Artwork for podcast This Shit Works
How to Unlock Hidden Value in Every Conversation with Certified Forensic Interviewer Michael Reddington
Episode 10510th August 2022 • This Shit Works • Julie Brown
00:00:00 00:46:53

Share Episode

Shownotes

This is the interview I have been waiting for, one that melds two of my favorite things. investigation and conversation. 

What if we are missing the hidden value in every conversation we are having? And what if the truth is hidden in plain sight? Listen in as I talk with Michael Reddington, a former professional investigator and Certified Forensic Interviewer to discuss how we can Unlock Hidden Value in Every Conversation we have. 


Drink of the Week: Easy Speak


Julie Brown:

Website

Instagram

LinkedIn

Youtube


Michael Reddington

Inquasive

LinkedIn


Sponsor

Nickerson


Transcripts

Julie:

Cielo true crime.

Julie:

Hands This is the interview I have been waiting for.

Julie:

One that melds, two of the things I am completely obsessed with investigation.

Julie:

And conversation.

Julie:

Welcome to episode 1 0 5 of this shit works.

Julie:

A podcast dedicated to all things, networking, relationship

Julie:

building and business development.

Julie:

I'm your host, Julie Brown.

Julie:

And today.

Julie:

I am joined by Michael Reddington, a former professional investigator and

Julie:

a certified forensic interviewer to discuss how we can unlock hidden value.

Julie:

In every conversation.

Julie:

This episode is sponsored by Nickerson.

Julie:

A full service, branding, marketing PR and communications agency

Julie:

with team members in Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and New York city.

Julie:

Visit them at Nickerson C O S.

Julie:

Dot com.

Julie:

In the years that Michael was a professional investigator, he

Julie:

observed how people acted before.

Julie:

During the commission of an after committing crimes.

Julie:

During this time he began studying non-confrontational interview

Julie:

and interrogation techniques.

Julie:

These techniques worked so well that he went on to achieve his certified

Julie:

forensic interviewer designation.

Julie:

Michael now takes what he learned in the interrogation room to help business

Julie:

professionals improve the outcome of every conversation they have.

Julie:

Michael believes there is hidden value in every conversation that often the

Julie:

truth is hidden in plain sight, but we miss it because we don't understand.

Julie:

The value of the clues that people display in every conversation.

Julie:

This is why Michael created what he calls the disciplined listening method.

Julie:

And I cannot wait to jump right in Michael.

Julie:

Welcome to the podcast.

Michael:

Thank you, Julia.

Michael:

I really appreciate you having me.

Julie:

So I do a lot of research , on my guests.

Julie:

So I've watched some of your presentations and read a lot on you.

Julie:

And I've heard you say that the best leaders and best interrogators capitalize

Julie:

on two core skills, those two core skills being vision and influence.

Julie:

Can you explain what you mean by that?

Michael:

Sure.

Michael:

And thank you for doing your due diligence slash investigation slash

Michael:

stalking your guests, whatever

Julie:

Yeah, it's a little bit of stalking.

Julie:

I'd be a real good internet stalker.

Michael:

Uh, but with vision and influence, it comes

Michael:

down to really two things.

Michael:

We'll do, we'll do the, obviously two things.

Michael:

But when I think about vision specifically, number one, it's

Michael:

getting beyond just a short-term tactical goal of the conversation.

Michael:

So all too often, if we go.

Michael:

The conversation.

Michael:

And we're thinking about just what we're trying to achieve now.

Michael:

Okay.

Michael:

That might work.

Michael:

But if we're not really paying attention to how this conversation can help us

Michael:

achieve our long-term strategic goals, how can we move our relationship and objective

Michael:

a project and opportunity forward.

Michael:

Then we're not really applying that vision.

Michael:

It's taking the blinders off and really elevating our mind's eye,

Michael:

looking down the road as we plan on engaging in our conversations and that

Michael:

influence, because I just had this conversation with the client, this.

Michael:

When we think about it, leaders in interrogators have more in common

Michael:

than they might like to realize, you know, anybody that's seen at least

Michael:

one episode of one law enforcement television show pick the billion

Michael:

that we've had in my lifetime is familiar with the Miranda warning.

Michael:

You, you have the right to remain silent.

Michael:

Anything you say can and will be held against you often is leader.

Michael:

We don't stop to realize that our audiences have been Mirandized as

Michael:

well, because a lifetime of working for other people has taught them

Michael:

that I also have the right to remain silent because anything I say might be

Michael:

used against me at any point in time.

Michael:

And I don't want that to happen.

Michael:

So when we talk about influence, yes, the ability to encourage people specifically

Michael:

from a communication standpoint, to encourage people, to share sensitive

Michael:

information in vulnerable circumstances, potentially in the face of consequences.

Michael:

So if we want somebody to say or do something, that's not initially

Michael:

their idea, that process of influence really becomes important and has

Michael:

all the listeners and really any level of leadership would know.

Michael:

And then we can do everything in the day.

Michael:

You know, we really have to trust other people and empower other people

Michael:

and influence other people to take the actions necessary to be successful.

Julie:

Do you think that we should have a vision or a desired

Julie:

outcome for every conversation?

Michael:

The high value conversations, the high value conversations.

Michael:

Yeah.

Michael:

Um, I mean, if, if you and I were just to meet socially, And we

Michael:

probably don't need to have a big strategic goal for that conversation

Michael:

other than to catch up socially.

Michael:

And if I'm back home visiting with family or catching up with friends, or even

Michael:

here, you're going out to dinner with a client tonight, you know that, I mean,

Michael:

that's, that's a social occasion, but for our high value conversations and people

Michael:

can choose what's high value to them.

Michael:

Is it business development?

Michael:

Is it a leadership conversation is an important conversation with the family,

Michael:

but if we're participating in a high.

Michael:

The conversation then yes.

Michael:

Having goals for that conversation, most conversations are critical is

Michael:

how, how else do we know if we're on course or off course, the conversation

Michael:

might feel good, but might take us in a completely unhelpful direction

Michael:

unless we have the goal in place to really check where we're going and how.

