in: People, Podcast, Social Skills

• Last updated: September 29, 2021

Podcast #294: Learning the Art of Charm

While men sometimes see developing their social skills as something superficial or unimportant, these skills are essential for success in business and life. Knowing how to interact and get along with others is how we can make friends, find love, and advance our career. My guest on the podcast today has spent the past ten years helping men become more socially dynamic through his in-person coaching services and his podcast The Jordan Harbinger Show. His name is Jordan Harbinger and today on the show Jordan I discuss why improving your social skills is so important and why many men often give it the short shrift. We then dig into the concept of social capital and why it might be even more vital to develop than financial capital. We end our conversation getting into brass tacks advice on how to become a social dynamo without having to be an extroverted “life of the party” cheeseball. 

This is a great podcast filled with tons of actionable steps.

Show Highlights

  • Jordan’s background and his impetus behind creating the Art of Charm (and The Jordan Harbinger Show)
  • What is “social capital”? And why is it so important?
  • How social skills are a career competitive advantage
  • How Jordan went about learning social skills for himself
  • The BS of being born with “the gift of gab”
  • Why Jordan wore a kangaroo suit around town to social events
  • The real differences between introverts and extroverts
  • The myth, and even downsides, of being the life of the party
  • What your goals should be at any networking event or conference
  • Why small talk is neither unimportant nor a waste of time
  • How to make the first move in a networking scenario
  • The social mindset that will help you the most in social situations
  • ABG – Always Be Giving
  • Balancing giving with keeping your boundaries
  • The importance of not keeping score in your social interactions
  • Why you need to “dig the well before you’re thirsty”
  • Creating great non-verbal first impressions

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With Jordan Harbinger 

The Jordan Harbinger Show

Jordan on Twitter

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And thanks to Creative Audio Lab in Tulsa, OK for editing our podcast!

Read the Transcript

Brett McKay: Welcome to another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast. While men sometimes see developing their social skills as something superficial or unimportant, these skills are essential for success in business and life. Knowing how to interact and get along with others is how we can make friends, find love, and advance our career. My guest today on the podcast has spent the past 10 years helping men become more socially dynamic through his in-person coaching services and his podcast, The Art of Charm. His name is Jordan Harbinger, and today on the show Jordan and I discuss why improving your social skills is so important and why many men often give it the short shrift. We then dig into the concept of social capital and why it might be even more vital to develop than financial capital. We end our conversation getting into brass tacks advice on how to become a social dynamo without having to be extroverted, life-of-the-party cheeseball. This podcast is filled with tons of actionable steps, so after the show, check out the show notes at

Jordan Harbinger, welcome to the show.

Jordan Harbinger: Thanks for having me, man. I’ve been a fan for a long time, so this is an exciting opportunity.

Brett McKay: You’re the host of a podcast called The Art of Charm, and a lot of our listeners listen to your podcast, a lot of crossover. I like to, for those who aren’t familiar with you, give an introduction to what you do and what your goal is with The Art of Charm and how you go about helping men improve their lives in your garden in the internet, and then maybe get some actionable advice here. Let’s start off. What’s your background, and what’s the background of The Art of Charm? Why did you feel like there was a need to help men become more charming?

Jordan Harbinger: Sure. It’s one of those things where I kind of wish I could change the name in some ways. I don’t know how you feel about The Art of Manliness, but I’m sure there’s plenty of people who are like, “Manliness is this thing, and it’s not that,” and you’re like, “Well, that’s your definition. It’s tainted by your emotional stuff,” or you get people emailing and they’re angry because they don’t identify with that and they say, “Your stuff is good for people in this other position.” That’s what we’re at with The Art of Charm.

I mean, what we do is we study the thoughts, actions, and habits of what I think are brilliant people, yourself included, and ask them interesting questions so that the audience can apply that same wisdom for themselves. That’s what The Art of Charm podcast is about. What the school is about, our live programs in LA, what we work on are verbal and nonverbal communication, rapport, persuasion, influence, but not necessarily in the way that a lot of people associate this stuff with, this negative connotation where it’s like the dark art of getting people to do what you want. This is more like the not-so-dark art of improving yourself so that you deserve what you want. Does that make sense?

Brett McKay: Right. This is like social dynamics is what you guys call it, right?

Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, social dynamics is sort of an all-encompassing term. To give you an example of what we are dealing with when we look at our boot camps, we’ll have a bunch of younger guys, of course, who are maybe starting their first job. They’re looking for a way to stand out. There’ll also be a bunch of people who are maybe going through a divorce and they’re like, “Look, I’m sort of reentering the dating pool, and I’ve got to be a parent, and I’ve got to be this professional at work,” and they’re reinventing themselves. They’ll be here.

Then this sort of third tier or other path that clients come to us with, we get a lot of military and a lot of intelligence guys, especially the special forces. We actually have contracts with military units, government type of outfits. We’ll have a bunch of Green Berets. We’ve had SEAL Team Six come through before the Bin Laden mission. We’ve had a lot of foreign intelligence services come through. They’re learning an entirely different set of application for the same set of skills, verbal and nonverbal communication, persuasion, and influence. Really, these skills are applicable everywhere, and we also focus a lot on things like networking and relationship development. It’s not just a vague, general ‘be a better man,’ ‘be a better person.’ We really focus on soft skills that are applicable and practical.

Brett McKay: One thing you’ve talked about on your podcast and on your site on the blog is this idea of social capital. What is social capital, and why is it just as important as, say, money capital, capital capital?

Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Social capital is another encompassing term for what we like to call … well, what we don’t like to call, I should say, networking. Networking now is kind of a dirty word, and rightfully so. When I think of networking, when a lot of people think of networking, I think they’re thinking of going to some really lame event where people come up and they’re like, “Hi, my name is Michael. Hey, when you need a financial planner,” and they shove a business card into your hand, and you just go, “How soon can I get the hell out of here?” Social capital, for us, is essentially a mix of skills which involve giving generously, not keeping score, creating beneficial relationships that are scalable on all sides.

It’s not just help other people get what they want and you’ll get what you want. Of course, that is an integral element of this. It’s also about making sure that you are giving generously to your network, introducing people to each other inside your network so that they can help one another, and this is actually more powerful than plain old capital because anybody who is running a successful business and anybody who is running a successful company, or even just a successful person socially, is generally applying a lot of these concepts. It becomes one of the most scalable things that we can do to build up our personal life, our professional life, in that we never really make it to the top by ourselves. In fact, I think the closer we get to what we consider the top of any given field, we see that these concepts become even more important. I’ll give you a little example, if that works for you, a little story about how I started to find out that these were important in the first place.

