May 12, 2020

How to Build Rapport and Trust with Anyone with Robin Dreeke

How to Build Rapport and Trust with Anyone with Robin Dreeke

Robin is a best-selling author, professional speaker, trainer, facilitator, and retired FBI Special Agent and Chief of the Counterintelligence Behavioral Analysis Program. Robin has taken his life's work of recruiting spies and broken down the art of leadership, communication, and relationship building into Five Steps to TRUST and Six Signs of who you can TRUST. Since 2010, Robin has been working with large corporations as well as small companies in every aspect of their business. Whether it is newly promoted leaders, executives, sales teams, or customer relations, Robin has crafted his People Formula for quick results and maximum success.

In this episode we discuss Dreeke’s simple, six-step system that helps you predict anyone's future behavior based on their words, goals, patterns of action, and the situation at hand. 

You’ll better understand how to:

  • quickly and easily determine who they can trust and who they can't
  • who is likely to deliver on promises and who will disappoint
  • and when a person is vested in your success vs when they are actively plotting your demise. 

With this knowledge you’ll confidently embark on anything from a business venture to a romantic relationship to a covert operation without the stress of the unknown.

Connect with Robin online:

Peopleforumula.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/PeopleFormula/
Twitter: @rdreeke
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-dreeke-3a5b8824/

Connect with Laura Khalil online:

instagram.com/forceofbadassery
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BraveByDesign/
linkedIn.com/in/LauraKhalil

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Transcript
Laura Khalil:

Well got me. I still got you. We are recording everyone. Welcome to this episode of brave by design. I am just tickled pink to talk to our guest today Robin Dreeke is a best selling author, professional speaker, trainer, facilitator, and retired FBI special agent and chief of the counterintelligence behavioral analysis program. Oh my gosh, Robin has taken his life's work of recruiting spies and broken down the art of leadership, communication and relationship building into five steps to trust and six signs of who you can trust. Since 2010. Robin has been working with large corporations as well as small companies in every aspect of their business. Whether it is newly promoted leaders, executive sales teams or customer relations, Robin has crafted his people formula for quick results and maximum success. His book sizing people up a veteran FBI agents user manual for behavior prediction is out now. It is awesome. Robin Welcome to brave by design.

Robin Dreeke:

Thank you so much Laura. You are so enthusiastic. I love talk to me already.

Laura Khalil:

I'm like I've only had one cup of coffee, so just get ready.

Robin Dreeke:

Okay, sounds good.

Laura Khalil:

We're gonna go to town here. So Robin, I heard of you. I watched a bunch of your talks on YouTube. I got your book. And it's like, I feel like your Jason Bourne.

Robin Dreeke:

Comedian will say that to you. I feel like, well, that'd be that'd be great.

Laura Khalil:

But can you like tell us? I mean, I'd love for us to start with, you know, How on earth did you get to this point where you were teaching these skills tell us about I mean, you talk in the book about the beginning about a really inciting moment. That helped that really changed your life as it changed many of our lives. can tell us a little bit about your story in how you got into this?

Robin Dreeke:

