A scalpel in the hand of a surgeon can be an amazing instrument. But the same tool in the hand of a person choosing to do harm is dangerous. The knowledge on how to read someone’s behavior is the same thing, either beneficial or detrimental, based on the person’s intentions.
Today’s guest is Chase Hughes. Chase is a retired US Navy Chief and is the leading military and intelligence behavior expert with 20 years of creating the most advanced behavior skill courses and tactics available worldwide. He is a Harvard educated neuroscientist, keynote speaker, and the author of two bestselling books. He teaches elite groups of government agencies on behavior science skills, including behavior profiling, non-verbal analysis, deception detection, interrogation, and advanced behavioral investigation.“It’s the most complex thing in the world and the only thing in the known universe that named itself.” - Chase Hughes Click To Tweet
- [1:08] – Chase shares his background as a US Navy Chief and his current work in educating others on behavior science skills.
- [2:45] – Chase tells the story of losing a friend as inspiration to grow his knowledge.
- [4:51] – Hidden stress signals are universal.
- [7:04] – At a certain point of understanding behaviors, Chase sees a world that is hidden right in front of everyone.
- [8:06] – In learning behaviors, focus on learning one at a time until you notice them in your day-to-day life.
- [10:03] – When it comes to psychopaths, there are certain behaviors that are hard to spot.
- [12:01] – Chase does an activity with Chris to demonstrate eye movement.
- [15:18] – When it comes to interrogation and questioning, these eye movements are very telling.
- [17:13] – Women are naturally very good at reading behavior.
- [18:02] – We learn to lie first with our face.
- [20:10] – What is a detail mountain and a detail valley?
- [23:07] – There is a reason we fall so hard for con artists and cult leader personalities.
- [25:10] – All kinds of influence follow this exact model every time: Perception, Context, Permission.
- [27:58] – The second thing that Chase teaches is how to access the mammalian brain.
- [30:36] – Anything we feel emotion about is memorized.
- [33:21] – The more we learn about this, the better we are at avoiding being manipulated.
- [34:58] – These tactics are also tools for good parenting. What is the end goal of these tools?
- [37:10] – Chase discusses some examples of the models he teaches.
- [39:41] – When it comes to confidence, people look at situations through a hierarchy lens.
- [41:10] – Chase shares the titles of his books and what they are about.
Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.
Links and Resources:
- Podcast Web Page
- Facebook Page
- Easy Prey on Instagram
- Easy Prey on Twitter
- Easy Prey on LinkedIn
- Easy Prey on YouTube
- Easy Prey on Pinterest
- Chase Hughes Home Page
Chase, thank you so much for coming on the Easy Prey Podcast today.
Thanks for having me, Chris.
Can you give myself and the audience a little bit of background about who you are and what you do?
Sure. I did 20 years in the US military and retired about five years ago. I retired as a chief in the Navy. Somehow, I wrote a couple of books that hit the number one bestseller list in behavior profiling, persuasion, influence, and stuff like that. Now, I train everyday people in these kinds of skills. I also just continue to train intelligence operatives and intelligence agencies the same skills.
That sounds really fascinating. Was that some educational plan to end up there, or were there some interesting twists and turns that got you there?
There was no plan to get there. When I was 19 years old, I was stationed in Pearl Harbor, and a young lady at a bar shut me down pretty hard. I went home that night and typed “how to tell when girls like you” into the Internet.
My interest was just I don't want to be rejected again. How can I see rejection before it starts? I got really into body language and reading people. I think the more I could see that everybody was screwed up, it made me less self-conscious, and it made me a little more confident. It gave me confidence.I think the more I could see that everybody was screwed up, it made me less self-conscious, and it made me a little more confident. It gave me confidence. -Chase Hughes Click To Tweet
A few years after this, I'm getting into all this training and stuff. My best friend, Craig Wimberly, is killed in a terrorist attack on the USS Cole. All of these failures were attributed to these intelligence operatives who couldn't get the data they needed. They couldn't develop relationships with local assets.