Julie:

I read in your materials.

Julie:

And I thought this was amazing.

Julie:

I hadn't thought about it before I read in your materials that we need

Julie:

to take responsibility for how our audience, even if that is an audience

Julie:

of one, um, which most conversations are, how our audience experiences, our

Julie:

communication, the way we communicate.

Julie:

How, how do we think about that?

Michael:

I appreciate you asking.

Michael:

Thank you.

Michael:

I honestly feel like one of the biggest advantages, potentially unfair advantages

Michael:

that myself and my former teammates had is we were required to talk to people

Michael:

that wanted nothing to do with us.

Michael:

And it's not just the suspects.

Michael:

So for us, we really had to understand going in the, a, those are the facts and

Michael:

B instead of resisting that or ignoring it, how do we use it to our advantage?

Michael:

So, one of the questions that I learned to ask myself from a strategic preparation

Michael:

perspective, wasn't what should I say to get Julia to change your mind?

Michael:

Or what should I say to get Julie to say this or do that.

Michael:

The question I really needed to ask was what does Julie need to experience?

Julie:

Yeah.

Michael:

Before, choosing to change your mind before choosing to share

Michael:

this information for choosing to do something different, it's all

Michael:

about what you need to experience.

Michael:

And I mean, number one, especially if it's at all a vulnerable situation,

Michael:

people need to have the opportunity to save face, protect their self image and

Michael:

avoid feeling embarrassed or judged.

Michael:

That is paramount.

Michael:

They also need to really have the opportunity as they're lining

Michael:

up whatever we're asking them.

Michael:

To consider to change, to do within their self image.

Michael:

And it might take time to internalize.

Michael:

I can literally begin to think how many conversations might this take?

Michael:

Where should those conversations happen?

Michael:

What should I say?

Michael:

What order should I say it?

Michael:

In what examples should I use?

Michael:

Am I the right person to lead this conversation?

Michael:

Or so somebody else potentially do it because the bottom line is if somebody

Michael:

else has information and we need it, we're not in control of that conversation.

Michael:

Veil.

Michael:

If somebody else needs to, if we want somebody else to change their

Michael:

behavior, we're not in control of.

Michael:

This conversation, they are they're are going to determine when it's

Michael:

acceptable to share information or change their behavior.

Michael:

So it really is all about creating the communication experience, where they

Michael:

can feel like they at least have some of the idea ownership they can save

Michael:

face and move forward and not change your direction and really commit to it

Michael:

as opposed to feeling forced to come.

Julie:

How do you, I guess maybe this comes with that.

Julie:

And investigative, forensic interviewer training that you went through.

Julie:

Maybe I should have asked this question first.

Julie:

What is a certified forensic interviewer?

Julie:

I guess I should have asked that first.

Michael:

You can ask questions in whatever order you want.

Michael:

So I'll get, it's your show.

Michael:

Your job is to ask my job to answer the order.

Michael:

Don't matter.

Michael:

Um, a certified forensic interview or would be like a CPA.

Michael:

So it's a designation.

Michael:

It's a designator.

Michael:

Expertise in the field of interview and interrogation.

Michael:

So it's not necessarily a job within itself.

Michael:

So there, somebody has to meet the qualifications to take the exam.

Michael:

Then they have to obviously study for and pass the exam and then I'd

Michael:

have to maintain the reeducation requirements after the exam.

Michael:

Um, I probably need to come up with a new analogy, metaphor, whatever it is.

Michael:

I'm an English.

Michael:

Um, but I like to say a certified forensic interviewer, somebody who

Michael:

should be able to be blindfolded dropped out of a truck and wherever they land,

Michael:

be able to conduct a morally legally and ethically successful interview,

Michael:

that's predicated on getting the truth.

Michael:

So it really is all about embracing the totality of the

Michael:

human experience and having a full toolbox of communication techniques

Michael:

in order to connect with people.

Michael:

Established often unexpected bonds and then use those bonds

Michael:

to lead, to obtaining the truth.

Julie:

And you only get this.

Julie:

If you were an investigator, is this, is it just something for

Julie:

people who were investigators?

Michael:

Uh, technically yes, there's.

Michael:

I mean, there's always, I shouldn't say always, but there's often

Michael:

additional consideration, so please don't quote me on this.

Michael:

It's been a while it might've changed just a little bit.

Michael:

Um, the designation is run by the international association of interviewers

Michael:

and if they have updated their prereq prerequisites at all, I'm not aware of it

Michael:

off the top of my head, but essentially.

Michael:

The prerequisites are.

Michael:

And I don't remember the number of years, but X amount of years of investigative

Michael:

experience and a college degree.

Michael:

If somebody doesn't have a college degree, then they just need more

Michael:

years of edge of investigative experience to balance that out.

Michael:

Now, the investigative experience piece can be open to a bit of interpretation.

Michael:

I mean, the integrity of the program is important, but if somebody has

Michael:

been in a human resource, 10 years.

Michael:

Somebody might not think of a human resources professional as an

Michael:

investigator, but I'm willing to bet most human resource professionals have

Michael:

done a fair amount of investigating at some point in their career.

Michael:

So that would almost certainly qualify.

Michael:

So there's, there's different ways to look out.

Michael:

What does it mean to be in the world of investigations?

Julie:

So

Julie:

I want to talk about the discipline listening method.

Julie:

This is something you created.

Julie:

Out of all of your experience being an investigator and then having the certified

Julie:

forensic interviewer designation.

Julie:

So what is the disciplined listening method?

Michael:

Thank you for asking the discipline listening method is a

Michael:

communication framework that puts communicators in the position

Michael:

to maximize the value in all of their high value conversations.

Michael:

As we talked about before, while encouraging their audience to save

Michael:

face and protect their self image.

Michael:

So when my investigation career was advancing, I've been

Michael:

on the private sector side.

Michael:

I began spending more and more time with the executives who ran the company

Michael:

and answering their questions on how to help them navigate their leadership

Michael:

conversations, business negotiations, business development, conversations,

Michael:

hiring interviews, and so forth.

