We have Susan Ibitz here. She is a human behavior hacker. She has worked with some of the top names out there from Paul Ekman to David Matsumoto and Negotiation in Harvard. She does face reading. She does all these amazing things in forensics and everything else that helps you understand body language and deception detection.
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Hacking The Human Behavior with Susan Ibitz
I am here with Susan Ibitz who has been hacking people for 27 years. She studied with Paul Ekman, David Matsumoto. She did Negotiation at Harvard and face reading. She is the only expert doing all the channels of communication, like face reading, personality assessments, micro-expressions, body language, deception detection, statement analysis, forensic and all the different things that are dealing with movement and pattern analysis. She has an interesting group. She works with the Navy, Harvard and the Secret Service to use these techniques and I’m very excited to have her here. Welcome, Susan.
Thank you, Dr. Hamilton, for having me.
Let’s tell everybody where you’re from, a little background.
I was born in South America and raised in different parts of Europe as my parents were a diplomat. I speak a couple of languages, but all the languages are for the Latin root and only English is from the German one. If it’s early in the morning, because I’m not an early person or I’m tired or I have been talking with someone in any of the other languages, my accent can show strong.
Did you say your family was Austrian? Where was that in the mix?
My dad is Italian. My mom is the first generation born in South America from an Austrian family. My family escaped from Auschwitz like a lot of people did to South America and we lost our last name. A few years ago, I was like, “I want to know the roots of my family,” so I went back to Austria and finally found it.
Your background was fascinating to me because as I read in your bio, I mentioned you studied with Paul Ekman, who has been a guest on the show and was wonderful to talk to. For those who are reading, if they’ve seen the show Lie to Me on television, it was based on Paul Ekman’s work. How did you get involved in all of this? This is a fascinating work and I love everything that’s human behavior-related. Can we give a little background on you?
It’s because I failed. I failed in what I want to conquer because I’m dyslexic. For many years, dyslexia was a disability. I’m 47 years old. I would say 30 years ago, when you were dyslectic, they tell you nothing can be done and it’s true. Certain things cannot be done, but another one you can accomplish better. Actually, being dyslexic wires your brain in a different way and I can see things naturally that other people cannot see and that makes you a savant. At that aspect, I ended up studying with as many people as I can. When I finished high school and I was ready to go to college, in South America and in Europe, you don’t go to college. After that, you make a master. You do both at the same time. I started studying psychology and I was fascinated by how the brain is wired and personalities and my teachers are all the time trying to put me in a box. I don’t want to be in a box. I want to be thinking outside the box. They’re like, “You need to follow the patterns in psychology.”
Another thing was every time that I have a test, the pressure to do a test was so bad that I fail. My teacher says, “You’re the one who most participates in class and you’re always reading new things. What is wrong with you?” “I don’t think I’m cut out for being an academic student. I don’t think I can do it,” and I get frustrated. One of my teachers says, “Maybe academic is not for you, but I have a friend who is a TV producer and is looking for someone to produce a segment shown in the 8:00 news and I think you’re going to be great because you know how to talk to people and you can profile people easy.” We didn’t use the term profile 27 years ago. He says, “You can make a rock talk.” That’s the term he used. I went as a producer and six months later, I have my own show. In one of the shows I interview somebody who was doing NLP and was something new and I got fascinated and that was my first step on the path to learning. I learned more and more to the point that I cannot stop. I’m addicted to learning.
A lot of people might not know NLP. Can you explain that?
The Neuro-linguistic was developed by Bandler and Erickson in the ‘70s and ‘80s. They were accurate in some of the aspects and technology came after. One of the things that were proved there is not accurate is if you move the eyes to the left or move to the eyes to the right, if you don’t have a baseline, you cannot determine if the person constructed the truth or remembering something that happened. In my case, for example, I do everything with my left hand but I write with my right hand. When I recall information, I close my eyes because I’m extremely visual. I need to remember formation by seeing it. If somebody wanted to determine if I’m lying or not, you could not do it by the pattern of the eyes. They were accurate on how to use auditory, visual and kinesthetic words. That’s one of the things that I incorporate on my training because I’ll use that engaging with physiognomy what is phase reading. If you have small ears, you’re extremely visual. I need to talk to you with visual words, but if you had big ears, you’re going to be paying attention to the weight of the words and consistency. I need to use words which are auditory that makes a sound to you in your head.
You’re saying physically small ears. Is that a real thing that we are more visual? I don’t know that.