I said, “I'm going to use these skills. I'm going to keep going hard on these skills so I can develop these training programs for intelligence agencies, so that we don't have that happen again.” That's a long story short of it. I continue to be obsessed by this stuff. The novelty still hasn't worn off for me. I love it still.
I went to Harvard University for neuroscience and neuroendocrinology. I'm, again, enrolled at Duke University right now for medical neuroscience. There's an endless supply of information. I think the more you know about this stuff, the more you realize how much you don't know.
Yeah, particularly when it comes to the human brain. I think we probably haven't even scratched the surface yet.
It's so true. It's the most complex thing in the world that we know of. It's the only thing in the known universe that named itself.
I didn't know that.
You can study this one.
OK, yeah. That makes sense. Was there more of an interest in reading behavior or manipulating behavior?
It was reading to begin with. Then I thought, “These operatives are going to need some enhanced training. How do I build rapport rapidly?” I wanted to figure out formulas for what makes people tick, which is reading them. How do I use that data from that behavior profile to use surgically sharpened persuasion techniques or influence techniques on that person?
Let's talk about that. What are some of those? How do people tick and how to read what a person is thinking or feeling? I guess you can't really read their mind, but reading their physical characteristics, which might reveal things.
I'll give you a few that are just about universal. One thing I teach people to look for is undercover stress signals or hidden stress signals. One of the biggest of all time that you can spot today is if you're talking to a person, then the topic changes, and you then all of a sudden see them start blinking more often. This is something we refer to as blink rate.If they start blinking more often, this is indicative of stress. The person is probably trying to hide a certain degree of stress. -Chase Hughes Click To Tweet
If they start blinking more often, this is indicative of stress. The person is probably trying to hide a certain degree of stress. It's most likely about the topic that just got brought up in the conversation. Whether you're in negotiation, parenting, sales, or whatever it is, you're seeing something that needs to be dug into.
I need to either (a) skip over this topic and talk about something else, or (b) there's a point I need to ask a couple of more questions about here. If you're good at persuasion, and you are able to calm people down and really establish a person's focus, you'll see the blink rate start to drop over time. A lessening blink rate, blinking less often, is our body's natural response to being calm and focused. Focus lowers our blink rate. Stress increases our blink rate.If you're good at persuasion, and you are able to calm people down and really establish a person's focus, you'll see the blink rate start to drop over time. A lessening blink rate, blinking less often, is our body's natural… Click To Tweet
One other thing is when a person squeezes their lips together. We call this lip compression. We typically say that this suggests or denotes that somebody's withholding opinions or withholding some information. If you ask somebody, “Oh, how do you like your new job?” They go, “Oh, it's great,” and they squeeze their lips together, something's being held back there.
If you're in sales and you ask somebody, “Would you say your credit score is pretty good?” And they go, “Oh, yeah. Our credit's great.” And that, you know you might have an issue. Or if you ask a person a question, you see that withholding, you know that later on, maybe not immediately, but later on you might need to ask a few questions that no other person would have asked because they didn't see those little behaviors.
I think it's amazing when you can see a world that's right in front of everybody, but nobody else can see this hidden world. It's almost like our private thoughts are just public at a certain point.
How long did it take for you to go from knowing these things and consciously looking for them till they became second nature? I assume you don't even think about this process anymore. You just know they're stressed, they're uncomfortable. I assume you don't even think about the signals anymore.
Not much. It's funny, we have a YouTube channel called The Behavior Panel, where it's me and three other profilers. We break down behavior a lot. Nowadays, I have to bring it into conscious awareness so we can talk about it on YouTube.