Brett McKay: Yeah, go ahead. Let’s hear that.

Jordan Harbinger: I used to be a Wall Street attorney, and that’s real estate finance, kind of the exact same part of the problem, basically, 2008 crash, but I was young and I didn’t know any better. At least, that’s my excuse there, I suppose. When I was in law school … Going through elementary school, middle school, high school, you can kind of … and I’m sure you have a similar experience … you can kind of coast or get by if you’re just a smart kid. You’re just, yeah, I can do the work. I’m towards the top of the class. I don’t have to try that hard.

Then you get into college, and at least for me, everybody else was equally smart, so it was no longer coast and get by on that. This was like, “All right, everybody is really smart here. I’ve got to start outworking these people.” That was my competitive advantage. My competitive advantage shifted from being somebody who was simply a little bit more talented or a little bit smarter in the areas of being able to study well and ace tests or hack tests, and then it moved to “All right, everybody else is drinking now. Everybody else is partying now because it’s their first time away from home, college and law school, that I can outwork these same people.”

By the time I got out of Wall Street and out of law school, the competitive advantages were no longer. I essentially found myself in a room or a building with a bunch of really smart people who were willing to outwork everybody else. Knowing this, this contributed a lot to my imposter syndrome, where I started to think, “It’s only a matter of time until people find out that I don’t belong here. I’m going to get fired. I’m the employee who slip through the cracks.” That was terrifying. I think a lot of people, a lot of men, and women for that matter, find themselves with that kind of negative thought loop about their career or even in relationships that they’re in.

I had this “mentor,” and I put that in air quotes because I thought it was going to be like Wolf of Wall Street. This guy is my mentor; he’s going to show me the ropes. We’re going to do oyster shooters on the roof with Matthew McConaughey type of thing, like Wolf of Wall Street. Essentially, this guy was just never around. HR actually made him take me out for coffee because everybody else was going out with their mentors to Blue Man Group, and seeing all these cool shows, and going out to eat all the time. I really had nobody like that.

It wasn’t just that he was disinterested in me or mentorship in the first place. It’s that this guy was never in the office. His name was Dave. Everybody was jealous the first couple of weeks that he was supposed to be my mentor, and then quickly realized he’s just never around. When HR made him take me out for coffee, he’s banging away on his Blackberry, and he goes, “All right, ask me anything you want.” You had to kind of tick the box that said, “I mentored someone this summer.”

I said, “All right. Well, how come you’re never in the office? We bill six-minute increments of time. Do you just work from home? I mean, what’s the story here?” Bear in mind Dave was a guy from Brooklyn with a tan, so he obviously knew something that I didn’t know. Everybody thought, “This guy is such a young partner. He’s a young hustler. What does he got? What does he know?”

He puts his Blackberry down and basically slowly explains to me something I’ve never heard before, which is that it doesn’t matter how many hours you bill if you’re able to bring in all of the legal work and the deals. He was in charge of deal flow, essentially almost like a salesman for the firm. It’s not that he couldn’t do the legal work. It’s that even if he was billing out at about $1,000 an hour for his legal work, maybe slightly less on Wall Street even at that time, he was worth far more outside the office bringing in million-dollar deals from investment banks in terms of legal fees.

I thought, “Wait a second. Not only are you able to work outside the office and not just filing briefs and stuff, and you’re just generating rapport and relationships with people, but you’re actually making more money doing this.” In addition, I would come into the law firm, let’s say, on a weekend to either show off the office to a friend of mine or possibly to work on something, and the other partners were always there. I mean, I was in this office at 3:00 in the morning once on a Sunday to finish something up that was due Monday that I’d been screwing around all weekend, and these partners were still there. Dave, meanwhile, wasn’t in the office even at 2:00 p.m. on a Tuesday.

I thought, “This is the so-called secret third path for me to get to the top of the law game. It’s not just about working hard. I can do that, but I can’t really outwork people that are willing to outwork everyone else.” It’s not about being smarter or trying to get smarter somehow when I was already far behind a lot of these other very, very sharp minds at this law firm. This was a way that nobody was really thinking about in terms of getting to the top, and additionally, an area where a lot of these really analytical minds and folks that I was working with at the law firm were really shying away from. They were thinking, “Ugh, I don’t really want to go out and do that. I just want to focus, keep my head down at work.”

My idea was if I focus on these network and relationship development skills that Dave seems to have mastered naturally, by the time five years in, six years in, and we’re all mid-level or senior associates, the other folks that I’m working with probably aren’t even going to look at this as a necessity for their career or their skill path at any time before then. I will have a massive time advantage, and I will be able to figure out how to cement myself as the next guy in Dave’s shoes versus the next guy in one of these other partners’ shoes … Pete, for example, who is in the office at 3:00 a.m. on a Saturday.

That really appealed to me, not because I didn’t want to work hard and not because I couldn’t do the work, but because I thought, “Wow, this really appeals to my potential strengths. I have an advantage of time. It’s a learnable, teachable skill, or so I hope, and it seems like it’s right more in my wheelhouse than just trying to focus on all this legal stuff,” which I was just barely holding it together. You, as an ex-lawyer, I’m sure you kind of remember some of that stuff, and you’re just looking at it and going, “How does anyone understand any of this?” That’s kind of where I was my entire first year as an associate. The idea that there were other skills that I could learn and master that would actually take me further, that nobody else was running on … I was running a totally different race … that greatly appealed to me.

Brett McKay: That’s awesome. Social skills, social capital, it’s a competitive advantage that no one’s really tapping. It’s that whole blue ocean thing. No one’s thinking about it, so it’s a place where you can really gain an advantage. How did you figure out … You thought, “Okay, this stuff is hopefully learnable.” How did you go about figuring out what were the skills, what were the mindsets you needed to do to build these relationships, be able to network without making it feel like you’re networking?

Jordan Harbinger: Sure. The first thing that I really had to focus on was the fact that all of these skills were learnable, teachable skills. A lot of folks, when I started asking about how they got good at this … Of course, the first person I asked was Dave. I said, “Okay, so where do you even start?” and he goes, “I just go to the racket club and I do jujitsu and I play golf, and you run into people there.” I was like, “Well, how did you know where to do jujitsu and where to go play golf?” He’s like, “I just go to the same place as everybody else goes.” Well, okay, how do you know where those places are?