Physiognomy has been around us for 5,000 years. The Chinese developed physiognomy to diagnose women because men weren’t allowed to touch women to diagnose them and women weren’t allowed to study Medicine. They need to develop a technique that allowed them to diagnose and they find out that depending on certain moles and parts of your body are related to organs. The Western culture modified that and that’s what we know now. Abraham Lincoln uses it. He was a great physiognomist. When he died, they found all the pictures and studies he did. Judge Jones in 1920 in California found out that everybody who came to his court and had a certain way to answer a question or ask have the same features. For 30 years, he studied that. In 1953, he went to UCLA and taught the students how to read basic patterns and they found that it was 93% accurate and what we know as a jury selection is based on physiognomy.
I can tell you about someone and the way they intake information, they process information and how you need for an approach that person base on the face. I did another podcast and the person who was interviewing me suddenly punched the video and says on the air, “Let’s see how accurate and how good you are. Read me.” I read him for 90 seconds and I stopped. He says, “Stop. I got it. I’m never ever going to doubt you again.” He was freaking out, “How do you know that?” I’m like, “It’s nothing that I’m making up. Your face is telling me and I’m translating your face because your face is a GPS to your brain.” The same way micro-expressions are a GPS to your real feelings.Your face is the GPS of your brain. Click To Tweet
It reminded me of one of my discussions with Paul Ekman about how even blind people have the same certain expressions. It’s not something that we are learning from looking at somebody else, we have certain expressions that are innate. When you were looking at him, what things were you telling him about? Whether he was lying or what were you reading about him?
I heard your interview with Dr. Paul Ekman and I like it. He’s still feisty. I liked that about him. The study that was done where you prove that blind kids had the same expressions when they lost and the win was done by Dr. Matsumoto in 2009. He studied judo and he found out that people who lost and win have bigger micro-expressions. Meaning they sustained the expression longer that proves that our brain is primed with those patterns. It’s like when your parents are pianists or musicians and you’re a natural musician. The same way, so we don’t learn from our parents’ micro-expressions, the news is we learn from our parents how to lie. For example, somebody called on the phone and you tell your kid, “I’m going to give you candies if you tell your auntie I’m not home.” I’m not a lie detector. I don’t believe people can say that they’re a lie detector. Nobody’s 100% accurate. You can determine hotspot by body language and micro-expressions. What the face reading is telling you is how you are and how you process. For example, I teach three things to sales people: the size of the ears, the shape of the eyebrows and the proxemics.
The proximity is that what you said of the eyes?
That proxemics is what we call the distance and it’s stronger in the United States. If you approach someone and you suddenly go to give a hand and the person retracts, you’re going to find out the distance between the eyelid and the eyebrows is higher. Try to remember someone who is friendly who tend to interrupt a lot and you’re going to find out that person has a short distance, almost no distance between the eyelid and the eyebrow. If I’m going to meet with you and I have the chance to see a picture of you, I know you’re going to be friendly. If you’re my patient, I know that you’re going to be friendly and you’re going to get lost on the conversation so I need to reel you in to make sure that when you leave my office, you have all the information.
If you had small ears, you’re going to recall information by writing in a paper. When I train doctors, they had better success with patients following prescriptions and methodology to work with medication and treatment when the patients write their own assessment and instructions. When a person has big ears, they’re going to be listening to the doctor all the time. People who have small ears, they need to see how things happen. 78% of the doctors are sued, not because there was a problem with the treatment. It’s because there was a problem between the communication between the doctor and the patient on how to do a follow-up.
I worked for many years in pharmaceutical sales and I’m thinking of all the doctors. A lot of them had a lot of communication issues like you’re saying and all of this is fascinating. We had some other people who did readings of my face and personality assessment to some extent, body language and that type of thing. I’m curious about what your training was. Did you go to college for this or is this something you learned on the job? What’s your background as far as that goes?
I’m a college drop out. I fail on that, but it was funny because I have the honor to study with Paul Ekman International Group in the UK. At the end of the class, I was a pain in the neck for the teachers because I’m like, “Why?” They call me why because if somebody else needs to make questions, I don’t care. I want to know more. At the end of the class, one of the instructors and a new master develop and based on the curriculum that Paul Ekman develop on the micro-expressions, came and said, “We have a new master and we want to know who would like to participate.” Obviously, I was the first one to raise the hand and was like, “I love to but I don’t have any degree.”
