it.  Think of the last time you listened to a favorite song. When was the last time you listened specifically to hear a particular melody within the song or a particular instrument in the band? If you listen for it, you’ll hear it. Now, this is assuming, I admit, that it is there, but when it comes to listening to people, there are some things you can always hear if you listen carefully enough.

Call to action: Today, look for three opportunities to listen for something good in any conversation. While it may not seem a valuable exercise, I assure you it’s the easiest way to learn to use targeted listening—the practice of learning for specific messages or signals another person may be sending, either intentionally or otherwise.

Be deliberate and listen aggressively.

How to Boost Your Value Immediately: Asking Open Ended Questions

We live in the midst of a crisis of listening. Most men don’t listen well enough, so if you choose to, you boost your value. The crisis of listening presents an opportunity for you to boost your value. Show up and be deliberate and you’ll be more valuable.

Open-ended questions are those that don’t have a yes or no answer. Here are some examples.

“How would you describe (whatever you are discussing)?” Or, “I notice you mentioned how much you enjoy swimming. Can you tell me more about that?”

Yes or no questions are questions like, “Will you be joining us?” or “Did you like that book?”

A Set Up is when you frame a question then ask it. For example, “We have been discussing the importance of rotating your tires regularly. As a former racing engineer, can you comment, please?” This communicates that you want his opinion and that you respect him. Importantly, it begs a detailed response. After you have asked a question in this way, listen patiently, listen carefully, and listen aggressively.

Call to action: Today, look for three opportunities to ask questions the listener can’t answer with a yes or a no. Ask “Why?” questions, “How?” questions, or any other form of question that encourages the listener to speak a little longer and open up a little more. Once you have asked an open ended question, listen for what you asked about. Be deliberate and listen aggressively.

How to Boost Your Value Immediately: Introduction to Crisis of Listening

We live in a world of haste. Add to this our eagerness to solve a problem and sometimes it means we don’t take the necessary time to understand a problem before we try to solve it. So, just as we have learned elsewhere, to be a better communicator, slow down. To be a better listener, slow down. To be a better problem solver, slow down. Slowing down to listen boosts your value. All men want to take action, so be that rare man who listens aggressively before taking action.


Call to action: Today, look for three opportunities to listen more carefully. Fight the temptation to solve any problem you are presented until you have taken the time—usually twice as long as you are used to taking—to understand the problem thoroughly. Time yourself. Be deliberate.

Crushing An Interview: Part IV, The Thank You

Bottom Line: A hand-written thank you note is always good, but one with a hook to a memory is even more powerful and impactful.

How it affects building a long-term relationship with the interviewer: You’re showing you pay attention to the details, that you ask good questions, that you follow-up, that you plan ahead and that you are courteous and gracious.

Main Points:

  1. Remember you’re playing at a higher level.

  2. Your goal is to build a strategic relationship; the job is gravy.

  3. Pay attention to the personal question you ask during the interview, remember the answer, then refer to that answer in the thank you note.

[From a Motel in Memphis] AM Gladius [Bonus]: How to get a stranger to watch your bags in an airport

Common sense tells us that most… MOST… anyone who has made it through security  in an airport is trustworthy. What do you do if you’re there at the gate with time to kill and you’re all set up to work or read and you want to get a cup of coffee or go to the men’s room without packing up all your things? How do you get a stranger to watch your bags? Here’s how. Befriend someone quickly and he’ll look out for you. The trick is to choose someone similar to yourself, make him laugh and don’t ask for too much. Just do something that will make him identify with you. Try this.

Disclaimer: Now, some paranoid security lunatics will tell you you must never do something like this. I’ll tell you this-- the most dangerous thing in the world is to think you can mitigate every risk. It profits you nothing if you walk around your whole life worried, fearing you can’t trust anyone. It is far more valuable to gain confidence in your ability to choose trustworthy men and then use that skill to enhance your ability to enjoy living in a dangerous world.

Crushing An Interview: Part III, The Venue

Bottom Line:  It’s important to recon where you’ll be interviewing.  The more you know, the more likely you’ll walk away with a win.

How it affects building a long-term relationship with the interviewer. Being at ease with yourself conveys confidence and value. It’s easy to be at ease with yourself if you feel you have an edge and researching the venue helps give you that edge. You’re on his ground, in his office, in his conference room, so know all you can about it.

Main Points:

  1. The overall goal is to play through the interview so that you achieve more than just the job itself, or even if you do not get the job, you secure the relationship, which can lead to other interviews..

  2. Be confident and comfortable, prepare thoroughly and know the venue as thoroughly as possible beforehand.

  3. Don’t overcomplicate it. This is a radical approach to a job interview and has many hidden benefits.

Crushing An Interview: Part II, The Message

Messaging is vital and there are messages in what you say, but also messages in how you say it.

Here are some messages to say directly: Communicate you know what they need from you, communicate you have an idea of what your competition is and how they may be strong. These demonstrate you have prepared and are willing to do your homework. Finally, ask the interviewer, “How are you on time?” This will let him know you are thinking of him and you are being courteous and respectful of his most valuable resource: Time.

Here are some messages to say indirectly. Communicate them by the way you speak: Respect for his time, by listening and not rushing. Ask if you have answered their questions. Five minutes before the time is up, say, “I see we have 5 minutes left. I’d like to add one more comment and then please let me know what I may have missed.” Communicate through your courtesy that they are in charge, that you listen, that you respect them. Communicate humility by asking well informed questions, then listen to the answer. Ask permission to take notes, saying, “May I write that down?”


Finally, project calm. In any high stakes transaction, the sophisticated salesman removes pressure as you both approach the decision point.  By doing this you communicate confidence and that you are master of your emotions.

Crushing An Interview: Phase I, Prepare

Making a bad  hire is an employer’s worst nightmare. While there is no perfect solution for the unknowns you may face in a job interview, prepare for 4 aspects of the interview to get a practical edge as well as to boost your self confidence. Your goal is not just to get the job, but to build a long-term relationship with the interviewer. So, cover these 4 aspects in your preparation:

  1. Prepare yourself. The clothes you wear are the first best indicator of your own good judgment and your goal here is to reassure the employer that you’re a good hire and that you have good judgment. Wear a tie if it’s appropriate to the culture. You’ll feel prepared if you know you look prepared.  This will help calm you and slow you down. This, in turn calms them. Preparing yourself means giving some thought to the clothes you wear and deciding what message is most important to send to the interviewer.
  2. Prepare the other. Do some research on who’s sitting on the other side of the table. Try plugging their name into www.instantcheckmate.com or ask a good friend to do a little on-line research on the interviewer. Even if you don’t use the information you find, you’ll feel the edge of having prepared if you know a little about them. Do research on the company, too, and what direction the company may be going.
  3. Prepare your message. No matter what questions the interviewer asks, plan on answering that question, but also have a message to send. For instance, if you are asked about your own strengths and weaknesses, which is a standard question to be asked, answer that question in the context of sending a message. If the message you want to send is that you could help with a social media ad strategy, say your strength is doing on-line research and that you study internet marketing in your spare time. Then, ask what the company’s social media advertising approach is. This communicates a message and then puts you in a position to listen, which is always powerful.
  4. Prepare for the venue. Do a dry run to wherever the interview will take place. Know the route you’ll take and how long it takes to get there. If it’s in a public place, go check out the room, the tables, the seats you may sit in. Since you know you’ll be nervous at the interview, do a few dress rehearsals. This is one more form of preparation that will help you feel more comfortable mentally.

How To Crush An Interview

While it’s true you interview to get a job or a position, there’s a way to interview that will give you benefits that outlast the interview itself. Use these interview techniques to build a long-term relationship that will benefit both you and the person on the other side of the table. In this Gladius, Shannon breaks the interview down into:

Phase I: Preparation (Yourself, For The Interviewer, The Message and The Venue)

Phase II: Conduct of The Interview (Questions you should ask, How to listen aggressively and intensively, Observations you should make and Controlling observations they should make, Body Language, and Follow-up Preparation)

Phase III: Follow-up (How to say Thank You, Referring back to the interview, Building a long-term connection)

From a Days Inn in Dallas: The Man On The Ledge [ALWAYS] Gets Sympathy

Part 7 of the 7 part series, “7 Ways to Build Rapport Quickly”

In this short [2 minute] video, Shannon shows how to win someone over and improve the communication experience for both sides.