Michael:

And that really lit the fuse for me to dive into the world

Michael:

of business communication, research, and best practices.

Michael:

So the discipline listening method is the result of integrating.

Michael:

The non-confrontational interview and interrogation best practices with

Michael:

research and best practices from across the spectrum of business communication

Michael:

that resulted in seven core behaviors that discipline listeners consistently

Michael:

exhibit in their high value conversations.

Julie:

So that was gonna be my next question is the

Julie:

seven core behaviors of it.

Julie:

Can we go

Michael:

Yes, we most certainly can.

Michael:

So the first two would be pre-conversation behaviors.

Michael:

The first one is, and we kind of touched on this earlier, understand

Michael:

how any conversation can get us closer to achieving not just our short-term

Michael:

goals, but our longterm goals as well.

Michael:

So essentially.

Michael:

Going into any conversation, we will exhibits the amount of focus,

Michael:

attention and effort we believe is necessary based on the expectations

Michael:

we carry into the conversation.

Michael:

So if we have lower expectations, lower effort, attention, higher expectation.

Michael:

It's pretty easy to do the math.

Michael:

So if we can go into these high value conversations and

Michael:

really elevate our mind's eye.

Michael:

So now we're focusing not just on the, okay, I've got to get

Michael:

through this right now, but what are the long-term benefits now?

Michael:

We're more likely to use that vision that we talked about earlier.

Michael:

Have more effort, have more attention, be more in tuned and really find what

Michael:

we'd like to call that hidden value.

Michael:

It's not obvious on the surface, but because we have our goals in mind.

Michael:

We can start to pull out some of these threads from this

Michael:

conversation and tie them together to create a new line to success.

Julie:

Okay.

Michael:

The second behavior is leveraging our perceived weaknesses to

Michael:

create our communication strategies.

Michael:

Instead of our perceived strengths, all too often, we tend to overvalue our

Michael:

perceived strengths and they tend to reinforce our biases, our perceptions,

Michael:

our expectations, our preconceived notions, and really this was something

Michael:

that became crystal clear to me.

Michael:

Probably about 35,000 feet over Indianapolis give or take.

Michael:

I was flying from Chicago to Cincinnati to resolve an investigation.

Michael:

Thankfully, I ended up resolving an investigation into several stolen

Michael:

firearms and it was a situation where some federal investigators.

Michael:

Just accidentally discovered they were missing.

Michael:

And in their early attempts met only resistance and did not get the truth.

Michael:

Some local police detectives weren't able to get the truth.

Michael:

So I think it was eight or nine weeks later.

Michael:

I ended up going in as kind of a hail Mary to try to put this thing together.

Michael:

So I was literally on an airplane taking notes on the

Michael:

back of those Coca-Cola napkins.

Michael:

We all know way too well.

Michael:

And it just dawned on me that the people I had to interview had no

Michael:

good reason to tell me the truth.

Michael:

No, there was no good reason for anyone to be honest with me at

Michael:

this point in the investigation.

Michael:

And it honestly made me laugh and I thought, you know what?

Michael:

I can use that.

Michael:

So instead of sitting there thinking, okay, why should these

Michael:

people telling me the truth?

Michael:

I literally flipped the script and started asking myself, okay, well, why

Michael:

shouldn't they, if they don't have any good reason, what are the bad reasons?

Michael:

Why shouldn't they tell me the truth?

Michael:

And I literally wrote them down.

Michael:

And then I thought to myself, okay, well, why haven't they told the truth already?

Michael:

Let me make some educated guesses here.

Michael:

And then I wrote all those down.

Michael:

And then to tie back to a question you asked earlier, once I'd

Michael:

answered, why shouldn't they and why haven't they already?

Michael:

Then I literally looked at that and thought to myself, okay.

Michael:

What do they need to experience before they choose to tell me the truth?

Michael:

And I literally built my whole strategy for that investigation.

Michael:

Not off the reasons why I think they should tell me of all people in the

Michael:

truth, but why shouldn't they let's let's approach this from their perspective.

Michael:

It helped me compartmentalize my biases.

Michael:

It helped me get much closer to their shoes, dialed up my empathy.

Michael:

And thankfully, the next day, I was able to get a confession from the

Michael:

person who stole both guns along with turn, by turn directions and

Michael:

name and telephone number to the person who sold one of the guns too.

Michael:

And so it's a, it's a preparation process that I've been evolving, but

Michael:

really my preparation process for high value conversations revolves

Michael:

around those three questions.

Michael:

I'll pause there before I get into the conversation behaviors,

Michael:

but I don't want to keep rolling

Julie:

No, no, I was just, I was trying to think of a question.

Julie:

Cause I had a question.

Julie:

It was more like, how, what, why haven't they told you the truth?

Julie:

I was, that's what I was, I was just curious, like, why

Julie:

haven't they told you the truth?

Julie:

Like how did you get them to tell how did you figure out their why?

Michael:

Yeah.

Michael:

So, so for me, part of it is just really it's embracing the

Michael:

universality of the human experience.

Michael:

So I have to go talk to five people who I'd never met before, and I'm assuming

Michael:

I'll never see again, but as human beings.

Michael:

The amount of overlapping experiences.

Michael:

We have a substantial, like, we all have our unique traits and experiences, but

Michael:

being a human being is a really, really, really common experience around the world.

Michael:

So for me, it just started there with, okay, well, if I'm one of

Michael:

these five people and I took the gun.

Michael:

Why didn't I tell the truth already?

Michael:

Well, let's just start with common sense.

Michael:

I don't want to go to jail.

Michael:

I don't want to lose my job.

Michael:

I don't want people to know I'm a thief.

Michael:

I've got to save face.

Michael:

I've got to protect myself image.

Michael:

I ha I was probably put on the defensive by the techniques that were used before.

Michael:

So I literally just brainstormed all of that and then thought, okay, well,

Michael:

from an experiential standpoint, He almost certainly needs me to be nice.

Michael:

You almost certainly needs me to show respect, not judge him, not

Michael:

embarrass him, allow him to save face and protect the self image.