It quickly dawned on me that Dave had no idea how he had found himself in the position that he was in. He was probably an outgoing guy from the age of eight years old, and he just rode that train all the way to the top of this law firm. That worked really well for a guy who grew up in New York and had roots all over town, and other successful friends that went to law school there, and all that stuff. That totally made sense. For me, I had to learn this. Of course, what I’m hearing from all of my friends and teachers even are some people are just born with the gift of gab.

By the way, that’s complete BS. There are people that learn these skills earlier because of the environment they’re in. There might even be people who have a certain level of natural predisposition or talent when it comes to this, but everybody I know that’s really effective in relationship building has learned this manually. They either remember how they did … and most people, of course, do not remember how they did it, in part because maybe they started in high school or middle school or even earlier because they had a certain set of circumstances that was really conducive to that. I had to convince myself that this is a learnable, teachable skill, and the way that I did that was by going out and brute forcing the beginnings of this.

I would go to mixers and events, and I would try to talk to people and I realized, “Oh crap, I’m kind of shy and I’m kind of quiet. I don’t necessarily know how to start conversations. I don’t necessarily know how to keep relationships going and things like that.” I found myself hiding, and I used my own psychology against me, me and my business partner, who still works with me here at The Art of Charm. I used my own psychology against me how to figure out how this would work. If we found ourselves going to mixers in the evening to try to get out of our shell and meet new people, and we found ourselves hiding, which is what I quickly found myself doing, retreating to the corner to wallflower … and I’m not recommending other people do this, by the way, but one of the things that I did was make it impossible for me to hide.

I’m not even kidding here; I kind of wish I were. I wore a kangaroo suit that didn’t have a face mask or a head for about a month going to different events. What happens when you wear a ridiculous kangaroo suit to bars and other mixer events like that, one, you meet the manager and the staff really quickly because they wonder if you’re insane and they should have you removed. Also, people remember seeing you, and everyone is coming up and talking to you. I got used to being treated in a very different way, and, of course, I got used to not being able to hide because even if you’re in the corner in the dark with your drink in your hand clutched in front of your chest for dear life, you’re still wearing a freaking kangaroo suit.

That got me out of my shell really, really quickly because I realized not only can I not hide, but everybody’s interested in me because I look so different. Again, I’m not recommending that everybody go out and do this. You can if you want to. What it showed me was that not only is it not scary to maintain a conversation, but it’s also not scary to be the center of attention. It’s a little nerveracking at first, but you quickly become accustomed to it. Then you quickly become accustomed to holding conversations with people who start them with you, and then from there it’s an easy transition to it’s easy for me to start conversations with other people.

We sort of break this down into tinier chunks at AOC now, but that was me throwing myself in the deep end. I think that was really important. I want people to not focus as much on the gimmick of the kangaroo suit and more on the mindset of figuring out how to be the center of attention or be somebody who has attention focused on them, which for me and I think a lot of people listening is really, really uncomfortable. We’re not comfortable with that. It’s not very natural. When we start to build these skillsets outside of ourselves, we start to build a lot of self-confidence and a lot of self-trust, knowing, okay, I just handled this thing that I a couple of weeks ago thought was terrifying. Now I know I can do other things that I feel the same way about, public speaking, leadership, and things like that. That was a huge breakthrough for me.

That essentially was step one, figuring out that this is learnable, and that other people can teach it to me and that I can teach it to myself. Before that, you’re just fighting this whole preconceived notion that “Well, some people got it and some people don’t,” and if you think you don’t, then you’ve got some sort of medical excuse for not being social. We hear this a lot, as well. “Oh, I’m an introvert. I can’t really do this.” That’s not what introvert means. The new science shows perfectly well that introverts can be great or even better than extroverts at building and maintaining relationships, and we just like to use that as, like I said, a medical excuse about why we can’t be social, or can’t be outgoing, or can’t generate connections with other people.

Brett McKay: Let’s talk about that introversion thing because, yeah, you hear that a lot. I’m an introvert. It means I don’t like to be outgoing. Yeah, you’re right, the research doesn’t say that introverts are necessarily shy; they just have a preference to be by themselves or have more intimate things. They’re able to, if they want, to turn on the extroversion if they need to, right?

Jordan Harbinger: Exactly, yes. Not only that, but the science also shows that what introvert essentially means is … Extroverts recharge by going out and being social, and talking with friends and family, and creating relationships, and going to parties. Introverts recharge by spending time with themselves. That’s fine, but neither of those things has any actual indication of your social prowess or your ability to create and maintain relationships. It’s only about what recharges you, what calms you down, what makes you feel at home and at ease.

The reason that we see a lot of people going, “I’m an introvert, and my extroverted friends are so much better at being social,” it’s not because of the introversion or the extroversion per se. It’s because extroverts realize on a subconscious level that they were extroverts probably in middle school or high school and then went about being social as often as possible because they enjoyed it, whereas introverts maybe shied away from some of that and so they have a decade less experience going out at every opportunity and making new connections, unlike extroverts. It has nothing to do with your potential, and it has nothing to do with your actual ability to create skills in this area. It only has to do with possibly the level of enjoyment that you get from the process.

That distinction is very key because that means that if we’re introverts, we can still build really great people skills. We can still build really great relationship skills. It just means that we might not be exercising them as often because we need more me time. That’s very important to realize because if you classify yourself as an introvert and you go, “Yeah, it’s just kind of holding me back,” you have to realize that it actually should not be holding you back. If it is, you’re letting it do that.

You have no medical reason that you can’t develop these skills. It just might be more uncomfortable for you at first because you’re not used to doing it, and that’s okay. You’re no more expected to be able to create and maintain relationships than you are to be able to snowboard, for example. You have to work on this. It is a learnable skill, as per my first point, and that I think is extremely crucial to realize. Not only is it learnable, but no matter what your personality archetype might be, self-diagnosed or not, it doesn’t prohibit you or inhibit you from learning these same skills.

Brett McKay: I think a common myth that a lot of people have about being social is the need to be the life-of-the-party guy, like the Vince Vaughn character in Swingers that’s just …

Jordan Harbinger: Right.

Brett McKay: … super animated and just constantly witty banter going back and forth, laughing. In order to be successful at building relationships, being social, do you have to be like that, or can you do it in a different way and still have success?

Jordan Harbinger: Actually, that’s a great question and a great example, the Vince Vaughn Swingers example. I might have to steal that, as well. Vince Vaughn, yeah, he walks in someplace and he’s like, “Hey, there he is. What’s going on?” Really, the camera is focused on him …

Brett McKay: Money, baby.