Just learning blink rate, let's take that for an example. We don't want to try to learn five or six different behaviors at the same time. You just want to get one under your belt, and just get it under your belt until you find yourself just, “Oh, wow. I just noticed that without really trying to pay attention to it, and then start incorporating another one. It's just like learning to drive a car, except you're not learning to drive a stick shift. You want to minimize all of this stuff you're trying to pay attention to at one time.
The other question about that. Psychopaths and sociopaths, do they do the same thing? Because if they truly believe what they're saying, regardless of whether it's true or not, does that change the behavior?
It does to an extent. Funnily enough, there's been a lot of research on this. Psychopaths and normal people score about the same exact score on a polygraph. The stress responses are still there. The little facial tics that reveal what's going on underneath still really come up just using words alone. If you are reading a paragraph written by a psychopath, they will be more likely to be successful in deceiving people with just syntax. When it comes to just behaviors and putting somebody on a polygraph, exactly about the same.Psychopaths and normal people score about the same exact score on a polygraph. The stress responses are still there. The little facial tics that reveal what's going on underneath still really come up just using words alone. -Chase… Click To Tweet
With facial expressions and stuff, Robert Hare, the guy who did all the research on psychopaths, he even developed the current, as we know it today, psychopath checklist, we can call it. He has this great story that he tells.
He says, imagine you leave your apartment, and you're going to go get some Chinese food. As you're leaving your apartment, you pass by this big accident scene. There's a car crash going on. There's a mom holding a wounded child that's maybe alive, maybe dead. It's just a gruesome scene. The first thought in your head is, “I think I'm going to have orange chicken tonight.”
You pick up your food, and then you get back to your apartment. An hour after you eat dinner, you find yourself looking in front of the mirror just practicing all the sad and shocked faces that you saw in the crowd, trying to memorize how those people reacted to something. This is not because they're trying to deceive. This is because they think other people have to practice it, too.
All they're really trying to do is not trying to manipulate the world. They're trying to get along with society. They're trying to learn how to connect with other people most of the time. I think they get a bad rap. Just the word psychopath means a person is going to be some killer or something, which is not true at all.
OK, that makes perfect sense. They're just trying to, “Well, this is what I see when other people experience something. I need to make sure that I'm doing the same thing when I see that same situation.” How interesting.
It's so true, yeah.
Are there any other specific signals as far as reading people? I know that you mentioned the blink rate, the lip compression. I thought you said there was a third one. Did I miss it?
Sure. We'll throw it out right now. One thing that is really important and almost universal, and this is a video podcast here, so people are going to be watching this. I'm going to experiment with Chris here just so you can see it. Chris, what is across the street from the nearest Burger King closest to your house?
An empty field.
OK, and what is to the right of that?
OK. What is the fifth word of the Pledge of Allegiance?
There we go. Now, we got it. The first thing you did was look up into your right, which is accessing some memory. There are things out there, they say, “Oh, this one's creative and one's logical.” Not necessarily true at all. What I want to do is establish where you look and where your eyes move to recall data early on in a conversation.
Let's say I'm interviewing a babysitter to see if I want them to spend time with my kids. I want to look where your eyes move normally, ask you a similar question later, and see if your eyes are moving in a different direction when I'm asking you to recall a piece of data. That's a good data point. I wouldn't say you're instantaneously, “Oh, the person's lying because they do that on TV all the time.”
This is something I need to dig into. If I see the eyes moving in a different direction than what we're really used to seeing this person do. If you're in a conversation with somebody, and they look down into their left, down into their left, down into their left all the time. Then, all of a sudden, you go, “Yeah, and you don't have any criminal convictions or anything like that,” and they look right and straight off to their ear like this, that's a big deal. That's a spot where you might need to ask a few more questions.
It's not the specific direction you're looking about, but the inconsistency of the direction.
Correct. You establish like, what's their home? Where do they go to access information most of the time? And then I'm seeing a deviation from that. A lot of people give you checklists for body language, but I always say that detecting change is more important than a checklist.
I've definitely heard that before. Out of curiosity, on the first two questions, was I just looking straight at you?