Well, I think the one you're referring to is the one, you know, in sizing people up during 911. But yeah, it actually started, you know, years and years before that, um, you know, a lot of people always say so, you know, because you just read the BIOS, like, how did you ever get to lead the behavioral analysis? FBI? And I said, well, it's really simple here. When I was in high school, I want to go to the Naval Academy. And I want to become a an aerospace engineer, Navy pilot, test pilot and astronaut. Wow. Well, yeah. And you know, so how do you lead the behavior analysis program and I failed at all that you know, is part of life's humbling moments. You know, it took me an extra year to get in the Naval Academy. I failed out of aerospace engineering when political science and I went Marine Corps. Wow. And and you know, indeed suffer long life's you know, process of, you know, I had a good friend of mine on not too long ago. You know, was asked those my sons at the Naval Academy now as well. And I had a friend asked, so, you know, what advice would you give someone going to a service Academy or doing anything challenge in life? And he goes well, he said, the biggest thing to realize is that, you know, you don't have to worry about what you're good at, you're gonna find out what you really suck at. Wow. And so for me, it was, you know, I am a winner, you know, look at that bio, I'm a natural, hardcore type A, and when you have that kind of behavior, and attitude, and especially if you're going to work in the world of counterintelligence and recruit spies, you're going to fail majestically. You know, I didn't realize early in life, that, you know, I was always so focused on, on what I could accomplish the things I could do make myself look good, and what leadership actually is, I always did want to become a great leader. Um, and what you really quickly learned is that leadership is not about your own title and position and making yourself look good leadership is ultimately about forging great healthy relationships and being a resource for the success and prosperity of others. That's leadership. And so it took me a bit of time to figure that out. But once I did, that became, you know, my current mission in life is to, you know, articulate that the subjective art form that, you know, half the world is born great leaders, the other half is trying to figure it out. But the half that's trying to figure it out, is just trying to do it by mimicking behaviors and watching these great people. But if the great people can actually articulate not just by demonstrating their actions, but actually saying exactly what it is they're doing, then they can teach mentor and guide. And so that's what this is all is, you know, teaching mentor and guiding by actually, you know, because I remember my first time in the Marine Corps, you know, military is great ranking people because they really make you feel insecure every day. And so his rank blast out of all these second lieutenants in my school. At cherry point, North Carolina, and I remember asking the major said, All right, what am I doing wrong? He says you just need to be a better leader. I said, Okay, how do you do that? And he goes, you just need to make it about everyone else but yourself. I said, Okay, how do you do that? And he goes, I don't know, just do it. And so that that's been my life's, you know, continual work is to how do you do that? And so that's how I break it down and try to make it very articulable, so that people that are already great at it, can demonstrate it to others and people that are trying to learn it can do it faster.

Laura Khalil:

I love that, you know, we we did an earlier episode on the traits of a great manager. And one of the things that our guests said is very similar to what you're saying. And I think there's a lot of truth. It's not about you, it's about forging those relationships, helping other people look good, helping build, yet community or that sense of togetherness with others, like I've got your back.

Robin Dreeke:

Absolutely. And there's no better time than that than right now. mean, we're seeing the most important things in life right now or relationships, you know, and creating them, keeping them, you know, fostering them, letting them grow. Because you know, what I've learned, especially in the last bunch of years of my career was without relationships, you got nothing. You know, you cannot achieve anything in life without relationships. And so the healthiest they are, the better, easier life is going to be.

Laura Khalil:

Now, I want to again, go back to this experience you had in the book, you talk about 911, you talk about being in New York, and you also talk about kind of being surprised by what happened in terms of did I, who are the people maybe that I misjudged, or how did we not see this coming? And I think that a lot of people have that experience, where we can be in a work relationship with someone or in a personal relationship, and we can feel like how did I not see this? How have I missed this thing? And can you describe and talk a little bit more about that because it seems like we're looking for For the wrong thing sometimes.

Robin Dreeke:

Yeah, it was it was it was fascinating. And suddenly, you know, realize that years later, you know, because when you're in the moment, you, you know, you don't see things. You're just reacting to the world around you a lot of times and so what was going on in New York at the time, you know, I've been in the Bureau, a number of years, I came in the bureau 1997. And, you know, I had this opportunity in New York City during 911, where, you know, I worked Russians my entire career into that point. And then, so 911 happens and also we're working Middle East, and I went to one of my Russian sources in the book, he's called Leo. And I said, Alright, we got to start working Middle East. And so he actually identified and found this, this great guy that could really be a good source for the FBI and our national security, you know, really close relative of a another leader of another Middle Eastern country. It's all I can say to protect it and and i I found myself in an interesting position one about you know, trusting, you know, the information and the relationship from this guy at the same time. How do I get my management to trust me that I got this without blowing up the world? Right? Because that and then Robin Yeah, no pressure. No and it's funny, you don't feel it at the time but you're like, you like I felt compelled that like, Alright, this guy's we got a good guy here this is gonna be really good but at the same time I had to strategize. You know, how do I get them? You know, how do I get my management to say, Alright, let's do this. And so it took a it took some strategizing. And that actually is funny because that actually became one of the things I want to do and when I ran my team, my behavioral team because typically, we'd get you know, I'd get a case agent you know, from anywhere in the country, you know, contact us, you know, to do some behavioral assessment for some individual they either wanted to recruit they need to double agent operation interview strategy, all these different spooky spooky spy things. All my team ever does is strategize trust, and that's where the code of trust came from. And but the first question, I always would ask the case agent, it was Tell me about your management, because we have to strategize. Yes, from them first before you can even do the other. And so and then really started, you know, looking back at this time there 911 I had to strategize Yes, for management to even move forward.