Jordan Harbinger: … and everyone around … Yeah, you’re so money, you don’t even know it. He’s super outgoing, super confident. That’s cool. It’s really attractive. We see that in the movie. He’s the center of the circle. Totally makes sense. However, when it comes to relationship development, not only do you not have to be like that, but often we find that people who really are that outgoing and that social find themselves in different kinds of predicaments because we get those same guys here at Art of Charm, as well, where they say things like, “I feel like I have a lot of people in my life. I just don’t know them that well,” or “I’ve got a lot of relationships and a lot of friends, but none of them are really that deep relationship-wise. We’re not really that tight.”

That’s a very important distinction, as well, because what we’ve found, also, from the science of introversion and social skills is that a lot of introverts are quiet people. For example, they’re very, very good at creating deep relationships one-on-one. What we know from relationship development is actually depth is more powerful than breadth. It’s much better to know a couple of dozen people really, really well who would just go to bat for you no matter what, who will come to your wedding, come to your funeral, more importantly. These are the people that will really be there for you when the chips are down. It’s better to know a few dozen people like that than it is to know hundreds of people that you could call and maybe they’ll return your phone call, or they recognize you at some level as an authority or as a cool guy or a great person, but they’re not really going to help you necessarily with anything unless it works for them.

Introverts tend to actually be better at observing group dynamics, observing and adhering to nonverbal communication and finding out who’s who in a group when these skills are studied because they’re more introspective and they look at how their own feelings work. In many ways, the whole “I’m an introvert. I can’t do it” thing is not only wrong on its face, but actually works better the other way around. You’re an introvert, so you should be able to develop deeper relationships possibly even more easily than a Vince Vaughn type.

For me, when I go and meet a group of people, I may turn on a little bit of that Vince Vaughn type of stuff. I’m, of course, not equally ridiculous and night-lifey, but at the end of the day, I’m not going the these different events to go, “I want to meet 100 people. I want everybody at this conference to know who I am.” I’m going in and I’m going, “I would love to make one or two connections here that turn into real friendships that last for the next 10 or 20 years.” That is much more powerful. If you’re not that super extroverted, outgoing person, it doesn’t matter. Your goal should be to make one connection at each of these types of events and try to turn it into a friendship, not to get the phone number and business card of 700 people in some auditorium in Las Vegas.

Brett McKay: Let’s get into specifics here. Let’s talk about small talk. A lot of guys … I’ve heard these people, and we’ve written about small talk before. A lot of the comments are like, “Well, small talk is stupid. It’s superficial, a lot of waste of time. Just get to the deep stuff. Let’s talk about deep philosophical thoughts right from the get-go.” I’m curious, do you think small talk is a necessary part of building a relationship, and if so, what can guys do to get better at it?

Jordan Harbinger: I think it is necessary, and I’ll tell you why. I totally understand where those people are coming from that say, “Let’s skip the surface-level stuff. Let’s get into the deep stuff.” A couple of ideas and quips with that. One, when we do small talk, when we exercise small talk, when we engage in small talk, we’re doing a lot more than I think a lot of folks think. We are not just going, “Man, it’s cold out here. What do you think?” “Oh yeah, last week, it was flooding. It was raining. I’m glad for the cold, but I’ll take the sun,” chuckle, chuckle, chuckle. “What brings you in?” That kind of small talk, that’s great. It warms people up, regardless of what you think of it.

Here’s the truth. What we’re really doing there — and evolutionary psychology shows this to be quite true, no matter what the subject, small as it might be — our brains are looking for things like nonverbal communication, subconscious communication of friendliness. We’re gauging each other’s social status. I don’t care what their social status is. I’m a grumpy old guy. It doesn’t matter. Our brains are doing that because that’s our model of the world. Who’s in charge? Who’s stronger? Who’s more interesting? Who knows more people? Who’s more connected? Who’s more outgoing? There’s a million little different calculations going on here. A lot of it happens nonverbally, but a lot of it happens verbally in the beginning.

For a lot of folks that say, “Well, small talk is useless. It’s a waste of time,” that’s very common among engineers and people like that because they tend to think linearly and analytically about problems, which is a super, super useful set of skills, very, very important. However, when it comes to nuanced social interaction, sometimes it’s easy to misplace the value and go, “I don’t care about talking about the weather. Let’s get into the subject at hand.” Really, you’re not talking only about the weather; you’re having a nonverbal and verbal exchange that’s very important to your subconscious brain. It has nothing to do with the task at hand.

If you don’t believe me, then if you’re one of those people that says small talk is a waste of time, please, please do tell us the last time that you went, “All right, I’m just going to skip small talk,” and you went up and you talked to some people and you just said, “You know, I’m not sure I’m happy with my life. Should I divorce my wife?” Tell me the last time you did that with no intro and it worked out for you. Chances are, there’s no example of that working.

You kind of wish that you could do it that way, but it’s not because small talk is a waste of time. It’s because you really don’t know how to navigate those initial first few minutes; therefore, it makes you feel uncomfortable, which was what’s making you want to avoid it. It’s not because you actually think it’s a waste of time. If you do think it’s a waste of time, try interactions without it and see what happens. It’s maybe one of those things we wish didn’t exist, like our commute to work, but that is a sad fact of reality.

I think of it as an opportunity because what it does is it gives you a chance to feel out a lot of different opportunities without any kind of actual commitment in the very beginning, and it does set the table for everybody to be comfortable in that interaction. It shows you the speed at which you can move forward in rapport. It shows you the type of person that you’re dealing with. Are they interested in something deeper? All that stuff is happening at a conscious, or subconscious usually, level. You can’t really skip it. Does that make sense?

Brett McKay: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. It’s a social lubricant.

Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.

Brett McKay: It’s not like alcohol like a social lubricant. It gets things going.

Jordan Harbinger: It gets things going, and it shows your brain, “All right, Brett’s cool. He’s not really in the mood to be best friends at this networking event that we’re at because he’s got other stuff on his mind. I’m going to not push this super far,” or “I’m going to take it a little bit slower with this person.” “Oh, this person is super friendly. I’m going to double down on my interaction with this person.” “Oh, this person is a little bit standoffish. Let’s give them a little bit of space.” These processes are happening subconsciously. This stuff is happening in the back of your mind.

It’s very, very hard for you to dig that up and think about it at a conscious level, but that’s why humans have evolved to start with small talk. It’s not the type of thing that most of us had to do very often when we’re at work in an office with folks, or when we see the same people every day in a tribe or family. Now that we meet new people every day, we do it a lot more often and, yeah, a lot of us want to avoid it because it can be awkward.