Michael:

He probably feels like he needs an excuse, something to blame his actions on it's way

Michael:

easier for people to say I did or didn't do it than it is to say it was my fault.

Michael:

So let's not worry about the, my fault yet.

Michael:

Let's worry about the truth, what really happened.

Michael:

And so for me, Just literally starting there, help me get my game plan in place.

Michael:

So with the actual person who was responsible for stealing the guns,

Michael:

when that conversation started and we built a little bit of rapport and

Michael:

he was talking about his wife and his kids and moving back and forth

Michael:

from Ohio to Florida in a business he previously had that went under.

Michael:

Now I can start putting the specifics into that game plan because now I'm

Michael:

building within the universality of the human experience instead of.

Michael:

Trying to be too specific right out of the gate.

Julie:

How do you get over and sorry, because I'm going to pause

Julie:

it here before we get into number three, but how do you get over?

Julie:

He has it, he has a wife and his kids and he had issues.

Julie:

How do you get him?

Julie:

To be okay with the consequences, because there are consequences of your actions.

Julie:

So if he did what he did, because he wanted to provide for his family and

Julie:

he was in his business and his previous business, like how would you get

Julie:

somebody to say, okay, I'm just late.

Julie:

It was all for not, because now I'm going to get caught.

Julie:

Like how do you get somebody to tell the truth?

Julie:

When consequences are, are really difficult?

Michael:

Yeah, well, our mantra is focused on the issue, not the person focused on

Michael:

the resolution, not the consequences.

Michael:

So we most certainly can not go in there and make threats, or

Michael:

we can't make false promises.

Michael:

We can't do anything like that.

Michael:

But really what we want to do is we want to be a step or two ahead,

Michael:

but really walk people through the mental gymnastics of the mental

Michael:

roller coaster that we know people are going to ride in that situation.

Michael:

So again, I get back to the universality of the human experience, but who

Michael:

among us, hasn't made a decision.

Michael:

We wish we could have back that have a motivating factor that was temporarily

Michael:

overwhelming our emotions or our focus.

Michael:

So again, without excusing the behavior or making it sound legal or

Michael:

making any promises, because all of those things would get me in trouble.

Michael:

So we're not going to cross that line, but just really.

Michael:

Highlighting again, the fact that we're all human beings, we all face pressures.

Michael:

We're not bad people.

Michael:

And allowing him to justify that this is the day I am.

Michael:

The person in this is the time it's okay to share this with literally because

Michael:

I'm the one who's treating them in a way that nobody else has treated him before.

Michael:

And for the previous organizations I worked with, we audio video recorded

Michael:

the vast majority of our interviews and interrogations and time after time after

Michael:

time, after time after time, At somewhere between when people started telling the

Michael:

truth and finished writing their written statement, they would thank us for how

Michael:

we treated them during the conversation.

Michael:

And that that's really what it is, is having a conversation with them

Michael:

in a way where it just feels like two respectful people talking.

Michael:

So it's natural for them to say it because they're not focused on the

Julie:

Yeah.

Julie:

Yeah.

Julie:

Okay.

Julie:

So number three.

Michael:

Be patient, let the conversation come to you.

Julie:

Okay.

Michael:

Listening equals learning.

Michael:

If we're not listening, we're not learning.

Michael:

If I'm the one that's doing all the talking, I really can't be

Michael:

learning from the other person because I'm not giving them a chance.

Michael:

And there is a large amount of research that shows when we're engaged

Michael:

in a conversation, we tend to start talking before we fully thought

Michael:

through everything we're going to say.

Michael:

So there's a reasonable likelihood that the highest value information in somebody.

Michael:

Is going to come later in their response because they're going, they're

Michael:

talking and thinking at the same time.

Michael:

So people like to be heard, they like to be respected.

Michael:

I mean, everything we've all been told since we were children, but be patient

Michael:

and let the conversation come to you.

Michael:

The more somebody talks, the more we learn and having that patience really

Michael:

is the key to unlocking all this additional value that often we miss.

Julie:

Interesting.

Julie:

Just writing this down.

Julie:

So, number four.

Michael:

So four or five really go hand in hand with number four.

Michael:

Really what we're doing.

Michael:

Wow.

Michael:

We're letting the conversation come to us is we're evaluating

Michael:

the totality of everything.

Michael:

We observe verbal and nonverbal communication for indications

Michael:

of comfort and discomfort.

Michael:

The scientific community is clear.

Michael:

There is no single behavior.

Michael:

That's always indicative of truth or deception and any behavior we've

Michael:

ever been told that somebody does X when they're lying is false.

Michael:

It's not always false.

Michael:

It's also not always true.

Michael:

Essentially.

Michael:

The behaviors that are most often associated with dishonesty are more

Michael:

often indications of discomfort.

Michael:

And the thought process is well when people lie, it makes them.

Michael:

Some people.

Michael:

I've met a lot of people that are really, really, really comfortable lying

Michael:

and don't show any discomfort at all.

Michael:

And honestly, we were talking a little bit geographically earlier.

Michael:

I got lucky the, the, the most nervous person I've ever

Michael:

interviewed in my life was innocent.

Michael:

And I knew she was innocent when I got there.

Michael:

She was somebody that I had to interview just to get some facts.

Michael:

She didn't work there when the incident.

Michael:

I literally just had to get some baseline info from her.

Michael:

So I fly down from Chicago.

Michael:

The VP of HR flies down from New York.

Michael:

We're in Miami, the VP of HR knocks on the door here comes the opening

Michael:

manager with a cup of coffee.

Michael:

In her hand, she unlocks the door.

Michael:

I'm looking at her coffee going.

Michael:

Got here.

Michael:

She opens the door and the VP of HR says, good morning.

Michael:

Best surprise.

Michael:

On the manager's face tells me she didn't know we were coming red flag number one.

Michael:

And then the VP says great to see you.

Michael:

This is Michael Reddington.

Michael:

He's a certified forensic interviewer.

Michael:

He has some questions for you then.

Michael:

On a scale of one to how not to start a conversation.

Michael:

That's how not to start a conversation.

Michael:

She literally was shaking, like holding both hands on her, a cup of coffee shaken.

Michael:

When we went back to her office, she's a BU.

Michael:

So when I saw the picture, I literally talked Kenmore square green line

Michael:

baseball traffic with her for about 30 minutes before I could calm her

Michael:

down and actually ask the questions.

Michael:

So we don't want to assume truth or lie as somebody is communicating

Michael:

with me, really what I want to do.

Michael:

If it's a high value conversation, really what I want to do is be

Michael:

in tuned to the totality of that communication, verbal and non-verbal

Michael:

so as the comfort levels change.

Michael:

I can think to myself, whoa, Julie looked a little bit uncomfortable there.

Michael:

I wonder why.

Michael:

Oh, she looks a lot more comfortable there.

Michael:

I wonder why.

Michael:

And now within the context of the situation, I can have a really good

Michael:

idea on where your resistance might be, where your emotional shifts

Michael:

are in now by understanding where and why your emotions are shifting.

Michael:

I can get to number five, which is I can adapt my behavior accordingly.

Michael:

I don't have to stay married to the strategy I brought in.

Michael:

Now based on the observations, I can tweak my plan a little bit.

Michael:

I can adapt.

Michael:

Maybe I continue pushing a little bit further.

Michael:

Maybe I back off, maybe I change topics.

Michael:

Maybe I come back another day, we just suspend the conversation, but now I can

Michael:

start changing gears in the middle of the conversation because of the observational

Michael:

intelligence I'm acquiring along the way.

Julie:

Interesting.

Julie:

So six.

Michael:

And we already mentioned this one, too.

Michael:

We should be going out of our way to help people save face

Michael:

and protect their self image.

Michael:

Literally, if people listen to this conversation and they take one

Michael:

thing out of it, we should be going into our high value conversation.

Michael:

With an intentional effort, not to make the people we're talking to feel

Michael:

embarrassed or judged the single quickest thing that will get people to shut

Michael:

down or become defensive is if they feel any derivation of embarrassed,

Michael:

judge demean, you picked the word, but we should be going out of our way to

Michael:

help people save face, protect their self-image and avoid feeling judged.

Julie:

What do you do that?

Julie:

I'm talking from like a personal, like if you got beef, you just got

Julie:

shit to say, like how you do that.

Michael:

So, and this is something that I deal with all the time.

Michael:

The question becomes what's more important saying the shit or getting the results

Julie:

Um,

Michael:

because often just saying what I want to say in that moment in

Michael:

time might make me feel a lot more.

Michael:

While I make the situation a lot worse.

Michael:

So if that, if they literally, we talk about situational awareness,

Michael:

talk about vision and influence again, but that's where stepping back

Michael:

and saying what's more important.

Michael:

Me being my own hero in this conversation, or me creating the results.

Michael:

That is really most valuable.

Michael:

So part of that is that ego check.

Michael:

And then from there, I'll keep it quick.

Michael:

I'll be happy to expand.

Michael:

If you want two general options.

Michael:

One is just being careful with our word choice.

Michael:

Questions can be perceived as invitations or attacks.

Michael:

A very simple example.

Michael:

If I say, Julie, did you do this?

Michael:

And it could be anything like, did you walk the dog?

Michael:

Did you remember to call Sally?

Michael:

Like it could literally be something.

Michael:

Innocuous, but I say, did you do it?

Michael:

I'm looking to figure out, did you, you literally might take that as

Michael:

an accusation that you didn't do

Julie:

That I didn't do it.

Julie:

Like, what is it?

Julie:

What do you think?

Julie:

I didn't do it.

Michael:

So questions can be perceived as invitations or attacks.

Michael:

So our word choice is very important.

Michael:

How we phrase questions, how we approach people is very important.

Michael:

Even like our body language, the distance we keep, all of these

Michael:

things can be very important.

Michael:

The other one, and this one tends to be counterintuitive for people.

Michael:

Is embrace excuses

Julie:

Okay.

Michael:

where you I'm a car carrying flag-waving heel defending

Michael:

believer in accountability.

Michael:

I swear it, but where and how we go for accountability is the big

Michael:

hit is the big consideration.

Michael:

I will make you a promise.

Michael:

It is much easier to get somebody to admit to doing or not doing something than it

Michael:

is to get them to say it's their fault.

Michael:

And in this exponentially easier.

Michael:

To get them to say they did or didn't do something than it is to

Michael:

get them to admit to a line about it.

Julie:

Okay.

Michael:

If you want somebody to say I did it, it's my fault.

Michael:

And I lied to you get a hotel reservation.

Michael:

It's going to be awhile.

Michael:

But if I can allow somebody to use an excuse, the excuses, the

Michael:

face saving mechanism, we take it personal because it offends our

Michael:

moral code and they're not taking responsibility for their actions back up.

Michael:

If somebody gives you, if somebody says I did or didn't do it.

Michael:

And here's why.

Michael:

And the excuse is BS.

Michael:

We can focus on the BS excuse when they just told us what we needed to hear.

Michael:

They literally just told us they did or didn't do it.

Michael:

So allowing them to use the excuse to save face really is the

Michael:

key that unlocks a lot of this.

Michael:

So in that situation, if they say I didn't do it, I'm sorry, because, and

Michael:

they give you an excuse instead of attacking the excuse, which is what they

Michael:

probably expect you to do instead say.

Michael:

I didn't realize that.

Michael:

Please tell me more, walk me through, help me understand.

Julie:

Hm.

Michael:

And now, as they start unpacking that excuse in inevitably is going to

Michael:

fall apart and they're going to lead themselves towards that accountability.

Michael:

We want them to take as opposed to us forcing it on them.

Michael:

The other mechanism that we'll use is we'll give people excuses.

Michael:

So if I've got somebody who is behind on a project and I need them

Michael:

to tell me that they're behind on a project so I can figure out how

Michael:

to get the project done on time.

Michael:

I could say, Julie, are you going to get the project done on time?

Michael:

And you have two answers or two choices.