They told me you have a degree in a certain way. They evaluated me for a week and they accept me on the master. What happened six months later, I couldn’t take the pressure, so I failed for a second time, but it was an honor? I studied directly with everybody who does it. I studied with Matsumoto and Ekman. I went to study Negotiation at Harvard. I didn’t do any degree at Harvard, only to be clear. I study a hostage negotiation with the best people. I still can call my friends and mentors and we talk, like Jack Cambria. He was the chief hostage negotiator from the New York Police. Mark Lowther, he is the one who trained everybody in hostage negotiation. I studied with Lena Sisco from the CIA. She was the only women in Guantanamo doing interrogation and she developed all this technique where you can get more from someone when you give a spoon of honey than a punch on the face.
I studied with the Avinoam Sapir. He is the person who developed in 1987 SCAN, Scientific Content Analysis. Everybody is talking about statement analysis. He was an Israeli interrogator who came to the United States. Everybody else who’s doing this, actually they’re copying his method, but he was the first one and he was my mentor. He made me wait two years to accept me in the class because he doesn’t train civilians. He made me fought for that and he tests me the second day and says, “I’m going to give you 32 pages of texts. It’s only one word who’s going to tell you the person who is lying. If you don’t do the assessment, you’re out of the class.” Obviously, I didn’t sleep and I found the word.
What was the word?
“We” because the person was talking on the third person and say somebody else was doing a fraud, somebody else was doing something wrong, but in one point it says, “We cash the check and that’s when we leave the country.” He took me as a mentee. I studied forensic analysis with the mentee of Robert Shay who was the person who worked with the FBI to find the Unabomber after seventeen years the FBI was looking for him. I learned how to do anonymous letters. I am going to study movement pattern analysis with 24 months certification and it’s only 22 people around the world who are certified. I’m leaning to be the 23rd. I’ve been accepted, so I’m fighting to start and let’s see what happens with that.
I hope it goes well. Movement pattern analysis involves what? How we move our bodies or some other thing?
I don’t know if you remember because the media was fast to address not to say anything else. The story was a leak that the Secret Service and the Navy were doing a study on Putin and how he makes decisions based on how he moved the body. It’s true that Harvard, the Navy and a psychologist has been doing study, and I think I sent you a couple of the studies to see that how you move your body determines how assertive you are and how much you are an explorer. When I did my intro to movement pattern analysis, I work three days for eight hours with a one-on-one coach. She did my report and she did it before he met me. She records me for two hours and mutes my voice. Myer Briggs, I would say. “I think face reading can be less accurate.” She told me things that I didn’t know. She says, “You’re a low explorer. You have friends since you are a kid. You’re the kind of person who used the same color of clothing and the same haircut and the same nail polish.” I’m like, “How did you know that?” I’m like, “I’m 47. My oldest friend has been in my life for 42 years. We went to kindergarten together and we’re still friends and yes, I always wear black. I still have some clothing from when I was twenty and what I do is going to a place. I find a sweater that I like and I buy six to make sure if one break, I can keep using the same style.”
I can relate to that a little bit. I wonder how much do you think? Is it almost psychic where if you get certain things, sometimes you’re going to get a certain percent accurate and people are going to go, “Yes?” You’re feeling sad because you have somebody in your life. Do they give general statements sometimes that can tie into everybody?You can be extremely intelligent but zero on emotional and cultural quotient. Click To Tweet
She didn’t record my voice. She only records my movement. She didn’t care what I was saying. She says, “You’re extremely assertive and you spend too much time on the process of researching and investigating and you going from the brain to doing. The problem with you is people cannot follow you, so I assumed the complaint you have from your team is you’re running too fast.” I started laughing so much and like, “Yes, that’s a classic complaint from my team.” We were talking about food, we were talking about the weather and about traveling so it was nothing related. I asked for the video and I reviewed the video. I’m like, “This is wicked.” A master is shorter, the kind of training I’m going to require to get certified. It’s only 22 people around the world. That’s how difficult it is to study. To tell you the truth, I’m scared to death because this one I cannot fail. That is going to make me the only person who does all the channels. The pressure is high, but I need to succeed in this.
I’ve had some experts on the show. I had Chris Voss and some interesting negotiators and different people who’ve done certain things, but you’re doing all these different things and I love the curiosity. I’m a curiosity expert and I think that you’re obviously one of the most curious people. We were talking about the other things that you’re working on because I’m writing a lot about perception and you were starting to tell me and I made you wait because I was very interested in what you’re working on. Because you said you had some internal eighteen people study that you’re on. Can you tell me a little bit more about that work that you’re working?