Yes, because your visual and spatial memory is probably excellent, and you had all of that mapped out.
And I was trying really hard to not give you an indicator for those two. You asked me something that I actually had to think about, and it started counting.
It was going to ramp up the cognitive load there.
You ramped it up well beyond my ability to even answer the question. I don't think I actually got the question.
I don't think you did, but I don't know. Greg Hartley, a friend of mine, asked me the same question to demonstrate it, and it's just a perfect way to show somebody's natural eye movement for retrieving some information that's in a box somewhere.
Yeah. It was like, “OK, well, the Pledge of Allegiance,” and then I’ve got to start pulling out fingers to start counting the words. It's interesting that you're able to apply enough pressure to get a reaction.
Yeah. You increased the load, like how far down the stairs do I need you to go to get information?
When you're doing that, would you normally slowly increase the load? Obviously, for the demonstration purposes, you went from a low number to a fairly high load, at least for me. Is that the normal thing in a conversation, if you're trying to do this, you would slowly increase the load so as to maybe not make it as noticeable what you were doing?
Yeah. Like you said, you used to work at a company or something. I said, “Oh, yeah, driven by that building a few times. I was stuck in this parking structure. I can't remember how many levels are in that parking garage there.” You'd be like, “Ah, I think there are five,” and I would just get that little eye movement there. It's just anything that causes a person to dig in and actually have to recall a visual memory or something that they don't have to regurgitate often.
Do you start applying this to people inadvertently in normal conversations in social settings?
Yeah. I even do it with my kids. We'll be in the back of an Uber or something, traveling, and I'll have my son look in the rearview mirror. I'll lean over to my son, and I'll say, “All right, he's going to look down into his left, are you ready?” We'll do those little experiments all the time. I've tried to teach my kids this stuff. Since they were probably five and six, they started learning. They're 15 and 16 now.
Are they really good at it now?
They're very good. They've become unconsciously good at it because they never knew that they were learning until recently.
This is just a type of conversation that every dad has with their kids, and common sense that everybody just picks up.
That's right. It’s just normal for them.
Have you found people that are in the same field, who they figured this out on their own through life experience, and they don't even know how they do it, versus people like you who've come along, and I've studied, I've done research, and I found methodology that works, other people that have, in the sense, discover the methodology on their own unintentionally?
I think there are a lot of people out there that do it intuitively. Statistically speaking, women are way better at it than us. Women are naturally good at it. The problem comes if I have a person here that's naturally good at reading behavior.
I say, “OK, what happened in that conversation?” All they're going to say is, “Something doesn't feel right,” or, “It feels like he's not telling the truth.” The moment I ask why, they may not know because they're unconsciously good at it. They're not really processing data, they're just processing feelings based on the data that they're seeing.
It's the infamous, they trust their gut.
Indeed, and they've got a good gut. Some people don't have a very good one, but they've definitely got a good one.
How hard is it for people to mask these types of reactions?
We lie best with our face. We learn to lie first at a very young age with our faces. We smile when we're not happy so we can make other people happy. You can cover some.
There are two things that need to be escalated for all these behaviors to start coming out, and the first thing is cognitive load. Cognitive load is just, “How much data am I getting this person to process? How many apps can I open in that person's head and leave them running in the background?”
The second thing is the stakes. How high are the stakes? Let's say I'm doing an interview. I might ask a question. “What time do you usually leave the office?” The stakes aren't really high. But let's say, Chris, I came down here today because I like you, and I think you're a good person.
Because of that, I want you to think extremely very carefully before you answer this question. I want you to take all the time you need to process it because this is very important. What time do you normally leave that office? Same question, but I've just ramped up the stakes a little bit higher. I've made it more important. I increased the likelihood that some of those nonverbal indicators are going to be there.
The more experienced the person is in some of these things, maybe the more cognitive load they can handle without giving away indicators?