Michael:

You can lie to me and tell me yes to save face.

Michael:

And then maybe you do, maybe you don't, or you can say no, and

Michael:

then entrench yourself into this position that it's not your fault.

Michael:

The deck is stacked against you.

Michael:

You didn't have what you need.

Michael:

None of that's helping me.

Michael:

But instead if I said, Julie, I know we were excited when we took this project

Michael:

on, but it's been way more complicated than we thought the customers have.

Michael:

These last minute changes that we didn't plan for.

Michael:

We've had people out sick that we couldn't have anticipated.

Michael:

This thing has knocked on the way we plan.

Michael:

So let me ask you with that.

Michael:

What resources do you need me to reallocate the most in order

Michael:

to make sure we get this done?

Michael:

now literally this isn't about you anymore.

Michael:

It's about finishing the project and I've given you excuses

Michael:

upfront to say, you're right.

Michael:

The customer's making this hard.

Michael:

Johnny and Billy have been out sick.

Michael:

And I really need you to give me ABC.

Michael:

Maybe I'll give them to you.

Michael:

Maybe I don't, but now you were comfortable enough

Michael:

telling me what you did.

Michael:

If I can make the best decision on how we're still going to get this

Michael:

thing done, because I allowed you to save face during that conference.

Julie:

Interesting.

Julie:

I mean, I can immediately see that put to work in a corporate setting, so no.

Michael:

I do.

Michael:

I literally, it's a technique that I use sometimes much to my wife's

Michael:

chagrin, even personally as well.

Michael:

We're out purchasing vehicles.

Michael:

We are negotiating for services on our house.

Michael:

Um, I have a four-year-old son who was amazing, but he's a four year old.

Michael:

And sometimes I have to have conversations with these pre-calls preschool teachers.

Michael:

I use it with this preschool teachers who may or may not listen

Michael:

to this at some point and be like, I can't believe that guy.

Julie:

Choosing those interrogation techniques.

Julie:

Okay.

Julie:

We only have one core principle left.

Michael:

Follow up after the conversation.

Michael:

When we think about why we all struggled to be great listeners, there's two, I

Michael:

would contend there's two big reasons.

Michael:

Number one, our brains aren't wired to make us good listeners.

Michael:

Our brains are literally wired to look for information that confirms

Michael:

what we already think and believe and disregard information that

Michael:

contradicts what we already think.

Michael:

We got about 175 biases lined up to make sure that process is streamlined also

Michael:

that ubiquitous term for great listening, since the fifties has been active,

Michael:

listening and active listening is great.

Michael:

We should do those.

Michael:

It just leaves some opportunities so I can smile, nod, maintain good eye

Michael:

contact, paraphrase all while I'm ignoring you and thinking about how

Michael:

I feel, what I want to say next to something else going on in my day.

Michael:

So I'm not really listening and I can paraphrase what you're saying to me now.

Michael:

So you feel like I'm listening to.

Michael:

But if I never come back and re-engage with you, then this

Michael:

just vanished into the ether and it's not like I actually listened.

Michael:

So there's a big difference between trust and faith.

Michael:

People trust what they have tangible experience with.

Michael:

And they have faith in the things that they strongly believe.

Michael:

Yeah, lack that tangible experience.

Michael:

So if we want somebody to trust us, we have to give them tangible, which being,

Michael:

if we want someone to believe that we listened at some point in time after the

Michael:

conversation, we need to reapproach them with something from that conference.

Michael:

Maybe we made commitments.

Michael:

So we're following up to let them know where we all on ours.

Michael:

Maybe we have some additional ideas to support them.

Michael:

So we follow up or maybe an even better, more importantly, more effectively

Michael:

remember something that was relatively innocuous in the conversation.

Michael:

Something that might have value to them, but really has no direct

Michael:

correlation to the main business reason.

Michael:

If you will, of the conversation.

Michael:

Next time you see him ask him about that.

Michael:

So, Hey, I remember you saying that your dog wasn't feeling very well.

Michael:

How's he doing like that?

Michael:

That tells somebody, oh, if you cared enough to remember that little

Michael:

piece and you asked me again, then you must really be listening and

Michael:

you must really care about me.

Michael:

So now the value of that follow-up is so much.

Julie:

What are the most important non-verbals to be looking out for?

Michael:

Great question.

Michael:

It's going to differ a bit person to person that's going to differ

Michael:

a bit situation, a situation.

Michael:

So one of the things I'm sure I'm not the only one that says this.

Michael:

If you ever hear somebody say, well, when you're reading body

Michael:

language, X always means Y turn the channel because context is king.

Michael:

So in general terms, I'm looking for, like I mentioned before,

Michael:

for changes in their comfort.

Michael:

But I'm looking for changes in their comfort level, that deviate from

Michael:

what appears to be normal for them.

Michael:

So just as a basic example, I grew up in new England.

Michael:

I've been very fortunate to travel around the world.

Michael:

I live in the south now.

Michael:

So behavioral norms and expectations are different.

Michael:

Um, maybe a funny story.

Michael:

I'll do the super short version.

Michael:

My wife is originally from Alabama.

Michael:

And the first time I had Thanksgiving dinner with her

Michael:

family went to her afternoon.

Michael:

Like, I don't think your cousin really likes me.

Michael:

She looked at me and said, well, stop staring at him.

Michael:

I thought I was maintaining reasonable and respectful eye contact.

Michael:

Apparently a camera process.

Michael:

I was staring creepily at the man.

Michael:

Not even meaning, not at

Julie:

Good.

Julie:

Dude's a Cree breath.

Michael:

So I'm going to get a little bit more specific, but remember really

Michael:

what we're looking for shifts in somebody's comfort level, that deviate

Michael:

from their normal course of behavior.

Michael:

And we're looking to time those deviations to some sort of trigger, you know,

Michael:

what's causing their behavior to change when the behavior changes is far more

Michael:

important than what behavior changes.

Michael:

That being said, here's a couple of general things I'll look

Michael:

for if I, if we're sitting or standing and I can see there.