Laura Khalil:

Wow. So how so for people right now who are thinking about trying to, let's say, get a proposal greenlit or, you know, they're thinking about their career and where they want to move? And they know that they need to get buy in from different, you know, people who have various forms of influence within the company. Where do we start?

Robin Dreeke:

Really, really simple. You've got to start with their priorities. And if you don't know what's important to them, and what their jobs are and what their priorities are You're just guessing at it, you're going to keep guessing at it. And that's why, you know, in my earlier career, you know, you have moments of greatness, moments of failure, greatness, fear, you know, all these ups and downs, because you're constantly guessing at, you know, what's important to other people, you know, because people only care about their own priorities because, you know, predicting human behavior is extremely simple. People always act in their own best interest in terms of safety, security, prosperity. If you can figure out though, what they think that is, without guessing at it, you now know exactly what they're going to do, they're always going to act in terms of that safety, security, prosperity. And so in Part of that is understanding what the priorities are both personally and professionally. And so if you take time to understand what the priorities of your bosses are, the people around you are of the of the relationships that you need in order to move forward and now you become a resource for their success in terms of those priorities and you make their jobs easier. They're gonna want to ally with you. I guarantee it.

Laura Khalil:

I love it. And I think it goes to something that I talk about a lot too, which is, you call them priorities, I call them values. And I will say that you can always trust people to do what they value period. Yep. And I think that's really sometimes hard for us to accept. Because we think there's, well, you know, people should do this people ought to act this way. And it's like, No, no, no, no, no, that's from your viewpoint. Yeah, that's exactly that's you, that's your lens. Right. But you said safety, security, and what was the other prosperity, prosperity that will help them grow? That is really, really interesting. And so when we figure that and you also personally and professionally so if we're in an environment you know, and it's a work environment, it's still important to get to know that person at a human level, not just as you know, they are my quote unquote boss or skip level manager. They are a human being,

Robin Dreeke:

if that you know if that's But they're willing to share and open up about Yeah, because I mean, I mean, who hasn't worked with someone that you think actually sucks at their job. But if you get to know them as a human being as a mother, as a father, as a sister or brother, you know, there's lots of aspects of life. I mean, I have worked with a lot of people that I did not think we're really good at their jobs, but I figured out what they're great at. So here's the other thing you do two, people's greatness because everyone has greatness. You just got to figure out where it's at. Because here's another guarantee. Everyone is working on something. We're all insecure about something. You know, I my, my big philosophy is we're all born perfect. Earth messes us up for about 19 years and we spend the rest of our lives trying to unscrew it. Stop focusing on what people are messing up and focus on and find and discover what they're great if you can take time every day, to to look for someone's greatness and discover what their priorities are. And always talk in terms of those things. You're going to have great relationships.

Laura Khalil:

Love that Robin. You know, before we brought you on the show, I got a number of questions from people. And I want to tell you that top question I received unequivocably from a bunch of people, they said, Well, can you ask Robin how I can tell if someone's lying to me? I mean, I've heard this so many times. And so is that the right question to be asking, first of all, and let's just Delve, it looks kind of like unpack that, because people are very concerned with are they lying to me? Are they being honest with me? How would you even begin to address that?