I’m the person who put the face the most, even I’m a socially awkward introvert and I always say everything which is inappropriate, it doesn’t matter who is in front of me. At this point in my life, when you hit 40, you’ll say, “I have two news for you. That’s the way I am. Deal with it up or I’m out.” We have psychologies, we have a psychiatrist. People who work in empathy, hostage negotiators and interrogators. We have a team. Every training we bring different people to the table. We were arguing about the first impression. One of the clients says, “We need a class on the first impression and we have seen these awesome videos. How you can make a huge first impression in two minutes?” I’m like, “I’m sorry I had two letters for you: B.S.” The client looks at me.
I’m going to give an example. You walk to a room and you suddenly are drawn to someone and you get excluding another person. That’s called the first impression. If you rationalize why you do it, it has nothing to do with the other person. It has to do with your internal dictionary. It has nothing to do with language. It’s nothing to do with religion and it has nothing to do with your physical appearance. I had some time people that I met said, “I cannot work with these people.” “Why?” “Because it’s reminding me of my ex-husband who cheated on me so I can’t.” Whether you like or don’t like the other person, it has to do with you and know the other person. You have a dictionary, a memory lane the same way the micro-expressions are embedded in your head the same way you don’t like someone.
When you don’t like someone or that person makes a wrong first impression, think about it. What is it about that person that triggers me that something that you may not like it? In some point, you need to work with people that you don’t emphasize and says, “You reminded me of my teacher or a person who bullied me on the class. It’s not you, so can I have the chance to meet you,” but put it out there. When you’re the person who’s not liked by others and says, “I’m sure I reminded you of someone or I did something that triggers your brain. I don’t know who he was or what she was, but I’m not that person. If you give me the chance to know you and show consistency, we’re going to work well.”
First, the impression has nothing to do with what you do. It has to do with the other person. That is a huge relief. We were talking with the person who’s doing the PhD in Psychology and the team is like, “We don’t have any studies done to prove it.” “It’s time that we start doing it,” because believe me, I’ve been testing this theory and every time somebody says, “I don’t like you,” I’m like, “Can we talk?” People are like, “I told you I don’t like you.” I’m like, “Actually, if you don’t like, it’s fine. Let’s go over. Why?” They’ll say, “I don’t know. I don’t like you.” Who I resembled and we always ended up in like, “The perfume you used or that dress or the makeup or the nails or the tattoos you have reminded me of X and Y. I have a preconception about people who have tattoos and that’s what makes me reject you because I think it’s an atrocity that you do tattoos in your body.” I’m like, “Thank you very much, but I suppose I don’t have tattoos. What do you think about me? Besides that, it’s nothing that I don’t like, can we start over?” That takes so much pressure socially because it’s like, “You don’t like me, I don’t need to interact with you. I move on.”
All of this is fascinating in the business aspect because so many people have to do business with people in different cultures within the United States or outside of the United States. If you’re dealing with different organizations that have offices somewhere else or if you want to start a company in another country and you want to deal with the US and maybe we have a different perception of what it’s like to do business in your country. How can we help people understand each other? You were talking about taking the platinum rule to the next level. That’s all about empathy and we have to understand each other from other perspectives. How can we get people to relate well to one another and understand each other’s perception of each other?
I’ve been doing one keynote speaking that I was in the impression it’s not going to hook and people love it. It’s cultural IQ. I haven’t seen the developing of that topic by anybody else. I don’t think we’re a genius. I think that because we are dealing with so many people and different cultures and myself born and raised in South America. I transferred to Europe and moved to the United States, I’m a fruit salad. I’m all over the place. You can have an IQ. You can be extremely intelligent and you can be zero on emotional IQ and cultural IQ. A person who is successful and intelligent, know how to empathize, sympathize and when not to do it. I’m going to tell you why about that. When you know that, you know how to make the right questions when you go into a different culture. We have a person on the team, he’s an Arabic and he speaks Arabic and believe it or not, they hire us to do training in Iraq and companies who want to work with them because it’s difficult.