Yeah. A lot of times, when people don't give much indicators at all, and the indicators that they do give are verbal, then we get into, “Can I analyze that statement?” So guilty people.
For instance, just for one example, we'll give you tons of details about irrelevant superfluous crap. They'll describe the stitching in the seat inside of the car, how the steering wheel was leather, and the speedometer, what it looked like.
When they reference a mugging, a murderer, or something, and then the thing happened, and then they'll go back, then we have what I call a detail mountain and a detail valley, the detail valley being right where the critical thing is that I'm asking about, is a big deal. There are a hundred little verbal techniques that we're also looking for, especially for deception.
I've also heard—I don't know if it's true or not—that they'll be minimizing language. Like, well, I don't think, not very much, or kind of, sort of vague words that are in specific amounts associated with it. Like, what should happen with this person? Yeah, I kind of have some debt. How much is some?
That's such a great question. What should happen to the person that did this? You also hear severity softening. Instead of killed, they'll say hurt. Instead of steal, they might use the word take or borrow. Instead of an assault, they might use the term mess with or fought with.
Those soften the severity of the act with a normal person, especially when it comes to sexual offenses and things like that. They might even use the word interfere with instead of the bad word that we don't want to get kicked off YouTube for saying.
They'll soften that severity when just any reasonable normal person would typically just be totally comfortable using the word kill, steal, or any of that. That's one of the big ones, too. We'll see that, and we call that severity softening.
Is there an opposite of that, where someone is going to heighten the severity of maybe something that's not part of the conversation or not part of the story in order to try to push the attention there like in the hyper detail and stuff that's not relevant?
Yeah. Increasing severity on other things of how dramatic a lot of other things were. We just did a video analysis of somebody. I wish I could remember who it was. You'll see a detail mountain in the place where there should be a detail mountain here.
For an average person, you experienced an emotional event, you witnessed a mugging, or somebody's accusing you of mugging somebody—that’s where the detail mountain should be. That's where all of your attention, your facial expressions will get more animated, and that will be the opposite for people who are guilty.
That's crazy. How can we apply some of these techniques towards not being scammed? Is there a process that happens when people are trying to scam us? Can we use some of these techniques, either linguistically or visually? Obviously, if you're on the phone with someone or it's an email, you can't use visual cues. How are scammers using these things, and how can we catch them?I would say first, as a quick warning to everybody, if you're in a conversation where it just feels magical, psychopaths and manipulators aren't showing you a great person, they're showing you yourself. That's typically why we fall… Click To Tweet
I would say first, as a quick warning to everybody, if you're in a conversation where it just feels magical, psychopaths and manipulators aren't showing you a great person, they're showing you yourself. That's typically why we fall so hard for these people. These con artists, cult leader personalities, show you yourself and the way to tell whether or not it's toxic, because sometimes you feel good when you meet a genuine person.
If you leave that conversation, and the feeling starts drifting off, then that was created by dopamine. That means that person is spiking up your dopamine for that exact reason. But meeting a genuine person, having a social connection, we get a little bit of serotonin, we get a good size boost of oxytocin, and that's the connection chemical. The feeling good afterwards after that conversation will last a lot longer.
When it comes to manipulating people in general over email or anything, I teach influence and persuasion for a living. When some people call some of my techniques dangerous, the danger is in the person using it, not the person having the techniques. It's like having a scalpel in your hand. If you're a surgeon, this is probably a good thing.
Or a brick. You can build a house or you can wreck somebody with it.
So true. When it comes to social engineering, and when it comes to all influence, whether you're a therapist influencing a patient, or a person phishing doing all of these scams online and stuff, which I'm not very well-educated on, it follows a three-layer formula. I call this the PCP framework.
The first P, and these happen in order specifically, and you can go back in your life if you're watching this with Chris and I. Every infomercial you've ever fell for—I bought a Slap Chop one time from an infomercial, and I saw that it worked in this model—if you confess to a crime in an interrogation room, it follows this model every time.