Brett McKay: How do you start small talk? I feel like a lot of guys, they’re like, “Oh, what do I say? Do I talk about the weather?” Any insights there on how to get it going? Instead of waiting for the other person to make the first move, what can guys do to make the first move that’s not awkward?

Jordan Harbinger: Sure. I’m going to skip over just ‘I ran into my neighbor at the grocery store’ type of small talk because I think that’s less useful than “Okay, I’ve got to go to this conference in Las Vegas for my industry, going to World of Concrete or something, and I’ve got to meet all these new people.” What I would do is figure out a specific list of people that you want to meet … and there’s a lot of variations of this, but I’ll go over this.

First of all, you have a list of people that you want to meet. You realize that everybody at a given event or place is there for a specific reason. Many of them are there to network and connect with other folks in the first place, so you’ve got that going for you. They’re willing to be open. Whether or not they figure out how to do this on their own is another thing. For me, when I go to conferences, I usually look at all the speakers. I look at the type of attendees that will be there, and I create little dossiers on the speakers. I might look at their LinkedIn, their Facebook profile, and go, “Oh okay, this person is also a recovering lawyer. Good to know.” “Oh, this person went to law school, but they’re not a lawyer now. Huh, let’s talk about that.” “Oh, this person grew up in Michigan. Same with me. I wonder where they grew up. Let’s talk about that.”

You can make little notes about that in the back of your mind, and those can be the ways that you start conversations like, “Hey, Brett, we haven’t met before, but I noticed when I was looking at the speaker roster that you grew up in Michigan. Where at? I’m from Michigan too.” That’s a very easy conversational starter. I know a lot of people are rolling their eyes and going, “I can’t believe I have to listen to a whole podcast on this.” The reason this is important is because, look, if we’re all complaining about how small talk is hard or doesn’t come naturally, other people are super stoked when you can take the lead on this type of interaction. All you need is one or two really simple things, and I get those from LinkedIn profiles.

I might say, “Brett, you play squash still? I noticed that on your LinkedIn profile you were into squash.” “Oh, well, I haven’t played in a long time.” Now, this leads into “Where did you learn how to play squash? Why haven’t you played for a long time?” There’s a lot of really obvious and easy follow-up questions, and you can transition away from these pretty quickly. The idea here is that since we’re all in the same place for the same purpose, namely, networking or relationship development, we can break the ice super easy using those very limited commonalities and transition away from it. That said, I think a lot of folks are going, “All right, what if I’m not at a networking event? What if I’m just at the grocery store and I do run into my neighbor?” You can easily come up with very few things to say on that by doing the exact same thing.

I know that it sounds a little creepy to come up with a dossier on somebody. Doesn’t have to be that complete, but, look, it’s less creepy than avoiding them altogether because you don’t want to talk about the weather, or going to a conference and making zero connections because you were afraid to take this little advantage. I think people are quite flattered when you take the time to learn a little bit about them, especially if you’re at an event that’s designed to be networking or relationship based. I think that that type of thing is extremely crucial. It tends to be a very easy step that most people overlook.

I do want to comment on what possibly might be the greater cause of a lot of folks’ discomfort, which is that we’re not necessarily comfortable walking around in those types of environments and circulating around. I don’t just mean networking events or mixers, or even the grocery store, for that matter. I mean the world at large. I think a lot of people who run around and try to do the networking thing, or worry about that excessively, are probably not the majority of your listeners. I think most of your listeners are totally normal, well-adjusted folks that probably need to do a little bit more relationship development, a little bit more networking for the sake of their business, their family, or their job. Does that sound right?

Brett McKay: Yeah, that sounds about right. As you were saying that, one thing that’s helped me … the mindset that’s helped me with small talk or just social interactions is to think of myself as the host, like I’m hosting them at my house. When you’re a host, it’s really easy to think, “I’m going to take care of this person. Let’s talk,” blah blah blah. I’ve taken that mindset just to social interactions, just like, “I’m going to be the host here. I’m going to take care of this person.” For some reason, it just clicks for me. It just sets me at ease, makes me feel comfortable, and things aren’t awkward when I take that mindset.

Jordan Harbinger: It’s a great mindset to have, that you’re the host. I know a lot of people are going, “But I’m not the host. I’m at this other event.” It doesn’t matter. If you act as if, and you act as if you’re at home and you’re going to be the host of a party, well, think about this. It’s not just “Okay, I’m the host.” It’s “All right, I’m the host. What do hosts do?” They introduce themselves to other people. More importantly, they introduce people to each other. This is a very important point because this makes networking relationship development scalable at some level.

A lot of people are going, “All right, my worst-case scenario is I actually get good at the things Jordan is talking about here and then suddenly I’m stuck in a conversation with somebody. How do I transition? How do I move from one person to another?” The best way that I’ve found to do this is, by taking off on your hosting example, is to go and start conversations with folks and then begin to introduce them to each other. If I’m sitting there and I’m alone for a while, and I decide to go up and talk to you and we start the small talk thing, if we start to go, “All right, conversation is losing a little momentum,” you’re doing that head bob like, “Okay, so …” what I can do as the “host” is say, “Hey, Brett, why don’t we go around and meet some other folks? Do you know anyone else here?”

You might go, “Yeah, I know Bob. He works with me. Let’s go talk to him. I’ll introduce you.” You might say, “I don’t know, nobody right around here.” I might say, “All right, well, I’ve got a couple friends I want to introduce you to. Do you have a few minutes?” Since you’re there for the same reason that I am, you might say, “Sure,” and then we just walk around meeting either friends of mine that I’ve already met or total strangers and then introducing ourselves. For some reason, it’s much easier for me to introduce myself and other people that I’m with at the same time because you have that group strength. If you and I walk up to a group of people and introduce ourselves, there’s a lot less pressure on me to do the intro and to carry the whole interaction as there is if I’m walking up with a smaller group. This is also less threatening, especially at events where nobody knows each other.

This becomes really, really easy to apply because now I’m approaching with other people, introducing you to them and then facilitating that “small talk.” Then we later transition to rapport … or deeper rapport, I should say. This is really, really great because what happens is we make this scalable in terms of delivering value, too. One of the things that we teach at AOC, at The Art of Charm and on the podcast, is always give generously. You’ve seen that Glengarry Glen Ross movie where he’s like, “A-B-C, always be closing.” You know that scene?

Brett McKay: Right. It’s famous.

Jordan Harbinger: It’s famous. A lot of people probably have not seen that and need to go ahead and YouTube it, but it’s that ‘always be closing.’ At AOC, we’re very fond of ABG, which is always be giving, and always give generously. What this actually means is, instead of focusing on what you can get from other people in interactions, simply be focusing on creating more interactions with more people and trying to get them to deliver to one another. The reason this is important is because when we develop relationships with people, a lot of times we’re looking at what we can get from those people.

