Filled with expert tips, techniques and strategies, a former FBI Special Agenta specialist in behavior analysis and recruiting spiesarms readers with the tools they need for influencing, attracting and winning people over whether it be for a moment or a lifetime. Original. 60,000 first printing.
"This practical and insightful guide to influencing people, based on behavioral analysis and hard-won experience at the FBI, is filled with dozens of useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately. I enjoyed it and learned a lot!"
John R. “Jack” Schafer, PhD, is a psychologist, professor, intelligence consultant, and former FBI Special Agent. Dr. Schafer spent fifteen years conducting counter-intelligence and counterterrorism investigations, and seven years as a behavioral analyst for the FBI’s National Security Division’s Behavioral Analysis Program. He developed spy recruitment techniques, interviewed terrorists, and trained agents in the art of interrogation and persuasion. Dr. Schafer contributes online pieces for Psychology Today Magazine, has authored/coauthored six books, and has published numerous articles in professional and popular journals. He is a professor with the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Western Illinois University.
Marvin Karlins received his PhD in psychology from Princeton University and is currently Professor of Management at the University of South Florida’s College of Business Administration. Dr. Karlins consults internationally on issues of interpersonal effectiveness and has also authored twenty-four books, including two national bestsellers, What Every Body Is Saying and It’s a Jungle in There. He resides in Riverview, Florida, with his wife, Edyth, and daughter, Amber.
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A former FBI Special Agent presents his proven strategies on how to instantly read people and influence how they perceive you.
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I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
His code name was Seagull.
He was a highly placed foreign diplomat.
He could be a valuable asset if he became a spy for the United States.
The problem was, how do you convince somebody to pledge their allegiance to an opposing country? The answer was to befriend Seagull and make him an offer too tempting to refuse. The key to this strategy involved patience, painstaking intelligence gathering about every facet of Seagull’s life, and a way to foster a relationship with an American counterpart he could trust.
A background investigation of Seagull revealed that he had been passed over for promotion several times and was overheard telling his wife that he liked living in America and would consider retiring there if that were possible. Seagull was also concerned his country’s small pension would be insufficient to provide him with a comfortable retirement. Armed with this knowledge, security analysts believed Seagull’s allegiance to his country could be compromised if he was offered the proper financial incentives.
The challenge became how to get close enough to Seagull to make him a financial deal without “spooking” him. The FBI operative, Charles, was told to slowly and systematically grow a relationship with Seagull, like aging a fine wine to bring out its best flavor, to a point where the time was ripe to approach him with an offer. The agent was told if he moved too fast it was likely that Seagull would go “shields up” and avoid him completely. Instead, he was instructed to orchestrate his approach, using behavioral strategies designed to establish friendships. The first step was to get Seagull to like Charles before they exchanged a single word. The second step was to use the appropriate verbal prompts to translate that goodwill into a lasting friendship.
The preparation for the critical first encounter with Seagull started many months before the actual meeting took place. Surveillance had determined that Seagull routinely left his embassy compound once a week and walked two blocks to the corner grocery store to shop. Armed with this information, Charles was instructed to station himself at various locations along Seagull’s route to the store. He was warned never to approach Seagull or threaten him in any way; instead he was to simply “be there” so Seagull could see him.
As a trained intelligence officer, it was not long before Seagull took notice of the FBI agent, who, by the way, made no effort to conceal his identity. Because Charles made no move to intercept or speak with his target, Seagull did not feel threatened and became accustomed to seeing the American on his trips to the store.
After several weeks of being in the same vicinity together, Seagull made eye contact with the American operative. Charles nodded his head, acknowledging Seagull’s presence, but showed no further interest in him.
More weeks passed and, as they did, Charles increased his nonverbal interaction with Seagull by increasing his eye contact, raising his eyebrows, tilting his head, and jutting out his chin, which are all nonverbal signs that scientists have discovered are interpreted by the human brain as “friend signals.”
Two months elapsed before Charles made his next move. He followed Seagull into the grocery store he routinely visited, but kept his distance from the foreign diplomat. With each new trip to the store, Charles continued to enter the grocery as well, still maintaining space between himself and Seagull but increasing the number of times he passed the diplomat in the aisles and increasing the duration of visual contact with him. He noted that Seagull bought a can of peas on each of his shopping excursions. With this new information, Charles waited a few additional weeks and then, on one occasion, followed Seagull into the store as he usually did, but this time to introduce himself to Seagull. As the foreign diplomat reached for a can of peas, Charles reached for the can next to it, turned to Seagull, and said, “Hi, my name is Charles and I’m a Special Agent with the FBI.” Seagull smiled and said, “I thought so.” From that first innocuous meeting, Charles and Seagull developed a close friendship. Seagull eventually agreed to assist his new FBI friend by regularly providing him with classified information.
A casual observer, watching the many months’ wooing of Seagull, might wonder why it took so long for the first meeting to take place. It was not by accident. In fact, the entire Seagull recruitment strategy was a carefully choreographed psychological operation designed to establish a bond of friendship between two men who would, under normal circumstances, never contemplate such a relationship.
As a member of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program, I was assigned, along with my colleagues, the task of orchestrating the recruitment scenario for Seagull. Our objective was to get Seagull comfortable enough with Charles, our FBI operative, so that a first meeting could take place and, hopefully, would be followed by future meetings if Charles could make a good impression on Seagull. Our task was made more difficult because Seagull was a highly trained intelligence officer who would be constantly on the alert for any person who might arouse his suspicion, and which would result in his avoidance of that individual at all costs.
For Charles to have a successful face-to-face first meeting with Seagull, the foreign operative would have to be psychologically comfortable with his American counterpart. And for that to happen, Charles would have to take specific …