P is perception. Something happens to change your perception of what's going on. What I mean by this is some event happens or the subject line and an email changes my perception of like, “I thought this was what's going to happen, but now it's actually this.”
The instant perception changes, it opens a window to move to step two, which is context. Context is key. Right now, we're both on a Zoom call talking to each other. It's absolutely inappropriate for one of us to strip down and get naked. We're both going to do it today, but we're just going to do it more standing in front of the shower or about to step into the shower.
Context gives us permission to behave in unusual ways. If I can shift the context, I can get a person to do just about anything because that allows them. That becomes a socially allowable behavior. Let's say an email subject line changes my perception, I start reading the email, and I'm saying, “This is not what I thought it was.” Now I'm saying to myself, “Oh, this is a different situation. I have a different set of rules for what's allowed in this or what's expected of people in a certain situation.”Context gives us permission to behave in unusual ways. If I can shift the context, I can get a person to do just about anything because that allows them. That becomes a socially allowable behavior. -Chase Hughes Click To Tweet
Finally, the context, the moment that shifts, it opens a window to door number three, which is permission. The moment we have this new situation of context, and the person that's talking to us or the person that's emailing us seems credible, they seem like maybe an authority, or they seem like they have a tremendous amount of confidence, they're giving us that permission at the very end.
In the case of an email, we're feeling that sense of permission because the context shifted. Now, can I click links? In this context, it looks like it's from my bank. Now the context allows me to click the link, and the trueness of everything finally gives me the permission to act in a way that I normally wouldn't.
That's sinister. It's interesting that that's a very specific order. Not just three things happen in near proximity and time, but there's a specific order to it.
Yeah, I think it's a cascade for sure.
Do you know if there's any psychology behind why that particular order works?
I think it would go into this system that I designed because we understand the PCP model. The second thing that I teach is how to influence the mammalian brain. This wouldn't just be psychology. I would say there's also some physiology, some neurology involved here too because we're talking about brainstem and the mammalian part of our brain.
There are four things that kept our ancestors alive. Since it kept our ancestors alive so well, they passed it down to us, and passed it down, and passed it down. This is why a three-year-old kid is afraid of a snake, even though they don't have the training. A giant spider is scary to a one-year-old baby. We get these things passed down to us from our ancestors.
There are four things, and these aren't in order necessarily, but I call this the FATE model because it is our fate. The first one is focus. If you think of shifting perception, which is first, anything novelty creates human focus. It manufactures focus in human beings.
If you think of an ancestor walking past the same bush every day, her whole life when she's walking with a sack of berries back to the village, and all of a sudden one time, a stick snaps behind that bush while she's walking passed it, 100% of her focus is on, “What is that noise?” Something new and unexpected happens, so it changed her perception of what's going on. We respond to focus.
The second thing that kept our ancestors alive is responsiveness to the A, which is authority. Not obeying an authority figure or even a perceived authority figure, means we get kicked out of the tribe. We can get our head chopped off, we can get our babies killed, which means we don't reproduce.
Number three will be tribe. Am I paying attention to what's going on around me? Am I doing the same thing that all of my tribespeople are doing? If everybody else is stacking a bunch of rings around their neck, I'm going to do the exact same thing, otherwise I'm outcast. If I'm an outcast, I probably won't have intercourse with anybody, and I'm not going to have babies.
Is that conformity to community standards, so to speak?
Yes, like tribal conformity. Conformity is extremely high in certain aspects that pride themselves on not being nonconformist. If you look at a giant group of Harley Davidson bikers, it's extremely hot. It's the same level of conformity as the dudes hanging out at the country club driving range. It's the same level of conformity, just in different ways. Tribal conformity is super important.