If I’m thinking, “Man, I’m really focused on growing my business, so I’m only going to talk to people who can grow my business,” you start to get this really myopic viewpoint of everyone that you interact with and it starts to become transactional. That’s very dangerous because people can feel quid pro quo. They can feel when you’re looking for a specific outcome … and, more importantly, most of the biggest opportunities for ourselves lie over the horizon and we can’t see them.

An example of this in my own life, when I moved to LA, I had a toothache. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a toothache, but it’s terrible. The pain is so viscerally inside your brain, it’s like it’s touching your mind and you just can’t do anything else. I went to a bunch of dentists, and I called a bunch of people, and they didn’t accept my insurance, and they didn’t have room, they weren’t accepting new patients, whatever. In desperation, I posted on Facebook and I said, “I’ve got a toothache. I really don’t want to go to the ER because I know it’s going to be expensive and they’re probably going to just tie a string to the tooth and slam the door or whatever. I need to figure out how to handle this.”

A total stranger reached out and said, “Look, my aunt is a dentist in your area. Do you want me to call her?” I said yes, went in, got my tooth fixed, and of course, the first message to him was “Thank you so much. You’re a lifesaver.” He said, “Yeah, sure. No problem.” We both go on with our lives. A few days later, he sends me his portfolio and he goes, “Look, I’m just reaching out to everybody that I know. I’m trying to do freelance graphic design full-time. Please, if you have any need for graphic design, let me know.” Of course, I owe him one, but I just say, “Look, I don’t need this right now, but I’ll keep my ear to the ground for you.”

A few days after that, or even a few weeks after that, another entrepreneur reached out to me and asked who did my website because their designer crapped out. Now, we did all of our web in-house at that time. We still do. What we decided on was that I would, of course, just introduce him to a few vendors that I knew, none of which worked out, and I also sent him the portfolio of this guy that had helped me find a dentist on Facebook. I said, “Look, I’ve never worked with him, but here’s his portfolio if you’d like an intro.” She got that intro. I made that, of course. Long story short, this guy ends up getting a $40,000-per-quarter, I believe, freelance gig with him and his team to create graphics and web design for this other entrepreneur.

Now, the reason that this is important is not just because, oh, I helped someone and they helped me. That’s all fine and good and Pollyanna, but the reason that this is important is because it illustrates the concept that had he been simply looking for a job … I just want to get my graphic design stuff out there … We didn’t know each other before that, so he wouldn’t have sent it to me, even though I’m the one that got him the job. Had I been looking for a dentist and I somehow asked everyone that I know, which was my intention, on Facebook, I didn’t know who he was. He was just a person who saw my public post because a mutual friend of ours had commented on it.

That opportunity for him to get that job was over the horizon. Neither he nor myself saw this opportunity for him. It only happened because he was able to give some value in the beginning without the expectation of anything in return. If you give generously, you end up finding that a lot of these different opportunities were previously invisible. It becomes very scalable to also make these opportunities.

For me, if I’m looking for graphic design work and he’s looking to do graphic design as a job, I can maybe purchase those services. Fine, but when I start thinking about how I can scale the networking, it doesn’t work. If I’m trying to be the one to help everybody in my own network, it doesn’t work. If I’m a graphic designer and I reach out to everyone in my network, I can only do business with the people that need graphic design. If I’m looking to make connections inside my network with one another, I can plug anybody into anybody else who has a need. You have to start looking at the people in your network in a very different way.

When you start to give generously and you start to look at people in your network in a very different way, you can start to scale the amount of value that you deliver around your various network points. In other words, you have to introduce people to each other that can accomplish mutual value, but the only way to find those opportunities is usually to give value to other people without expecting something in return. That’s a common mistake that people make because they’re very myopically looking at this, “What can I get out of it?” or “What does this person want from me?” Does that all make sense?

Brett McKay: Yeah, that makes sense. It’s the power of weak ties is basically what this is. Those are all weak ties. You didn’t know that person. It wasn’t a strong friendship. It was just sort of a tie. The more weak ties you have, the more you can spread your influence and the more leverage you can gain.

Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. It’s not just about spreading your own influence. It’s about allowing other people to spread that influence inside your network, as well, so it becomes scalable. I can introduce 100, 150 people per week if all I have to do is email each of them to make that intro, but if I’m doing the work for each person, if I’m doing the graphic design, say, for those people, I can maybe take on, what, one client every couple of weeks or something like that, depending on the magnitude of the project? That’s not very scalable.

It can get a little tricky because I think a lot of people, they start to go, “Okay, I’m going to help as many people as I can,” and you run into a very insidious problem, which is keeping score. What that means is I might say, “Yeah, I interviewed Brett and I introduced him to this graphic design person, and then I helped him find a carpenter for his house, and then I introduced him to this awesome personal trainer, and then I got him a new dog because he was looking to adopt a rescue. That guy owes me so much.” In truth, that’s a covert contract because it only exists in my own mind. You don’t really own me anything. I’m supposedly giving freely to you, and yet in my head I’m racking up this credit. If you don’t respond in kind to that credit, to that cover contract, and uphold your end of the invisible bargain that you were unaware of, it starts to sour and poison the well in these relationships.

That is something I can never talk about enough when I’m talking about the subject is warn people against the idea of covert contracts and keeping score. It sours every relationship that you find. It turns every great connection and friendship into a quid pro quo transactional relationship, which basically just rips the roots out from the ground. It’s very, very toxic. When you’re helping people and you’re giving generously, you literally have to do that without expecting anything in return. In fact, if you help a hundred people, fully expect that 99 of them will never do anything for you, and now you’re at about the right ratio for realizing how this will work because it’s never about “All right, well, I helped these 10 people and I need things from these 10 people.” It’s about getting the reputation together and building that social capital as a giver and not relying on other people to give back.

If you do keep score, you’re going to find that those covert contracts are broken so often that you start to get mad at literally everybody that you come into touch with, and that’s obviously not a great way to live because now it changes the way that you deal with those people and the way that those people treat you, and it becomes transactional. I don’t think anybody likes to deal with that. I know that you’re in that same boat because now that your show and your blog are really big, you get people reaching out all the time, probably many people that you knew for a long time and now they’re like, “Hey, I’ve got a new book coming out. We got to hang out.” You’re like, “No, I know exactly what you’re going to do. We’re going to go hang out, and you’re going to sell me the idea that you need to have a guest post and promote your blog and your book on my work.” Even when you do that, you don’t hear from them again for five years until their next book comes out. Does this all start to sound familiar to you?

