SFN224: How to Leverage the Science of Succeeding with People

SFN224: How to Leverage the Science of Succeeding with People


Do you know how to captivate people?

Today, you’ll find out how science can help make every social interaction more successful.

Vanessa Van Edwards is a national best selling author and the lead investigator at her human behavior research lab, ScienceofPeople.com. She is a professional people watcher and her goal is to crack the code of interesting human behavior. She shares her research with audiences around the world, and in her book Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People.

Vanessa also preaches the idea of being the most memorable person in the room, and what she preaches is exactly why we met. In this episode, we discuss why being memorable is valuable in networking, and how you can use her research to improve your social interactions both in person and online.


In This Interview I Ask:

  • 2:00 - Vanessa was at an event with a ton of people and incredible speakers, but she is magnetic. What are her theories on this, what was going on, and how does that work?
  • 17:40 - Business is inherently relationship-focused, and the world is inherently driven by relationships.
  • 19:50 - When did Vanessa’s business start taking off?
  • 21:35 - Before going into the product, can Vanessa tell us how she got her corporate clients?
  • 23:55 - How did Vanessa do pricing in the beginning?
  • 27:00 - Where do people screw up the most when it comes to human interactions or dynamics?
  • 31:50 - How can someone navigate their fear?
  • 33:50 - Does Vanessa feel any pressure to always be on?
  • 37:10 - What does it mean that Vanessa practices radical honesty in her relationship?


The Key to Good Social Interactions

The key to really good social interactions, in any situation, is figuring out where you thrive – what can you do that will be fun for you? – and then how you can fill a need for the people who are there.

For example, when Vanessa and Andy first met they were at an event. Vanessa joined a group to watch MMA, which she was unfamiliar with, so she found the place she thrived in that environment: behind the bar.

Everyone else in the room wanted to watch the screen, so she filled a need by making everyone (amazing) drinks.

On the flip side, Andy created a situation where he thrived by inviting all of these people to his own mini event, which was entirely separate from the professional event they were attending.


Good Business is Built on People: The Two Types of Game-Changing Relationships

Businesses are built on your relationships with people, your partnerships, how you hire people, how you appeal to people, and how you market your ads to people.

But there are two types of relationships that can be transformational for your business or career:

  1. Another human being gives you an offer or opportunity that changes your business.
  2. Someone else tells you a piece of information or advice that changes your perspective.

They’re very different, but both are essential.


Where People Screw Up the Most in Human Interactions (and How to Avoid It)

Vanessa gets a lot of questions about “difficult people,” but we have to understand that everyone is difficult person on their bad days… and it’s usually due to some sort of fear acting up.

In a study for her book, Vanessa found that there were a few common fears that come up over and over again:

  • Being judged
  • Not being liked
  • Being rejected
  • Being left out
  • Being criticized
  • Being perceived as boring
  • Being misunderstood
  • Being forgotten

Those fears are all incredibly different because they produce different reactions. If we want to navigate these fears and control our reactions, we first have to acknowledge how our fear manifests itself.