The E on the FATE model is emotion. Anything that we grow up in our lives experiencing emotion about, even touching a hot stove, our brain says, “That was an emotional event,” or, “I had some pain or emotion there. I'm going to memorize what do I do and what do I not do.”If I can get you to focus, I can get you to think that I am a perceived authority figure. I can get you to think that other people are making the same decision that you are making. -Chase Hughes Click To Tweet
If I can get you to focus, I can get you to think that I am a perceived authority figure. I can get you to think that other people are making the same decision that you are making. And I'm triggering your emotions, scripts from your own life, and saying, like, you've gotten emails before—let's go back to the phishing thing—they've looked like this, you clicked on the link, and it was absolutely fine. That's an emotional script in your head.
I've already, just following that little FATE model, also follows the PCP model. We have changed your perception, context, and permission because of all of that. Permission mostly comes from authority.
That was one of the things that I've noticed from taking those caller ID blocked calls and taking those calls from numbers I don't know. There's always some level of authority that the person is trying to leverage in the conversation.
It's so true.
“I'm calling on behalf of this entity, these people. I'm a barrister for the state of California.” We don't have barristers here. The linguistics are a little bit off, so it's a good giveaway. Definitely, I see that in scams, and the authority one seems to be a fairly big one that people try to take advantage of.
Especially when they just throw in tiny words like, “We are calling because.” Now your subconscious thinks, “Oh, now there's a group calling me.” Just that tiny word shifted your perception, which is the first part of the PCP, or your perception was shifted with one word.
Does using the phrase “we” instead of “I” also pull in combined authority and tribe?
This is scary. To me, this is just really interesting on how our brain can be so easily hijacked. Are there things that we could do to prove that we can minimize the brain hijacking going on?
Yes. I'd say there's probably no vaccination. I have another model because we talked about what influences the mammal, and then I have another one that is how we influence humans, specifically the prefrontal cortex. But if you take these models and just start identifying them in everyday life, when you're standing at a cash register looking at how everything is placed, how are they modifying my perception right now?
How are they modifying the context to make me buy this thing? How am I being given permission by something, even if it's an inanimate object, to take a different action than I normally would? It starts to become glaringly apparent, and we start seeing how my focus is being hijacked. If you have a smartphone, they can figure that out in five seconds with social media and all this.
Where's the authority come from? Most people don't ever consciously process this. What am I very secretive about? Am I aware of being seen as an authority figure in my life? And then tribe. What do social media do? They follow that model. They show you a tribe of people who agree with you to make you feel good, to increase your levels of dopamine, which gives you emotion, which is the end of the FATE model, which makes you come back for more.
Basically, everybody in our life, everywhere we go, everybody's using these techniques on us.
Even if they don't know they're using it.
I was about to say, even if it's not intentional.
Yeah. If you think of good parenting, that's also a recipe for how to be a great parent. How do I change my kid's focus? How do I become the authority? How do I monitor what tribe they're in? How do I give them good emotions? And how do I make my kid more confident doing all of those things?
It keeps coming back to, these are tools. It’s just a matter of what is the end goal of these tools? Whether they're for helping us to be better people, to try to separate us from our money, or take advantage of us, the same tools are going to be used one way or the other.
That's true. I think it'll be a lot like any other thing where most people don't misuse it. Most people use it for good, and that tends to outweigh everything.
Because you have a wide background here and a job set, are these pretty consistent from culture to culture? There might be a different authority, or what might work as a source of authority here in the United States wouldn't be an appropriate authority for somewhere else in the world, or they might not perceive it as an authority. But are all these things pretty much consistent even in different cultures?
One-hundred percent, yes. When I'm teaching clients to have more authority, the first thing I tell them is, “If you were teleported back in time—2000, 5000 years—where nobody spoke your language, would people still listen to you? Would people still follow your behavior?