Brett McKay: Oh yeah, very familiar.

Jordan Harbinger: If we start to give generously and we don’t keep score, we don’t end up with covert contracts, which breed resentment. Since that resentment isn’t there, we can constantly be introducing people to each other and helping as many people as possible. Then, finally, when we do need something, we’ve built up so much capital, so much social capital in reserve, that those people that “owe us one” will start to come out through the woodwork in spades. That’s the way that you want to do it. It’s not about keeping score. It’s not about transaction. It’s about scalability and doing this in a way that doesn’t require a certain outcome on your part.

That actually leads into a very key concept, as well, that I don’t want to forget, which is you need to dig the well before you’re thirsty. I know there’s a book by that title, so I’m stealing that, but dig the well before you’re thirsty is very important because if we’re only looking at the opportunities that we think can give us immediate benefit, well, we’re really, really limited. It goes back to seeing the opportunities over the horizon. If you’re not building relationships with people before you need that, it’s not going to work out so well for you when you finally do need something because it will inevitably become transactional if you’re only looking at the next immediate step.

Giving generously without keeping score is a very good way to dig that well before you’re thirsty because you’re simply digging and you’re not paying attention to how big the hole is, if that makes sense, and how much you’re stacking up. That’s very important. Otherwise, you’re just going to get tired of creating relationships. You’re going to feel like you’re getting the shaft. You’re going to retreat into your shell and start to think bitter thoughts about networking and relationship development in the first place.

Brett McKay: Let me get your thought on this. I’m a big believer in giving generously. I’ll tell you one thing that gives me pause. I get lots of requests all the time, and usually I say no. It’s not because I’ve got a score to keep. What I’ve run into … maybe you’ve run into this, as well … is I call it If You Give a Mouse a Cookie syndrome, which is you do something for a guy, somebody, you helped him out, and it’s great, awesome, but then they keep coming back. It’s that whole “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. If you give him a glass of milk, he’s going to ask for a napkin.”

I typically say no oftentimes to helping really great things because my experience has been I’ll help this person one time, but they’re going to keep coming back, and it becomes a time suck. I can’t manage all of it because if I do it for everybody, I got a whole bunch of mouses with cookies. They’re going to be asking for napkins and milk later on. How do you manage that aspect of this giving, which I believe in wholeheartedly, but how do you manage that?

Jordan Harbinger: The way that I try to manage this … and I say try because I think inevitably giving a mouse a cookie is just something that is going to happen after a while, and it’s about boundaries and not about not helping people in the first place. For example, recently a guy said, “Hey, I really love your work. I’d love to write a guest post.” Usually, I just outright say no, but he had sent me something that he wrote and I thought, “Oh, this is decent. I like it. It jibes,” so I said, “Sure, but no guarantees that we’ll publish it. He wrote a post, and it was all right, so we published it.

Then he goes, “I really want to get on your show,” and I thought, “Oh okay, I think this was the angle the whole time, but it wasn’t fully disclosed.” I said, “Well, I really did like your post, but we don’t really cover this type of thing on the show. Thanks anyway.” He said, “All right. Well, let me know if you change your mind.” He didn’t get mad about it. No big deal. The boundary that I’d set there was something that I think was fairly easy for me to do. It made me feel a little guilty at first maybe a few years ago when I started doing this, but now I’m very used to it because I also realize it’s not just about not giving that person what they want. It’s not just about not giving that mouse a glass of milk. It’s that your milk is finite, Brett.

If you give a mouse a cookie, that’s fine. You might have a million cookies back there somewhere in Oklahoma, but you only have one jug of milk. If that same mouse says, “Look, I want a glass of milk,” you can just say, “Actually, I don’t have time for that right now,” or “I can’t scale that right now,” or “I can’t do that right now, but I have an introduction to somebody else who might be able to help you with that, something that is more scalable.” You have to be able to set that boundary. I think the reason a lot of people are afraid to set boundaries is they’re worried that that mouse is going to have a temper tantrum when it doesn’t get the milk or the napkin.

This is the key of boundaries that I’ve been talking about for a long time. It took me years to realize in both intimate relationships, friendships, and business relationships. The boundary is never the issue. It’s okay to set a boundary wherever you want. You can be a total weirdo about the boundaries that you have, like, “Actually, I never want to speak by phone.” Okay, that’s awkward. “I don’t answer text messages. I only answer email through my assistant.” All right, that’s weird, but I accept that. The way that we measure boundaries is not by whether or not you think they’re appropriate or whether or not they are on some objective level appropriate. It’s about the other person’s emotional or not emotional response to that boundary.

For example, if you give a mouse a cookie and they write a guest post on The Art of Charm blog, for example, and then they say, “I want to be on the show,” and then I say, “Well, I don’t really think this is a good fit,” and they flip the hell out, that’s on them. That’s on them. As long as I’m able to control my reaction to that and not feel guilty about not giving people what they want, then we’re in business because they just outed themselves, right? They were keeping score and there was a covert contract. “I wrote this guest post for you, and now I can’t even come on the show? You’re such a time waster, Jordan.” That’s not about me. That’s about them. It’s about their unreasonable response to my boundary.

The reason that they’re having that is because they set up a covert contract in their head that I, in their mind, am not honoring. In doing this in your business or in your personal life, you’re going to encounter those people and it will be uncomfortable, but it’s much better to have somebody have a little bit of a temper tantrum than it is to have, say, no boundaries. Then you run the risk of either never giving away cookies, or hoarding all of your cookies for yourself, or running into some other issue where every time you do someone a favor you’re afraid of the results. Does that make sense?

Brett McKay: Perfect. Yeah, I think that’s applicable. You see this a lot happen in the workplace, where you want to be the helpful person. You help someone out, but then they just keep going back to you. They’re like, “Oh, this guy …” They think in their head, “I can go to this guy. He said yes,” so they’re primed to just keep going back to you. The key there is be helpful, but, yeah, make sure you set boundaries along the way.

Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, and you don’t even have to decide where to set that boundary initially. You don’t have to say something like, “Well, I’ll post your guest post, but I’m never having you on the show.” You don’t have to do that. You don’t have to … and I want to highlight bold underline this … you don’t have to preemptively manage their emotional response to your boundary. It’s kind of like saying, “Hey, Jordan, do you want to go out?” and I’m going, “She’s pretty cute. She asked me. I’ll do it,” and then we go out and on the first date she’s like, “Hey, do you want to go out again next week?” and I’m like, “Yeah, okay, we can do that.”

Then, on our second date, she’s like, “We should get married and have babies,” and I go, “Whoa, I don’t think that’s a good idea just yet. We should date for a little while longer.” If she goes, “Okay,” then you go, “Okay, good, I think she’s a reasonable person.” However, if she goes, “Are you kidding me? I’ve already gone out on two dates with you, and now don’t want to get married?” and started slashing your tires or getting all upset at you, even if she didn’t slash your tires … and, by the way, this goes for guys, too, because we’d be crazy emotional sometimes, too. Don’t front … that would be completely unreasonable, and we would run for the hills. Yet, somehow, in our personal lives and in our businesses, we often end up going, “Well, this other person’s crazy emotional response makes me want to help them even more because I don’t want to deal with the conflict.”

It makes no sense. We never put up with this stuff in our personal lives, and yet we’ll put up with it in our business or we’ll put up with it in our non-intimate or non-dating lives or something like that, or vice versa. You see people who are CEOs of companies and they’re going through a divorce and they’re dating again, and they’re putting up with ridiculous amounts of crap from people in their lives. You’re thinking, “If this were happening in the boardroom, you would eat this person alive.” Yet, since it’s happening in a different sphere of your life, you’re not applying any of the stuff that you already know intuitively or that you’ve already learned. Why is that the case? The reason is because when we set boundaries and when we do things like this, often we don’t transfer them to other areas of our lives for various reasons that probably aren’t important here.

Before I go … I know we’re running short on time … I want to grab a drill for everybody here because this is extremely important. It will change the way that you deal with other people, the way that you meet people, create connections, and more importantly, the way that they deal with you. A lot of Art of Charm is dealing with verbal and nonverbal communication. The reason that this is so important is because our first impressions are always, always, always based on our nonverbal communication. If you don’t believe me, walk down the street, and the next few people that you see, you’ll start making immediate subconscious judgments about those people. Are they a threat? Do they look nice? Do I know them? Is it a man or a woman? What are they carrying?

All of that stuff happens at a very low-level ground basis at all times. We’re evolved that way. We make judgments about people based on visuals all the time. Women are better at this than men are because of a safety concern that’s evolved over the last bajillion years here. What we know by extension of this is that our first impressions are made nonverbally because they see us before they can hear us. I think a lot of people, especially guys for some reason here, are almost obsessed with creating a great first impression based on some kind of icebreaker, some kind of pick-up line, some kind of thing that they use to start a conversation, when none of that matters, because it’s all about nonverbals. In order to create a great nonverbal first impression, we have to have great, positive, open body language that looks confident.

A lot of people go, “Great. All right. I’m going to write that down.” Then the next time they go to an event, they’re like, “All right, I’m going to stand up straight. I’m going to smile and have open, positive body language,” and they get into a conversation, and 20 seconds later all their body language stuff is out the window. The reason is because, in order to stay present, we can’t really micromanage our nonverbal communication. It’s always a reflection of our internal state, and that’s another conversation for another time. It’s a reflection of our internal state, and if we’re nervous, we’re going to have problems. What we need to do is create open, positive, confident body language as part of our natural habit. Our default has to be that.

The way that we do that is by creating that habit, and the way that we do this is with what we call the doorway drill. Unless you’re driving right now, do a little bit of standing up, shoulders back, chest up, chip up, smile on your face. You don’t have to exaggerate it. You’ll just look like kind of an idiot, a weirdo, and have that open, positive body language. Now, remember what this feels like and remember what this looks like. Now every time you walk through a doorway, even in your own house, straighten up, open, positive body language, that chin up, chest out, shoulders back, smile on your face type of thing. I mean, even in your own house, going to the bathroom, going in your bedroom, walking in your dining room, whatever you want to do, and of course, whenever you walk into and out of your office.

If you have trouble remembering to do this at each doorway, buy a little pad of those hot pink or green Post-it notes and put them at eye level on the door frame. Every time you walk through, it’ll break your pattern of autopilot, and you’ll go, “What’s that pink … Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, doorway drill. Oh yeah, doorway drill.” What this does is it creates the nonverbal habit in such a way that when you do go to some Starbucks or World of Concrete or whatever you end up being at, you start to have this nonverbal communication as your default. This is very important because not only does the mind follow the body, and the body follow the mind … This isn’t some woo-woo clever saying. There’s science behind this … we know that people start to treat us differently based on those first impressions.

Again, if you don’t believe me, look at the way that you treat other people based on what you’re judging about them. If people are treating us open, positive, confident, friendly, then we start to become open, positive, confident, friendly. When this happens over time, people start to treat us differently, it’s changing our behavior, and we start to see a core identity-level shift in the way that we see ourselves as well as the way we see interactions with other people. That’s the kangaroo suit that I want people to wear when they’re going out. Don’t buy the kangaroo suit.

Just change your nonverbal first impression, and you will see that not only are you feeling differently in your interactions, but people are treating you differently, which leads to positive reinforcement of the way that you’re viewed socially, the way that you view yourself socially, and the way that those interactions are viewed, as well. That is a game changer for your entire life potentially, especially if your personal life, your work life, your business depend on being able to build, create, and maintain relationships. The doorway drill is a very small but very amazing start to shifting the way that you think about these types of interactions.

Brett McKay: I love it. That’s fantastic. Jordan, where can people learn more about The Art of Charm?

Jordan Harbinger: Sure. We’re very practical, just like the doorway drill. We’re at The Art of Charm podcast. You’re already listening to a podcast. No need to go out and buy or do anything. Just subscribe to The Art of Charm and check out some of the interviews, yours included, also at We do have a lot more doorway drill-ish type stuff on The Art of Charm podcast and in our challenge, which I mention on the podcast, as well.

Brett McKay: Jordan Harbinger, thank you so much for your time. It’s been a pleasure.

Jordan Harbinger: Thanks, man. Appreciate it.

Brett McKay: My guest today was Jordan Harbinger. He’s the host of The Art of Charm podcast. You can find that in iTunes, Stitcher, whatever you use to listen to your podcast. Just search for Art of Charm. You can also find more information about their work at Also, check out our show notes at, where you find links to resources where you can delve deeper into this topic.

Well, that wraps up another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast. For more manly tips and advice, make sure to check out The Art of Manliness website at If you enjoy this show and have gotten something out of it over the years, please give us a review on iTunes or Stitcher. It helps us out a lot in getting the word out about the show. As always, thank you for your continued support. Until next time, this is Brett McKay telling you to stay manly.

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