You cannot shake hands with women. Women cannot be alone in the same room. When we developed this class, it was 160 questions that we need to do to and interview people. If you don’t ask questions respectfully, nobody can get offended and if a man is going to shake hands with a woman, the woman will retract the hand and says, “I’m sorry, I’m coming from the United States and we tend to shake hands. Can you please explain to me why it’s wrong? I didn’t mean to offend you. I want to respect your culture.” Diane, nobody is wrong with that. Nobody can get offended if you make questions. The problem is we are confusing empathy and sympathy. Sometimes you need to stop and start making a question and use your brain.
When I did my first hostage negotiations, one of my teachers says, “Who’s an empath? Who has sympathy and who doesn’t care?” I was the first one to raise the hand because I was the only woman and civilian on the room and says, “I don’t care.” Other people look at me like, “What is wrong with you?” I’m going to give you an example. I have empathy and sympathy for you. You’re on the cliff of a roof. In order for you not to jump, I’m going to hook myself to you. Now we have two families planning a burial because we have two dead people, but if I use my brain to control my emotions to be on the right level and help you to understand the situation, it’s not that you need to forget sympathy or empathy.
Sometimes you need to execute to be assertive. If you’re too emotional, you will lose the assertiveness. We know the CEOs need to be an empath, but at the end of the day, they need to be assertive because one person who is complicated in a company can take you to the bankruptcy. Empathy and sympathy are great when you’re talking about personal things, but at some point, you need to be assertive. You have three kinds of an empath. The one who’s going to cry with you, the one who’s going to be the fixer, and the one who is a wave. She or he can go from both. Grab your hands when you’re crying and go like, “We’re done with mourning. It’s time to move on to fix the problem.”
I’m a fixer. When you cry and I don’t know what to do, “I don’t know what to do with this. Please help. Can somebody come?” We have another person on the team. He’s extremely empathic and he’s like, “I’m feeling your feelings.” I call him like, “Honey, they need you. Let me know when you’re finished.” I own it. That’s a reason we’d give the class together. When we teach cultural IQ, you need to empathize with people on the level that you can understand. In one point, you need to be assertive and not let other people for the cultural differences overpower the decisions you need to make. Be respectful when you go to another country. Take the time to Google as much as you can and you’ll always going to find somebody in LinkedIn or through friends who have been born or their parents are being born in that country ask a question. If you’re doing it wrong, just ask. I don’t want to be disrespectful. I want to know what happened.
When you’re dealing with Japanese or Chinese people, they come steady and they don’t move. One of the people that were more difficult for me to read were Japanese more than anybody. They look at you, they nod and says, “Thank you very much.” You leave the room and says “They don’t like it.” Two days later they’re calling like, “They love your presentation. They want you back. If they didn’t like it, they would have to walk away.” They don’t have any politeness. They don’t care if you get offended, they walk away. I didn’t take it personally. Every time I have a meeting with somebody who’s Japanese, Indian or from China, I’m waiting for it. If I haven’t been kicked out of the meeting in fifteen minutes, we’re okay.
It’s so fascinating because I was reading Joe Lurie’s book, Perception and Deception. He gives a lot of examples in that. He does a lot with perception in different Asian cultures. Some of the things that we think of are appropriate here are not appropriate there and vice versa. I think all of this is important. When you were talking about empathy, it brought to mind some people who’ve been on the show who talk about Steve Jobs. I had somebody tell me that he thought that Steve Jobs actually did have empathy. He used it almost in a manipulative way. He was able to put himself in somebody else’s shoes, but he used it to get the best out of people even though he tortured them doing it. Is there bad empathy?Empathy is the biggest way to manipulate someone if you know how to do it. Click To Tweet
When I went to do my class, everybody was telling me like, “You’re going to the dark side.” No, everything is depending on how you use it. I can give you a car and you can drink and drive and kill someone and have an accident and hurt someone. I can have the car coming behind you, put the person on the back of my car and take you to the hospital. It has nothing to do with what you learn, it’s how to use it. Being a leader and being in charge is not something that I would like. I never want to be the boss. It’s the most difficult job in the world because you need to adapt to everyone. Do you know who are the most empathic people in the world?
Psychopaths. Dr. Kiehl has a book called The Psychopath Whisperer. He was the one who discovered that psychopaths have an amygdala who’s 16% smaller. The new generation of fMRIs are done because of all of his studies. One of the things that he comes up and other people who study with him is that psychopaths are good at mimicking your empathy. When somebody is extremely empathetic to the point like, “What is wrong with you?” There’s something wrong with that person. Extreme empathy sounds fake. Incompletely distanced sounds like you don’t care. I think you need to balance. Definitely empathy I think is one of the biggest ways to manipulate someone if you know how to do it and it depends on who are you doing it with.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that a lot of CEOs are sociopaths. Have you studied that?