Robin Dreeke:

So first of all, you cannot detect deception? You know, the best people in the world, even my great friend Joe Navarro, you know, world renowned nonverbal expert. Yeah, um, you know, he will tell you to that even the best people in the world can only do it 50% accurately. And so I don't even try to detect deception when I'm looking. So I think the easiest thing to do is search for transparency. And so just if you you know, one of the greatest things you can you know, so I have these three anchors I have you know, when when interacting with someone, my first anchor is create a healthy relationship number one, first and foremost, because only everything can come from a healthy relationship. My second one is open, honest communication and transparency. I will offer it to you and I'm looking for it from you. And so if I have questions if there's because, you know, great leaders need situational awareness, and situational awareness comes through communication and if I start dealing with someone that is not helping me with situational awareness and is lacking transparency and certain issues, now I know that all right, I don't look at I don't not going to label them as lying or being deceitful, but they're not looking for a healthy relationship in this lane for some reason, and I'll back off.

Unknown Speaker:

Okay. And so try to investigate why that is.

Robin Dreeke:

Yeah. And yeah, so it really comes down. To know how well you know them, and you can say, hey, it's like, How come? I'm looking for transparency here? And you seem reluctant to give it? You know, I mean, you can do because all you're doing is asking questions, because the best thing you do is what I call discovery questions. You know, I'm never accusatory because that that placing judgment on someone, I'm just asking for clarifying discovery questions, you know, it's like, Hey, I'm looking for this. You seem to have reluctance to share that if you're, if you're willing to share why great, if not, I'll back off and we won't do business in this area. Because then you're empowering them with a choice. You're talking in terms, their priorities, and you're validating them. I mean, so I really love just asking questions so I can discover, you know, what is is in the moment So

Laura Khalil:

yeah, I love that Robin. That reminds me a lot of work. Did you ever work with or I'm sure you know, Chris Voss. It reminds me a lot of the strategies that he teaches about start asking questions, start labeling and asking questions around what you're seeing?

Robin Dreeke:

Yeah, he trained my I remember when I first came on the team in 2001 he was already doing all that and yeah, he called it emotional labeling, you know, you said which is just asking questions. Do you feel this way? You must feel this way. Because and and if not, they'll you'll be corrected on it. So yeah, no, I it's incredible the bet the best way to plant seeds with people is not telling them what you think it's asking them about what they think because that will guarantee that their brain engages it so it's always

Laura Khalil:

Okay, Robin, I have to ask you this. Well, you tell us your favorite story from in the field.

Robin Dreeke:

That one recently a couple times.

Unknown Speaker:

I'm asking you that non stop.

Robin Dreeke:

No, it's actually not that common. Um It really depends on what kind of story you want to hear. I I've had you know, I've had the ones where I wrote about in the book which, you know, in hindsight really made a pretty big impact on, you know, protect national security. You know, we almost had two countries going to war. Right? Which was fascinating. And then I've had the the crazy. I mean, I've had, you know, crazy. I did a lot of undercover work in New York City because it's actually illegal for an FBI guy to walk up to a foreign diplomat and try to recruit them. So you had to do undercover.

Unknown Speaker:

You talked about that.

Robin Dreeke:

Yeah. And I mean, I had a couple of situations in New York that were absolutely crazy. I mean, like, like drunken diplomats in the middle of the night that were just falling all over themselves, you know, and I'm driving them home in their cars. I mean, it was just like what really? Oh yeah. Oh, it's it's it's funny stuff.

Laura Khalil:

Yeah, how did they get in your car?

Robin Dreeke:

Oh, no, I drove them home and their diplomatic car.

Laura Khalil:

Oh my gosh.

Robin Dreeke:

Which was even funnier because then then I'm calling you know, so my my good friend in the book, Jesse thorn. You know, I'm remember I'm driving up the FDR drive one night at like, Two or three o'clock in the morning after what was supposed to be a business meeting as an undercover and I'm calling him because I've got to go to a diplomatic establishment and drop this person off that is passed out next to me. And he's got to come pick me up because I had to leave my car in New York because I had drive there. I was just crazy.

Unknown Speaker:

Wow,

Robin Dreeke:

yeah. stuff does go on. It's pretty funny.