Part of what authority is is having the behavior that's slow enough, in control enough, and you're living in full composure. Composure, I think, is the cornerstone of what truly means authority, and what tells other people's brains, “I'm talking to an authority figure right here.”s Composure.Composure, I think, is the cornerstone of what truly means authority, and what tells other people's brains, “I'm talking to an authority figure right here.”s Composure. -Chase Hughes Click To Tweet
It is also violence. A commander of authority is like, “If you don't do what I am trying to get you to do, I'm going to hurt you.” Is that also one of those other authority positions we don't respect? We're not going to respect someone who's going around and assaulting people, but we realize that there's a consequence if we don't fall in line.
Right. I would say that that's not necessarily authority, that's triggering the emotional response of people through fear. I'd say if you really want to see a perfect example of what authority means, it's like Andy Griffith. It's cool under pressure, don't feel the need to carry a gun. If you just watch Andy Griffith and soak that up for a day, I think it levels people up.
I admit, I have watched many of an Andy Griffith Show.
He always does have a sense of authority, and he's not going around beating people over the head with it.
Right. Typically, the biggest mistake I see people make is when I talk about confidence. When I'm talking about authority, without them doing it, the human brain will just default to seeing that in terms of hierarchy and status, which is the biggest mistake. You can have tons of authority, and you're the lowest guy on the totem pole at work. Your authority can still be high.
I teach five elements of authority—confidence, discipline, leadership, gratitude, and enjoyment. Those five things make you magnetic, and they make you an authority figure that makes you a perceived authority figure in anybody's eyes. I think that shows the difference between a leader and a person that's in charge. Those are completely different people. Hierarchy and status do not touch or equate to anything with authority.
You would hope they would, but often they don't.
Right. I would say there's no connection there, but I would hope that people can disconnect that in their brain because there's their status in one thing, hierarchy who's on top, and then there's internal authority. I have authority here, so I have confidence, I have discipline. It's OK.
You can be more confident than your boss. That's OK. You can still be respectful and confident because there's no status and hierarchy involved. It's just the level of confidence that we have.
One thing I would say that most people have when it comes to confidence is they're not feeling safe. If they view it through a hierarchy lens, they're saying, “I can't do this because they're on top of me, or I might face some social consequences.” The tribe part of the FATE model is holding them back and just getting a few reps under your belt. It's the fastest way that you don't need permission to feel confident from anybody.
Or to be an expert at what you do, right?
Yeah, I still feel that. I passed the 30,000-hour mark a long time ago, and I still feel that. Even walking out on stage with a thousand people there—we got a little microphone and everything—and I'm like, “Well, why am I here? What if somebody calls me out?”
Imposter syndrome. We could do a whole episode on imposter syndrome. I know you've written a couple of books on these subjects. What are the books that you've already written?
The one that just came out is called the Behavior Operations Manual. It is a gigantic textbook, like a military-grade textbook on human behavior, influence, behavior profiling, and just literally, everything you could ever want to know. I made it to be like a reference manual, and that encompasses everything.
The last book I wrote that hit the bestseller list is called Six-Minute X-Ray, which is a rapid behavior-profiling book, which gives you the ability to develop a behavior profile that's more accurate than an FBI profile in six minutes talking to another person.
I'm going to have to get that one. I'm going to start analyzing everybody as I walk by them.
It came out on Audible, too. I've got a British guy that narrates this, who’s got the buttery, smooth British voice, and I love it.
I'm definitely a fan of audiobooks, particularly with an accent. That's good. The Behavior Operations Manual, is it the sort of thing that you read cover to cover? Or is it really like, “I just want to read this section,” and you can learn the techniques and learn things just from reading things that you're interested in?
Yeah, it's not a beach read, I would say. Just take in little chunks at a time. Read a little section, digest it, maybe implement it in your life, and then read it, read another section.
Awesome. If people want to find you online, where can they find you?
Just type Chase Hughes into Google, or just chasehughes.com.
OK. We'll make sure to link to the books and your websites. I super appreciate you coming on the podcast today.
Yeah. Thanks for having me, man.