I’m not a psychologist, so I won’t advise that. I am talking about studies done and conversations I have with people who study them and people that in my team who are psychologists. I’m not giving a diagnostic. I’m talking about pointy academic eyebrows, always the academic studies. The difference between a psychopath who is a CEO and a sociopath is the environment where they’re developing, growing and adapting. Since we know that, then a psychopath has different wiring on the brain. People need to understand how minuscule is everything in our brain. The amygdala between 15% to 20% smaller, it’s a lot. What is the difference between the Enron CEO and Jeffrey Dahmer? One was growing in an environment who was violent and deceiving and mistreated. The other one was in a silver spoon and used that silver spoon to get on the ladder to get where they need to go. I think the only difference is that.
It is interesting how you almost have to have something a little bit off to do a lot of great things in life sometimes. When you read some of these success stories, you hear they are over the top in one way or another. What I’m interested in are all the things that you’re looking at in terms of how this helps us get along better in the workplace. Don’t we sometimes have to lie if we know how to tell when everybody’s lying? Do you want to tell everybody the truth all the time? “How do I look? Does my butt look big?”
No, I wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone. I knew my ex-husband was cheating on me, but he finally was not on my toes and not arguing with me. I knew he was doing it like, “Honey, I’m going to Vegas with my friend.” I’m like, “You want me to pack your bag?” I knew he was doing it. I lied to him because I wasn’t ready to deal with that. I’m going to our client and like, “We have the best sales team.” Coming back to this, you know the training we need to do it on the core because the sales team is a mess because the manager is a mess. We need to look for a way to integrate the manager because it’s not that they get offended. When a friend comes in and says, “I’m in love with this guy and he’s perfect.” I’m like, “Yes, wait for it.”
I waited when they’re going to drop on the floor crying. Sometimes people are not ready to hear the truth. I believe in the white truth. I know that it sounds double-faced, but I do believe in order to have a society, we need to have white lies. Let’s clarify if it’s a lie. If you’re going to go to the cinema to see Robert De Niro doing the role of a boxer, you know he’s not a boxer. You go knowing that you’re going to pay for the ticket even though that person is good. You have the lies for omission and embellishment. I know some people who are good in their jobs and they don’t know how to sell themselves, they need to embellish resumes.
What I always say is, “Don’t go too far away from where you ended up not getting a job anywhere.” In order to have a balance in society, everything. If your lie is going to hurt someone, mislead someone to have a product they don’t need, it’s going to cause sickness. We were talking about pharmaceutical. We know that some drugs have been proven that will make you an addict and they knew about it and they don’t say it. Those are the canalized that I cannot stand for. I’m lying, yes. I lie every day. I needed to put my dog to sleep and for a month, I went through hell. I needed to do biopsies, scan, MRI and my friends were like, “How are you doing? How is Homer?” I’m like, “He is never better. I’m busy with work.”
I wasn’t working. I canceled everything because I knew it was coming to an end and until I posted on Facebook. I’m like, “I need to inform you, “I need to put to sleep Homer. Please understand. I don’t want to talk to anyone.” Everybody gets mad at me like, “Why you didn’t say anything?” “Because I wasn’t ready to deal with your empathy when I’m mad like a cow. I couldn’t talk to you. I couldn’t have all the love that you were ready to give me because I’m mad with life. I’m pissed off and I didn’t want to take it with you and I wasn’t ready to deal with the reality. I’m a bad person.” At that moment I have enough tools to deal with the pain and making accurate decisions. I couldn’t have people say like, “It’s only a doc put into sleep.” Another one is like, “You need to do everything possible.” It was between me and my pillow making the decision about what is best for him. I didn’t lie. I omitted the reality.
I think there are times and I agree that it’s so important to know when it’s appropriate to say certain things and not say certain things. I know you’ve worked with so many areas of training, consulting, journalists and producers and law enforcement and realtors. I was looking at your list and I had to stop and wonder what you deal with the sperm donor selection. What do you do in that realm?