Laura Khalil:

Well, it sounds like it's never a dull moment.

Robin Dreeke:

There, there are lots of dull moments, you know, because, you know, you know, it's never at the tempo and pace that you see in the movies. generally more spread out over time. But all those things do happen. I mean, when I worked in New York, yeah, we had fake rocks that were being left by Russians next to telephone poles. Um, I mean, no stuff does go on.

Laura Khalil:

Still to this day. Oh, yeah. Yeah, cuz we haven't heard about that with like, you know, in the, you know, I don't know 40s or 50s and 60s, you don't have the umbrellas with the dirt shooting out of it or whatever. So it's never that treacherous.

Robin Dreeke:

But no, it is. It is. It is, you know, these things are designed to be clandestine so that people don't know what's going on. And so they are Yeah, they're still going on today. Never stop.

Laura Khalil:

Robin, here's what I'd like to know. I have two more questions for you. The one first one is what do most people get wrong? When they're trying to get into sizing people up when they're trying to get into? Okay, like I've heard what he said, I understand I need to look at their priorities.

Robin Dreeke:

But where did Where do most people sort of go astray at this point, and how can we bring them back on course. So I think there's two things I think people can really do. First is people really allow liking someone or disliking someone to create a bias, hmm, and when when assessing whether they can actually perform a function. Because just because you like someone doesn't mean you can actually trust and I redefined trust is really predictability. Just because you like someone doesn't mean you can actually trust that they can actually do a certain task. And so you have to make sure you distance yourself from liking from assessing what they can reasonably do. So that's the first thing. And the second thing is, I'm a big believer in what I call beta testers. You know, when you write a book, you give it to someone else to read and their beta reader when and when we did a consultation for one of my behavioral assessments, we always said roleplay and the purpose of role playing the purpose of asking someone else their opinion, is that when you have someone that is not emotionally attached to the outcome or the or the circumstances, they're more likely to be cognitively engaged to see the cause and effect and so in my life You know, I have my, my wife and my kids. They're great beta testers I have, you know, in the book, Jesse Thorn, you know, my my mentor and guide, he was a great beta tester, you know. So even though I'm very practiced at all the strategies for engaging people creating healthy relationships, if it's important before I send out an email before I make a phone call before I have a meeting, I will roleplay and ask my wife, ask a friend, you know, that I trust that is objective and say, Hey, here's what I'm looking to do. How's this sound to you? Right, that that'll be really, really good input for you about alright. Am I too emotionally attached? detached? I mean, no. So I believe in those two things, you know, having a great beta tester. And, you know, make sure you don't bias yourself with liking or disliking someone because liking and disliking is really just based on whether you think you have similar morals, ethics and beliefs mostly,

Laura Khalil:

you know, that's so interesting, because as you're talking, I keep I don't know if you've read I'm talking to strangers by Malcolm Gladwell Well, but he talks in this book about how the CIA got it so wrong. When they were dealing with Cuba and all of the how they had actually recruited spies. Oh, yeah.

Robin Dreeke:

How they had gotten it wrong, because there was a bias around Well, they seem like a solid person. Mm hmm. That's like, Well, you know, we're, as you say, that's not really a great judge. And the way it's not and that's and one way to then because then you say, Well, how do you know if you're being manipulated or not? Well, then you go for that transparency again, you know, because if people are being openly transparent, without pause, without time, that's someone you can most likely trust because transparency, openness, communications and speed of those things where there's no cognitive thought or dissidents. You know, that's, that's a great indicator.

Laura Khalil:

Robert, it also sounds like transparency is going to be backed up by the actions of that person. So, I would imagine if you're thinking someone's trying to be transparent, but then their actions are the opposite. Mm hmm. We have a problem.