Michael:

Are there feet pointed towards me or away from.

Michael:

Now there's outliers to everything.

Michael:

So do they have a bad back?

Michael:

Do they have a foot injury?

Michael:

Like, so, but generally speaking, if somebody spewed or pointed towards me,

Michael:

they're more likely engaged with me.

Michael:

If their feet are pointed away, especially if they're pointed towards a

Michael:

door or someplace or someone else is a reasonable likelihood that they're not.

Michael:

As engaged with me, same thing for somebody's shoulders.

Michael:

If their shoulders are parallel with mine, there's a reasonable

Michael:

chance that they're engaged.

Michael:

The more they start to turn their shoulders.

Michael:

The more there's a chance they're disengaged, but

Michael:

again, I've got a bad back.

Michael:

I shifted the seat all the time.

Michael:

So that's why context and timing and all of these things become so important.

Michael:

Um, one of the things that I will look for is if somebody is

Michael:

watching their hands, do things.

Michael:

So, if I'm having a conversation with you and I look down and watch

Michael:

myself play with my wedding ring, it doesn't mean that I'm lying at all.

Michael:

It could just be a nervous tick that I have or OCD behavior that I have.

Michael:

But if I only do.

Michael:

On-time to certain topics in the conversation that could be an indication

Michael:

to you that those topics are making me a little bit uncomfortable.

Michael:

So, you know, my planning with my water bottle and my plan with my watch,

Michael:

my weighing, whatever it might be.

Michael:

So watching the hands do something again, it doesn't mean they're lying.

Michael:

Let's make that clear.

Michael:

And if it's not a normal behavior for them, if it's happening on

Michael:

time, the stressful stimulus, that could be an indication as well.

Michael:

I'll touch on two myths superstar.

Michael:

Number one, there is no scientific link between breaking eye contact

Michael:

in line at all, zero none.

Michael:

There's also no scientific link between which way somebody looks

Michael:

and whether or not their line.

Michael:

Non-zero all of that is false.

Michael:

The another big myth that people are likely misled by is that

Michael:

when someone crosses their arms, they're likely to find.

Michael:

That is not necessarily true at all.

Michael:

People generally will cross their arms for reasons of physical

Michael:

comfort or emotional vulnerability.

Michael:

It might be cold.

Michael:

They might have a bad back.

Michael:

It might be a comfortable way to stand or emotionally.

Michael:

They might feel.

Michael:

I've literally, when I used to teach interrogation, I would have video

Michael:

clips of people crossing their arms right before they would confess.

Michael:

And when people, when the audience sees the arm cross, somebody

Michael:

would be like, ah, you lost it.

Michael:

And I would hit the pause button and say, do you have your wallet on me?

Michael:

Because when they saw the arms cross, they didn't see both feet go flat on the floor.

Michael:

They didn't catch the giant exhale in the nod of the head.

Michael:

So literally all the other behaviors you're telling me this is capitulation,

Michael:

but it's a vulnerable moment.

Michael:

So they cross their arms when they did it.

Michael:

So we get fixated on one behavior and we lose track of the rest.

Michael:

It's really that totality that we want to try to keep an eye on.

Michael:

So when somebody crosses their arms, we really want to ask ourselves,

Michael:

what did it happen on time too?

Michael:

And what does the face say?

Michael:

And the air conditioner just kicked on there, probably cold.

Michael:

Did the creepy waiter just walk over there?

Michael:

Probably creeped out by the waiter.

Michael:

Did I ask them a financial question and they cross their arms and frowned

Michael:

and shook in their seat a little bit.

Michael:

Okay.

Michael:

That might've just made them a little bit defensive and uncomfortable, but

Michael:

it's the rest of those behaviors and contextual clues that give us the

Michael:

meaning, not just the crossing of the.

Julie:

I love these stories.

Julie:

Can we have before?

Julie:

Yeah.

Julie:

Before we wrap up, can we have just one, like super crazy investigative story.

Michael:

Well, it depends on how you define super crazy.

Julie:

You define it.

Michael:

but I,

Julie:

There are a lot of people who listen to this podcast who

Julie:

are real fans of true crime.

Michael:

True.

Michael:

Well, the good thing is there's no shortage of those shows available

Julie:

no shortage.

Julie:

And unfortunately there's no shortage of true crime.

Michael:

that is the bigger of the unfortunates for sure.

Michael:

I'm trying to come up with a different one than I used in the, in

Michael:

the session I taught this morning.

Michael:

I think for me, super crazy doesn't necessarily get back to.

Michael:

You know, what were they charged with?

Michael:

Well, there's a quarter million dollars of material missing.

Michael:

Okay.

Michael:

That's pretty crazy.

Michael:

Um, it's a called murder case.

Michael:

Yeah.

Michael:

Okay.

Michael:

That was pretty crazy.

Michael:

And people tend to get drawn into those when those investigations basically

Michael:

go to plan, so to speak, they're not super crazy, you know, there's there's

Michael:

skills, there's game plan, those techniques out there, those techniques

Michael:

are designed to work for a reason.

Michael:

So I'll do this one, for earlier on in my career.

Michael:

Uh, just gotten to a new organization.

Michael:

I was still new in position.

Michael:

It was literally my second week there.

Michael:

Um, I literally left work and because I was still moving into my apartment and

Michael:

went out to get dinner on the way home.

Michael:

And the phone rings and says that they just apprehended three people

Michael:

for stealing and they're holding them.

Michael:

These were employees.

Michael:

So I said, okay, I'll be back at my job, breath mint, back

Michael:

in the car, go get there.

Michael:

And I review the footage.

Michael:

And unfortunately they stopped the three individuals before they

Michael:

stole, which means that my brand new team just centrally detained

Michael:

people who hadn't committed a crime.

Julie:

Hm.

Michael:

Now they were going to Steve.

Michael:

It there's no doubt about it.

Michael:

They were in the process of stealing, but instead of being patient and waiting for

Michael:

the app to take place, they jumped the gun, stopped it from happening, detain

Michael:

them anyway, and now have created some real liability for the organization.