I have two friends. They’re both lesbian and they got married. They decided to have a baby. I don’t have kids, so I call them my adopted daughters. When we’re going to places, “Yes, my daughters are on the bathroom.” They come up and like, “Don’t ask.” They wanted to have a baby and they call me Mama Susan, “Mama Susan, we wanted to have a boy who has similar characteristics that we have and we don’t know where to start because everybody’s sounded amazing on the paper.” I’m like, “Give me profiles of the people that you’re going to be choosing, the pictures on their profile. This guy used drugs. This guy is an addict.” It’s how you know. When they ask him if he’s using drugs, he says, “It’s against my religion. I’m Jewish. Bacon is against my religion. You take the bacon away from me, I’m going to chop your fingers. Don’t touch it.” Because if something is against your religion, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t done it or have you ever had sex without having protection? I will never do that. I will for the future. It’s not on the past. You’re going to need to check the sperm for any kind of STD problems. They put me in contact with other couples who are going into this struggle and they need a sperm donor. I went through like, “I think I see some spots that cannot be the truth.” All they need to have is a woman who carries the baby for them. That’s riskier because for nine months, that person is the package who’s going to contain your baby.
If that person drinks alcohol, have sex without protection, your baby is going to be a mess forever. When you need to interview the person, the questions you need to do are hard. I didn’t know what’s the market for that. I came by mistake, but it’s one of the things that happen. Most of the work that I do in those cases are pro bono because of desperation. There’s nothing stronger on the desire to be a parent. I hear heartbreaking stories how people have been failing. The doctors didn’t give them the truth and they’re using the desperation for money. If I saw that happening, I do it pro bono because it’s so nice to receive the picture nine months later and like, “Thank you very much.” That’s what we wanted. A sperm donor is a funnier thing that I do.
I think a lot of people could use this in HR to understand who to hire. I just spoke at SHRM about we want to have a curious workplace. We want to have certain characteristics that we want to develop because it ties into so many other things being innovative, engaged, productive, and all that. How can we tell when we’re interviewing somebody? They’re such quick interviews. Can you get a good picture of who’s a good potential employee and what quick tips can you give us?Sometimes, you need to be more honest with yourself and feel your gut. Click To Tweet
It’s not only able to use, but it’s also a company who has been doing it since 2004. What they do is they ask you to record an interview on a video and they analyze the feature of your face, the tone of your voice, your micro and micro-expression. The words you choose to use and how you utilize your hands. Basically, the micro-expressions, what they have is an app which scans your face. Whoever says that what we do is witchcraft, I have news for you. People are using it when they scan your face and when they map in your face. I do not agree that we can take the human factor of that because if you make me record something in front of the camera without interaction, I hyperventilate. I cannot do it. I need a human to interact.
When you have the chance to interact, when you have a job interview, you have two people selling each other. The HR is selling the company and the employee is selling themselves. Don’t go with the wrong myth about body language. If somebody crossing the arms, check what the parameters are. The air condition is on. If it’s a woman, girls use padded bras. When you go into a place where it is air conditioned and you’re not using the right bra, you’re going to be closing your arms all the time. It doesn’t look good. Believe it or not, it’s one of the most common things. Washing your hands and have your hands wet when you’re going to shake somebody’s hand. You’re going to spend 45 minutes thinking, “Why you have your hands wet? Where’s my Lysol? I need to disinfect my hand.”
I would say, pay attention to the words. When Mehrabian in ‘71 said that 50% is the body, 38% is the tone and 7% are the words you say. I would say now, 80% of the adult’s text and the first encounter you have with people is by mail or phone. We need to start paying attention to the words. Again, have you ever taken drugs? That is against my religion. Do you ever have a sexual relationship or an intimate relationship with somebody in your work? I will never do that. Why did you leave your last job? They’ll go, “I love my ex-boss.” You have a strong dislike expression. Go back to that question. People have an intrinsic feeling. They don’t follow their guts. Sometimes you need to be more honest with yourself and feel in your gut. If you don’t understand, ask a question. Do you know, Diane, how many questions a four-year-old does a day?
I gave a talk about this. How much is it? Because at five, I think it was a hundred.
It’s 390 words. You know what we lost besides a lot of things? The chance to be surprised is the ability to make a question. Everybody is so sensitive to like, “It’s going to get sensitive. I can get sued.” It’s worse to bring an employee to your company that you don’t know what is going on and in six months you need to be hiring somebody else. You as a person who goes to an interview, you’re going to ended up going to another place. If it’s important to be on soccer practice with your kids, ask for Fridays to work from home. Don’t bring it after you get hired because they’re going to fire you or you’re going to end up blind because being part of your kid’s life is important.