If you say, “Hey, I’m on a ledge, can you talk me down?” but you say it slowly and with confidence, you’ll open the lines of communication. If you then admit, “I’m a guy who needs a lot of help,” you communicate the exact opposite of what most people think. You’re using the words of a victim but saying them from a position of strength. The effect is irresistible. Use these two phrases to build rapport over the phone and make an ally of the person on the other end.

A Sincere Compliment

Part 6 of the 7 part series, “7 Ways to Build Rapport Quickly”

We all like to receive compliments, but keep it sincere.

The Three B’s of giving a compliment are the same as The Three B’s of an Army briefing.  

The Three B’s are:

Be brief
Be brilliant
Be gone

Keep it short and hard hitting.

For a man, it's "Great tie,” or “Great suit.”

For a woman, “Great dress,” or “Great color.” Or, if you must ask permission, “May I pay you compliment?”  Then-- pay that compliment.

An Attitude of Gratitude

Part 5 of the 7 part series, “7 Ways to Build Rapport Quickly.” Nobody wants to help you when  you complain, but when you’re grateful you make others your friends. Learn, too, how to be grateful even when someone is helping a customer other than YOU.

 The Scenario: An IRS call center operator.

Key Learning Objectives:

  1. When you’re grateful everyone wants to help you.

  2. By saying thank you and calling attention to the other person’s skills, you make them feel important.

  3. Being enthusiastic in your gratitude energizes the other person and they will want to help you, especially if these are habitual relationships.

  4. Discover the funny power of “Next.”

Who's Your Supervisor?

Part 4 of the 7 part series, “7 Ways to Build Rapport Quickly.” This is the money shot. It’s short, powerful and direct. And, like the elbow (“100% effective, 100% of the time.”), it works every time… at least unless you’re actually talking to the supervisor, but then you ask for that person’s boss. The trick is to ask this question in the first 10-15 seconds of the conversation. Say it off-handedly, like this: “Before I forget, can you please tell me who I can talk to about the great job you’re doing helping me?”

The Scenario: An IRS call center operator.

Key Learning Objectives:

  1. Give them a reason to help you in the first 10 seconds.

  2. Bring value to get value.

  3. Combine the threat of a supervisor with something good, not bad.

  4. Boost your own self-esteem by helping someone else.

Empathize, Feel Their Pain

Part 2 of the 7 part series, “7 Ways to Build Rapport Quickly.” In this, the second of 7 short videos, learn how to empathize with someone so they will help you. All of these techniques work together and can work in any communication scenario. In this one, we look at how empathy humanizes us.

The Scenario: An IRS call center operator.

Key Learning Objectives:

  1. What’s rare is valuable. Kindness and manners are rare.

  2. If you are cheerful and upbeat when you start a phone conversation, you are helping yourself because you make the other person want to help you.

  3. A very empathetic compliment to pay someone is, “Ray, whatever they pay you, it’s not enough.” I assure you there are days when they don’t think they are paid enough, either.

  4. A very good way to get high quality help from someone on the phone is to say early in the conversation, “Ray, you are being so helpful. May I speak with your supervisor or his supervisor when the call is over to tell them how much I appreciate your help?” This will make the entire call go better. You will also feel great after delivering on that promise.

Slow Hand: Slow It Down

Part 1 of the 7 part series, “7 Ways to Build Rapport Quickly”

In this,  the first of 7 short videos learn the fine art of slowing down the conversation. All of these techniques work together and can work in any communication scenario. In this one, we look at slowing down the pace of the conversation.

The scenario: An IRS call center operator

The task: Humanize yourself with someone who may not like his job, who is probably presented all day with problems he cannot solve and who may not like  you.

Key Learning Objectives:

  1. The sophisticated communicator takes responsibility for both sides of the communication

  2. By slowing down you communicate control, courtesy, respect and  any compliment you pay is more powerful

  3. Remember that the person on the other side of the phone sees you as a faceless call until you humanize yourself.