Michael:

So I've got a couple choices to make choice a is to let all these three

Michael:

employees go back to work document what happens, run it up the food

Michael:

chain and decide how are we going to handle this to limit liability?

Michael:

Option two.

Michael:

This is double down.

Michael:

And for me looking at the footage, there was no doubt.

Michael:

Like there was absolutely no gout.

Michael:

What was about to happen.

Michael:

Had they waited 90 seconds, we'd be having a different conversation.

Michael:

So essentially I interrogated three people in three different rooms, all at the same.

Michael:

I went from one room to the next, to the next, to the

Michael:

next, to the next to the next.

Michael:

And the technique that I used in top the most, really has five phases to it.

Michael:

So I just did one phase at a time as I bounced from each room to each

Michael:

room, to each room and over the process of the three conversations,

Michael:

I'd rather be lucky than good.

Michael:

All three confessed.

Michael:

All three confessed to more that we knew and we could document it.

Michael:

Um, all three snitched on the same co-workers.

Michael:

So I was able to, to build the case.

Michael:

And then after those three were informed that they could go home for the evening.

Michael:

One of the people that they snitched on was working then.

Michael:

I went and pulled him and sat him down and he ended up being the

Michael:

ringleader, which I hadn't anticipated.

Michael:

So his confession ended up being even more substantial.

Julie:

Do you work with corporations, with the C suite or the managers

Julie:

to teach them these techniques to have better conversations and

Julie:

relationships with their employees?

Michael:

Thank you for asking that is almost exclusively

Michael:

what I do at this point.

Michael:

So I work with the C-suite.

Michael:

I work with leadership teams.

Michael:

I work with sales teams and I work with HR teams.

Michael:

Those would be the organizations that I work with the most to

Michael:

teach them how to apply these strategic and ethical obstacles.

Michael:

Skills to their conversations.

Michael:

So whether it is educationally training programs or whether it's advisory one on

Michael:

work, project work, those types of things.

Michael:

I do very, very, very little investigative work at this point.

Michael:

The vast majority of what I do is serve as an executive resource and

Michael:

provide those techniques to the C-suite and other business professionals.

Julie:

And so if people want to get in touch with you, what is

Julie:

the best way for them to reach out to you to work with their team?

Michael:

I appreciate you asking, uh, they want to learn more about the business.

Michael:

It's at inquisitive.com I N Q U a S I V e.com.

Michael:

If they're looking to learn more about me, it's Michael reddington.com.

Julie:

Okay.

Michael:

If they're looking to learn more about the book, it's

Michael:

disciplined, listening, dot.

Michael:

And if they'd like to connect with me on social media, really

Michael:

the only place to find me is LinkedIn at Michael Reddington CFI.

Michael:

And I would be very happy that my email is all over the websites.

Michael:

It's am Reddington, it increases.com.

Michael:

Um, but I'd be more than happy to connect with any of your listeners

Michael:

answer any questions that they have and try to tie some of the things

Michael:

that we talked about pretty quickly in this conversation, into the situations

Michael:

that they're dealing with in their professional, or maybe even personal life.

Julie:

Perfect.

Julie:

So I'll put those four links into the show notes, and this was fascinating.

Julie:

Thanks so much for being on.

Michael:

I appreciate you having me on thank you very much.

Julie:

You're welcome.

Julie:

Every time.

Julie:

I talk with someone who is an expert in conversations.

Julie:

I literally feel like a shitty communicator.

Julie:

And listening to Michael, I kept thinking to myself, man, I missed

Julie:

half the shit that's going on.

Julie:

And most of the conversations I'm having.

Julie:

Did anyone else feel that way?

Julie:

I guess one way we can combat this is to always be fully present and give our full

Julie:

attention to the person we're talking to.

Julie:

Like full attention, like watching their body language as well.

Julie:

I mean, how many of us conduct conversations while we're

Julie:

distracted by other things?

Julie:

Not just in our physical space, like our phones and whatever's happening around us.

Julie:

But in our heads like that shit that's going on in your

Julie:

head that you can't shut off.

Julie:

I'm a hundred percent guilty of that.

Julie:

I wanted to keep talking to him.

Julie:

And maybe I'll have him back to talk more specifically about

Julie:

how he works with corporations.

Julie:

I dig that conversation when you.

Julie:

Because this has been one of our longer conversations we've had on the podcast.

Julie:

I'm just going to hop, skip right into the drink of the week.

Julie:

This week, the cocktail is called.

Julie:

Easy speak.

Julie:

Get it.

Julie:

Is that it kind of ties in right.

Julie:

Here's what you're going to need.

Julie:

Two ounces of bourbon.

Julie:

Three fourths ounce of Chine, R that's, spelled C Y N a R.

Julie:

If you've ever seen that on the shelves at, uh, at the liquor store, it's

Julie:

a digestive Amaro invented in 1952.

Julie:

Cina is flavored with 13 different herbs and spices, but it's most prominently.

Julie:

Artichoke and that weird.

Julie:

And even though it's predominantly artichoke, it's

Julie:

fairly sweet and low in alcohol.

Julie:

And because I'm married to an Italian, I of course have it

Julie:

in my bar moving right along.

Julie:

You're going to need a quarter ounce of simple syrup, three dashes of chocolate

Julie:

bitters, and one dash of aromatic bitters, and a twist of a lemon peel as a garnish.

Julie:

What we're going to do is we're going to combine.

Julie:

All ingredients in a shaker.

Julie:

Add ice stir and strain into a chilled coupe or an old fashioned glass.

Julie:

I rubbed that lemon peel around the rim of the cocktail glass and then dunk it in.

Julie:

Maybe you should also serve this over, like one of those

Julie:

big, fun, large ice cubes.

Julie:

I have like those circle ones and I have the square ones, but I mean, you could

Julie:

just do it over regularize if you want it, but the big ones are so much fun.

Julie:

Anyways.

Julie:

That's it friends.

Julie:

As always.

Julie:

Thanks for being here.

Julie:

Don't forget to like subscribe, share with your friends and until next week.

Links