As a company says, “We need you to come to the sales team because we have problems with the manager and probably we want to replace it. We think that you can be a good candidate, but you’re going to need to be for six months under this person who’s not competent.” Even though you want to take the job, it’s a challenge like, “Yeah.” If you lie to me that everything is perfect and after three weeks it’s not, I’m going to leave that position. 55% of the people who end up in work positions, they want to leave the place for the monetary problems because there had been lying when they went to the job interview and for poor management. This is not something that I say, other people bring with that phrase, “People don’t leave the company, they lead to bad management.”
All this stuff that you’ve talked about is interesting. I was thinking about what you said on the eyebrows and the distance from the eyelids. I was looking at your picture and you have sunglasses on. Why did you wear those? I’m curious. Most people don’t have sunglasses on in their LinkedIn picture.
I have sunglasses in all my media appearance. I have one picture taken of me on the back part of a police car wearing sunglasses, a leopard blouse and a trench coat and says, “Well-behaved women never make history.” I love it. One of the people in my team came up like, “Because when I give a class, first of all, get attention. The way I tilt my head, you cannot know the size of my ears or the height.” I’m going to teach how. If you can read ears and eyes, I don’t need to read anything else from your face. I can read thirteen to fourteen patterns of intaking information only from your ears and I have around 25 between your eyebrows, your eyelids and the bottom of your eyes.
Somebody like me who’s got a lot of hair covering their ears, you can’t see my ears.
At some point, I can see it. If I cannot see your ears, at least I can see if they’re high or low. That is different. High ears, they process information fast. Low ears, they need more time.
I don’t know if you’ve even looked at my picture, but what could you tell from my eyes? Could you tell anything on a picture?
When I went to interview with someone, I try not to know too much. Only to give you an idea, I live in the countryside. I don’t have any neighbors one acre around. Where I see, you see the forest and I have the lake on the back. I live in the middle of nowhere because my visual stimulation is too much, it’s overwhelming. In order for me to do what I do, I need to retract and I don’t want to have a preconception. If people want me to read them, I do it. I don’t have any problems. I’m trying to get my computer working, but if you want, I don’t have any problem next time to do it. I’ve done that before.
I had somebody do it. How long does it take you?
I can do it in real time.
I think that it’s an interesting thing that you do, but I wanted to make sure that people can find out more about you. I know you’re on the Forbes’ Coaches Council. You do a lot of different things out there and you’re easy to find. If somebody wanted to reach you, is there a specific website or something you want to share?
HumanBehaviorLab.com or they can look for me in LinkedIn. I reply to everybody in person. I don’t send somebody else to reply. I like to listen to people and I like to talk to people. We do little pro bono. I specifically do 30% of my work pro bono and I work with causes like South Side Chicago. People who have been out of the job market for a long time. People who had been fired. Everybody who has a need for that, I would love too, as much as I can help. The only one that I want to say, I don’t say to people to train with me but be aware when somebody says, “In 30 minutes I can teach you how to read people. In twenty minutes, I can tell you how to be the most charismatic person in the world.” After 27 years, every other week I meet with groups studies. I keep studying.
Every day I wake up in the morning and I will not start working until noon because I spent all morning reading and go through everything that happened. Only as an anecdote, they did a study with people who saw the show, Lie to Me, the people who saw the show, Numbers, and people who never saw any of the shows. People who saw Lie to Me was only 55% accurate, the flip of a coin. People who saw to show Numbers were 62% accurate. The people who never saw a show and never saw a study, anything related to micro-expression was almost 70% more accurate. Be careful, be aware, Lie to Me is an amazing show. Do you want to know what the show did to me? I studied with a guy who the show is based. He is great, but be aware of the people who don’t know what they do. They don’t have a background to show you what they do because you can get the risk to ruin a relationship because you don’t know what are you doing because somebody else thought you looked good on the media but it’s not base.
I think a lot of those are fun to watch, but it’s Hollywood. It’s nice of you to share all of your information. Thank you, Susan, so much for being on.
Thank you for having me. I saw the people you have. I always like, “I’m going to be interviewed.”
You did a great job and I enjoyed all this. I’d like to thank Susan for being my guest. We get so many past episodes that are so great and so many great guests. If you’ve missed any of them, please go to DrDianeHamiltonRadio.com and I hope you join us for the next episode of Take the Lead Radio.
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