Robin Dreeke:

Yeah, that's what I call it in congruence. So it's the same thing where you have I mean, I think everyone's experiences at least once in their life where you have, you know, that that creepy salesman kind of reaction to someone because what's happened is they might use like, even if you're trying to buy a car, you know, and you're looking for, you're looking for them to use some slick words, but they're saying all the right things, but you still got the creepy feeling. car sales. Well, what happened is you have in congruence between their nonverbals and their verbals, because they're verbally saying the right things, but non verbally, they're saying, I'm going to take advantage and get all your money.

Unknown Speaker:

So,

Robin Dreeke:

so the important thing here is when people are using the good language with you, they should have good open comfort displays, you know, because I'm Always looking mostly in the face and upper body. Because you know, yet the whole body's telling you lots of things on verbally from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. But when you're paying attention to words, which are really, really important to do, you're really going to see mostly just in the facial area. So I'm looking for the smiling, I'm looking for eyebrow elevation, I'm looking for a little bit of head tilt. I'm looking for any open visual displays that are saying open accommodate basically lots of comfort with the words they're saying because human beings really do not like being under stress and being deceptive. And so when people are generally doing things that are deceptive and not good, they will generally give off the same nonverbal indicators that are saying they're not comfortable with the things they're doing. So I'm always looking for that congruence between the words as well as the nonverbals.

Laura Khalil:

Now are some of those non verbals? Um, things like crossing, arms crossing legs, or Are those the wrong things to be looking for?

Robin Dreeke:

So those things they can be, but you got to look at the context and you also they also can just be comfort moves too. So the good thing is if you want to look at things like that because those are stress potential stress indicators, is you want to see if they're clustered you know, so if you just see someone crossing their arms but they happen to be smiling and laughing, you know, with a nice head tilt and that's just a comfort move for him. But now if they're crossing their arms or pulling away from you, they're bleeding their bodies a little bit their eyebrows are compressed. Well, that's a big cluster of

Laura Khalil:

stress. They got a problem, right? Oh, I love it kind of this is so fascinating. I want to just put you in my pocket Robin and you out and say, Robin, what's going on? But better yet, I should just, you know, read. We read the book, we incorporate the information, and we begin to apply it in our lives. Robin, what last question for you? What is the question you always wish you were asked?

Robin Dreeke:

I guess really, what's the most important thing in life and it really is relationships. I mean, me having, having and fostering good healthy relationships where there's no drama is the most important thing in life. And the way you do that is, you do these four. If you do these four things with everyone in your life every day, I guarantee you're gonna have great relationships that is, seek their thoughts and opinions, talk in terms of their priorities and what's important to them, validate who they are, and their thoughts and opinions without judging them, and then give them choices. When you do one of those four things with any human being you meet. I guarantee you, you're gonna have a great relationship, which will foster everything in life.

Laura Khalil:

Robin Drake, thank you so much for joining brave by design. It's been such a pleasure.

Robin Dreeke:

It really has been Thank you.

Laura Khalil:

I don't know how can people learn more about you find you or pick up sizing people up?

Robin Dreeke:

Sure. So my website is a great resource. It's called people formula.com all one word people formula.com and all my books are on Amazon. You can order my line there Kindle I read for two of them co to trust and size of people by read. So if you want to, I call death by Robin, you can listen to the audio version. Great, great thing is this, you know, for people that are really looking for a manual, I'm sizing people up I wrote it and I'm very proud of the fact that at the end of every chapter, I do something Dale Carnegie did in you know how to win friends and influence people. He had a one one pager at the end of each chapter. Yeah, David and I did the same thing and sizing people up at the end of every chapter. There's a chapter debriefing that goes through that the one of the six signs of assessing someone and 10 tells to that are positive tells and 10 tells or negative tells you get a get a quote from the chapter, you get the key message from the chapter. So you know, I actually literally have it sitting right next to me here. You know, my own PDF copy that I printed out at the The end of every chapter because there's a lot of information and it makes a really good handbook.

Laura Khalil:

Yeah, and I love that format because it's a very clear, you can take those and you can read, read more in depth, take those sort of one sheets at the end and really incorporate them into how you're moving forward again, Robin, thank you so much for joining brave by design. This was awesome.

Robin Dreeke:

Thank you, Laura. Thank you so much as well.