The last time Eric Barker visited Brainfluence, we spoke about his book, ‘Barking Up The Wrong Tree’, the Wall Street Journal best-seller that taught us a science-based approach to success. Now, his brand new book, Plays Well With Others, is an invaluable guide that will help you achieve everything you want with your relationships – either by making them work, or helping you fail spectacularly!
Eric uses science and data to explain how our brain understands and makes impressions of people. He gets into everything that wrongly influences our assessment of people, including confirmation bias from first impressions and, believe it or not, criminal profiling. Eric explains how instead to learn about people using values of empathy, similarity, trust, and emotion. He adds that the best way to understand someone is to make them feel connected and comfortable around you. Introducing a little bit of emotion and controversy in conversations, rather than playing safe, helps you understand people many times better because it makes discussions more enjoyable.Want to succeed in business and life? NYT bestselling author Eric Barker, aka @bakadesuyo, shares science-based ways to connect better with your fellow humans from his book, "Plays Well With Others" #relationships #psychology Click To Tweet
Key Highlights – Eric Barker
- [01:14] The science behind criminal profiling and how much of it is relevant. Some facts –
- A study in the UK showed that it was correct only 2.7 percent of the time, showing how bad most of us are at reading and assessing other people.
- Studies show that we can accurately read a stranger’s thoughts only 20% of the time. This percentage goes up to 30% with friends and 35% with our spouses.
- [03:08] 3 things you can do to better allow a person to send you stronger signals about their behavior and values:
- [03:10] Be more motivated.
- [03:44] Consider your environment and the context of your conversation.
- [04:30] Ask questions that are a little more controversial or emotional.
- [05:06] 2 simple things to do to get a more emotional response from people:
- [05:30] Think about what you stand to gain or lose in that situation. It will allow you to be a little bit sharper in those situations.
- [05:44] Ask questions that suit the atmosphere.
- [07:34] Why networking events don’t turn out to be a good way to connect with people and what ‘super-connectors’ means
- [08:35] The importance of first impressions, why they’re a double-edged sword, and how to be cognizant of them
- [09:54] What is confirmation bias? How does it result in an inaccurate judgement of someone?
- [11:36] How to make a good first impression – Being the best version of yourself on any given day.
- [13:22] Trusting at a level of about an eight: How trusting we should be of people on our first meeting with them
- [17:25] Why we’re bad at putting ourselves in others’ shoes and how it can take us farther from the truth if we’re trying to understand them
- [19:20] How empathy helps you get closer to people
- [21:41] Finding similarities to get close to people
- [23:27] How do you define ‘frenemy’ when talking about two people? How do they stress us out more than our ‘enemies’?
- Fact – ambivalent relationships like frenemies make up about 50% of our relationships.
- [27:03] Find Eric online
Eric Barker Quotes
“The key isn’t so much trying to passively read people like Sherlock Holmes. The real key to reading other people better is to work less on trying to be a better people reader, and actually doing things to make the other person be more readable. That is, to have the other person send you stronger signals.”
“When we get a person to react to something, we typically get a better idea of their opinions, their values, their thoughts and feelings than we do from talking about the weather. The goal is to make the other person more readable, sending you stronger signals. That’s a much more powerful way than relying on our typical brains which just are not well suited for this.”
“Networking events generally don’t turn out to be the best way to really connect with people… Research shows that if you go down your contact list, you’re going to realize that a disproportionate number of the people you’re connected with were introduced to you by a handful of people… super connectors.”
“Confirmation bias means our brains usually take the theories that already have, seek out information that confirms that and dismiss whatever doesn’t confirm what you already believe.”
About Eric Barker
Eric Barker is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author known for writing about life and relationships. His best-selling book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, has sold over half a million copies and been translated into 19 languages. His new book, Plays Well with Others (HarperCollins), gets underneath our understanding of relationships. He also has a weekly newsletter with over 500,000 subscribers. Also a sought-after speaker, Eric’s work has been covered by The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Financial Times, and others. He’s given talks at MIT, Yale, Google, the United States Military Central Command (CENTCOM), and the Olympic Training Center.
Eric Barker Resources
Amazon: Plays Well with Others
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Full Eric Barker Transcript: