Ep. 55: Pamela Barnum on Adjusting Your Body Language To Establish Trust
In this episode, David sits down with Pamela Barnum, Former Undercover Police Office & Federal Prosecuting Attorney, Trust Strategist & Nonverbal Communication Expert, to discuss why adjusting your body language to establish trust is so critical.
Buy David’s NEWEST Book: https://www.trustedleaderbook.com/
Pamela Barnum is a former undercover police officer and federal prosecutor turned nonverbal communication expert and trust strategist.
When you take decades of experience, including her unique background of working deep undercover in the drug enforcement section, followed by a rewarding legal career, you get real-world strategies that help audiences crack the code on trust using proven field-tested techniques.
Juggling diverse stakeholder groups with distinct interests and roles leads to an inevitable clash of words and actions. What if you had a strategy to communicate trust quickly and easily without investing more time or money? Increasing trust solidifies relationships and increases profits.
Building on her experience in the criminal justice system, Pamela studied corporate negotiations in graduate school and now shares her experience, research, and expertise with candor, energy, and humor blending actionable strategies with memorable stories.
1. “We need to present ourselves for the situation that we’re showing up for.”
2. “How we display ourselves starts from the moment we show up.”
3. “You can win if you understand what the rules are and you use them to your advantage.”
4. “When you look into someone’s eyes, they feel seen.”
Links Mentioned In The Episode:
“The Trust Edge” by David Horsager: https://amzn.to/3k8yFeM
“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie: https://amzn.to/3mLoFtQ
Prezi Video: https://prezi.com/
Buy David’s NEWEST book Trusted Leader: https://www.trustedleaderbook.com/
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David Horsager: Welcome to the trusted leader show it’s David Horsager and I have a special guest today Pamela Barnum, thank you for being with us.
Pamela Barnum: Well, thank you so much for having me i’ve been looking forward to this for weeks since we first spoke.
David Horsager: Oh yes, and I can’t wait to come out skiing your way i’ll tell you what my family would love that we’ve talked about the mountains, the mountains you’re in so.
David Horsager: For those that don’t know pamela was an undercover police officer, she was a federal prosecuting attorney.
David Horsager: She is turned into a trust strategist and nonverbal communication expert I think it’s fascinating her work, we have some work that overlaps a bit she certainly has some expertise to bring to our time today and i’m just just grateful to get to talk to you about it.
Pamela Barnum: Well, thank you so much, and i’m glad we were introduced this is going to be great.
David Horsager: Absolutely so some similar in different angles on trust, so let’s let’s get into this, so you, you know.
David Horsager: You are like you know undercover give us a little feeling of what was that, like undercover because this is a funny from a trend perspective, you know if I go speak at a big.
David Horsager: chiefs conference or a policing conference, what do I know they’re the most untrusting people in the world, why.
David Horsager: Because they were lied to every single day I didn’t speed I didn’t steal I didn’t I didn’t I didn’t I didn’t right so and, of course, most of our work is all around, how do I be trusted not how much do I trust them.
David Horsager: The other people, because there are reasons not to trust, but that that was an interesting background tell us about it.
Pamela Barnum: yeah it was definitely interesting because I was the only woman in a unit of 92 specialized officers that work long term undercover project, so what that means is I lived for.
Pamela Barnum: Months at a time with a different name different identity different background story, and I would have to work from usually street level so coming into a Community complete unknown.
Pamela Barnum: and have to work my way through the hierarchy of the criminal underworld, so to speak, so the drug dealers and different gangs and get in gain their trust and.
Pamela Barnum: The interesting thing is, you may think police officers are trusting individuals but.
Pamela Barnum: There is no group of people that are more untrusting than criminals, simply because they have to be by the nature of their.
Pamela Barnum: occupation, they definitely do not like new faces they’re not interested in making a lot of new friends, because any one of them could be.
Pamela Barnum: An undercover police officer, which is definitely not the one they want to meet and I often you know, David it’s interesting because you talk about trust and.
Pamela Barnum: There seems to be that dichotomy between you know pretending to be someone else and having all of these things around that and.
Pamela Barnum: I developed what I call the agenda filter and I think that we all use it in our professional lives are productive in our personal lives as well.
Pamela Barnum: When we’re doing something, and we are taking action towards something.
Pamela Barnum: We use this filter that we put our intention through what our agenda is what our intentions of whatever that action is that we’re going to take.
Pamela Barnum: And if it isn’t the various intention if it’s for ill purposes or we’re trying to you know harm others or only serve ourselves.
Pamela Barnum: You clearly building trust that there’s no foundation there for that it’s going it doesn’t exist.
Pamela Barnum: But if we are there to serve a purpose that is either greater than ourselves or to serve our Community or to build something greater to and, in my case, it was all around justice and and laws and things that our communities had put into place.
Pamela Barnum: That is how I filtered through what I was doing in that particular time and place in my life in order to establish and build trust and at no time did I do things that were illegal, immoral.
Pamela Barnum: or things that I couldn’t live with myself at the end of the day, so you know, with people struggle to see the the trust and working as an undercover police officer there’s that I just wanted to point that out at the Veil.
David Horsager: yeah and then work.
Pamela Barnum: Through some things around.
David Horsager: yeah let’s do that so.
David Horsager: we’re going to get to something totally totally get it for the greater good you’re you’re doing the work for the greater good and we’re grateful for it and so.
David Horsager: So I yeah I was just teasing basically that you know it just like just like attorneys, by the way, and you were the federal prosecuting attorney right and sometimes attorneys are the brunt of of trust jokes.
David Horsager: And yet they are in the research shows to most people are many people, one of the most trusted person or advisors to individuals so it’s it gets some humor and yet attorneys.
David Horsager: are very, very high trust right.
Pamela Barnum: Well, I choose all the professions that are at the butt of jokes and you know i’m not going to disclose whether or not blonde is my natural hair color, but I wanted to have the trifecta of jokes available at my expense, no matter.
Pamela Barnum: Where you go there there’s where we’re going.
David Horsager: Oh, let that one go.
David Horsager: So so let’s let’s just go back, so we are going to go to you know, looking ahead here we’re going to talk about how you build trust, how you build it fast, how you build it as a leader, how do you read people.
David Horsager: A little bit, but before we do that take us through a little bit of a journey here how did you you’re going in undercover you have this, we all agree, you have this cause to help.
David Horsager: The world and and and peace and, and all this greater good that you’re the reason you’re going undercover and trying to build trust and having to you know figure out a way to build trust with this drug Lord that’s totally skeptical and totally you know.
David Horsager: get really I guess the best were suspicious, how did you navigate that can you tell us a journey of of navigation and building trust that ended in good.
Pamela Barnum: and dangerous.
Pamela Barnum: as well, so.
Pamela Barnum: There was, I give you an example of an evening so we’re about eight months into a 10 month long undercover project.
Pamela Barnum: And I had to connect with a dealer that I dealt with a few different times, on occasion, so.
Pamela Barnum: Usually, it was back in back in the day when we had pagers I don’t know if some of your listeners even know what those are but you would type in your phone number, they would call you or you type in a code.
Pamela Barnum: And that meant you were going to meet at a time and place etc, so I called the number.
Pamela Barnum: And I didn’t get my regular deal or someone new picked up the phone, which was highly irregular.
Pamela Barnum: And this new person had taken over for this old dealer for lots of different reasons, so we had agreed to meet at a new place a new time and I was.
Pamela Barnum: negotiate a price for cocaine on this particular time and date so you can appreciate how dangerous it is to now meet a complete stranger that my.
Pamela Barnum: investigative team had no idea who they were because I didn’t know their name they had just taken over this phone number, I was meeting at a place that we had no.
Pamela Barnum: Intel on, and I was going there at around one o’clock in the morning completely by myself so female officer no backup they wouldn’t be able to see me going into this building.
Pamela Barnum: So the level of risk is definitely escalated at this time I go into the building I walk up the stairs it’s three flights of stairs there’s not a lot of light.
Pamela Barnum: I get to the top I go to open the door and all of a sudden, the door opens and inside I can just see out of my peripheral this guy who’s probably always me by over 100 pounds he’s got a foot taller.
Pamela Barnum: he’s dressed and you know the typical the stereotypical biker gear with the vest and the bandana on his head, etc, the chains on his belt.
Pamela Barnum: And the lightest so bright that at disoriented before moment he shuts the door quickly behind me when I entered the apartment I can hear the deadbolt lock.
Pamela Barnum: And the chain slide across the door, so now i’m in this apartment and I see two other individuals over to my left and their packaging cocaine.
Pamela Barnum: And I can see their gun, I can see all of the different things going on.
Pamela Barnum: So i’m a complete stranger to them, but I here, I am a female alone there’s three of them they’re armed and they definitely have home advantage because they’re in their location.
Pamela Barnum: So I, since all of this has happened, I didn’t clearly break this down at this time, there was a lot of other things going on in my mind, but since then i’ve dissected this particular incidents.
Pamela Barnum: Only because I ended up meeting my dealer later and witness protection program and and dissect it a lot of what happened that night, but in this moment.
Pamela Barnum: I broke it down, I called it, you know this 3D of what I was looking for So the first thing was the for display and those are the things that the only thing I have control over in a trust.
Pamela Barnum: situation that that is what I can display to the other person and that trust trifecta that we can display really intersects at.
Pamela Barnum: Our competence, so my ability to do my job.
Pamela Barnum: And you talked a lot about that in the trust edge and and which is you know that’s so important is being able to demonstrate that we know what we are doing, and that was critically important.
Pamela Barnum: In that evening that I could demonstrate that I was, who I said I was, and that I was capable of performing what I was there to perform, which was make that drug exchange.
Pamela Barnum: The next thing is courage or confidence in that moment, and being able to demonstrate that and display that not in what I say, because we can say anything we’ve all been around those people who can say whatever they want it’s in how we.
Pamela Barnum: display that with our non verbals so more open posture so demonstrating my vulnerability, by not closing off, but being open.
Pamela Barnum: Being a little bit taller having really great posture is not just what our mom or chiropractor tells us, you know standing up tall and straight definitely transmits something that that says confidence.
Pamela Barnum: And also just making trying my best to make myself just appear a little bit bigger.
Pamela Barnum: And then the third part of that trifecta is empathy and it may seem strange or other place, especially in that scenario with drug dealers.
Pamela Barnum: But demonstrating and displaying empathy in all of those situations is critically important because, if you have competence and confidence but you’re not.
Pamela Barnum: displaying empathy or if you only have empathy and competence and you’re not displaying any courage or confidence.
Pamela Barnum: The trifecta doesn’t work in this scenario, with our non verbals when we’re trying to establish our trustworthiness without saying a word.
Pamela Barnum: So that was the first thing the next thing i’m trying to do in that moment is to decode what’s happening around me so that’s the second D i’m trying to examine.
Pamela Barnum: All the things happening what’s the guy behind me doing Why is he, why do you lock me in the room i’m trying to come up.
Pamela Barnum: With reasons that don’t terrify me that I can identify what’s happening What are they doing over there, I see they’re cutting the cocaine or adding product in order to further their.
Pamela Barnum: value to the their back end of that product, but they had promised me a certain quality so i’m trying to figure out what’s happening i’m trying to take all of this in while still maintaining my composure and the third is.
Pamela Barnum: to detect deception both verbal and nonverbal.
Pamela Barnum: And there are cues that we can have there’s no such thing as a human lie detector anyone who can you know say for certain that people are lying, there are only things that we can see or hear.
Pamela Barnum: That tell us that further investigation is warranted, and we know where to go with the next thing the average person is only a really 5050 shot when it comes to being able to detect deception and there’s only.
Pamela Barnum: Three groups of people that are better than average based on their careers, and then the rest of the people have to take really a lot of training.
David Horsager: we’ve gotta you gotta stop there for a second because.
David Horsager: What you know, I have a friend CEO who said, basically, with all the hiring we’re hiring someone executives hiring and we’re taking these tests we’re doing all this, he said, basically we get it wrong about 50% of the time anyway right so.
David Horsager: So so tell me this we just off the rails here but lie detectors they they work.
Pamela Barnum: polygraphs work just to measure what they’re there to measure and the polygraph examiners who are very highly skilled and trained individuals their real.
Pamela Barnum: superpower is their ability to interview and to pay attention and to know what to ask next they are exceptional and it’s interesting because the police force that I used to work for has some of the best in the world, so much so that, when I was delivering a lecture to some FBI.
Pamela Barnum: agents, they told me that one of the officers, I used to work with hat they use his interview of a former.
Pamela Barnum: Major general from a base, who was turned out to be a serial killer unfortunately as their interview techniques that they have dissected how well he interviewed and he’s polygraph.
Pamela Barnum: officer, but he was using a polygraph in that particular interview, but how he was able to get that soldier that highly decorated soldier to confess to several murders was extraordinary and it’s all based on his experience it’s a polygraph or.
David Horsager: Questions questions are critical.
Pamela Barnum: Whether you’re asking your colleague graph.
David Horsager: or your you’re driving I mean you can drive a conversation lead and lead a conversation with questions so i’m going to keep asking them and firing.
David Horsager: away, but before I want you to go back to where you were a moment ago, but before you do that, not to not very long, but what are the three occupations that are better than most at basically seeing mistrust or deception.
Pamela Barnum: This probably won’t surprise your audience, the first is emergency room doctors and nurses, they see it all they’re very good at picking up on it, the second group, social workers.
Pamela Barnum: The third group not your average police officer, they are no better than 5050 unfortunately highly trained.
David Horsager: Third, the third one is mom.
Pamela Barnum: You.
David Horsager: wish to go I that’s what I tell my.
Pamela Barnum: son um the third one are highly specialized officers that receive.
Pamela Barnum: Training in this area alone so and it is a skill and here’s the thing for your listeners lot of people really sometimes classify themselves as auditory.
Pamela Barnum: or visual like do you like, to listen to the book on audible or do you prefer to read it either on a kindle or a hard copy and that’s usually how people can tell which they fall into.
Pamela Barnum: And it’s interesting because to be really good at detecting deception, you need to be great at both.
Pamela Barnum: And to be great at both is very hard try watching someone and listening to them for five minutes straight and paying close attention to their every word how they say it their cadence.
Pamela Barnum: And their body language is a real skill that takes a lot of practice of course parents of teenagers are pretty good at this.
David Horsager: But they’re getting practice.
Pamela Barnum: they’re getting practice.
David Horsager: So, how did what does this mean to us, you know how do we take from here and say wow Okay, you were undercover got the drug deal, by the way, we’re gonna have to come back to the end of the story.
David Horsager: Right yeah made it.
David Horsager: But before we come back to the end what What does this mean what can we take away from this reading, how can we build trust faster when we are unknown.
Pamela Barnum: So the first thing that we can do is when we show up, we can control things before we even get on the phone call get on the zoom call enter the room for the meeting, and you know we talked a lot about.
Pamela Barnum: You know it’s great to talk on social media and put those means up about you know it doesn’t really matter don’t judge don’t be hard on yourself don’t do it, and I agree with all of that, I think, in a perfect world if we could all live.
Pamela Barnum: by Bernie browns credo and and have be vulnerable and everything is you know sunshine and rainbows I would be all over that.
Pamela Barnum: And I agree that in a perfect mental health is amazing, unfortunately, we are judged and we can’t help it, because that is how our brains developed since the beginning of time.
Pamela Barnum: And they developed that way to protect us from getting eaten when we stepped outside of the cave or getting beaten, with a club that someone was holding.
Pamela Barnum: Because they needed the fire or whatever was going on way back when so aren’t we can’t help that that’s how our brains have developed we judge to protect ourselves, we have a fight flight or freeze response because that’s how our brain works.
Pamela Barnum: And so we can help offset that a little bit by first of all, being aware that that’s how things work.
Pamela Barnum: And by using that to our advantage, so in a professional situation, we need to present ourselves for the situation that we’re showing up for.
Pamela Barnum: And I know you know i’m showing up to a podcast i’m in my home.
Pamela Barnum: But i’m on camera so I brushed my hair today I put on some makeup i’m dressed appropriately because I want to send the message to your viewers people that view this.
Pamela Barnum: That, I am a professional that I showed up that I put effort, but I took the time.
Pamela Barnum: To really pay respect to you, your listeners your viewers and all of the people that are taking their time to be a part of this today, I think that that’s important.
Pamela Barnum: Would it have been easier to put on a T shirt and put on you know ponytail or absolutely and that a lot of people can do that or.
Pamela Barnum: let’s talk about tattoos for a moment I know they’re incredibly popular I don’t have a problem with tattoos one way or the other, I worked in a culture.
Pamela Barnum: In my undercover days, where that was the thing.
Pamela Barnum: I think it’s important, though, if you’re showing up to things to understand what are the feelings that the people on the other side of the table have toward that.
Pamela Barnum: Is is it something that is welcome in that culture and everybody has that and it’s a part of it fantastic.
Pamela Barnum: Is it something that you’ve shown up to the building and nobody has visible tattoos Does that mean you were a longer sleeve jacket when you’re showing up to something possibly.
Pamela Barnum: I think that how we display ourselves starts from the moment we show up in our how we dress how we appear what we say what we do and it may seem superficial and some people may be offended by that.
Pamela Barnum: And unfortunately that’s Okay, you can be offended you can be upset that that’s how things work, but that is how things work.
Pamela Barnum: People make judgments, without even realizing that you within 15 milliseconds the people who are watching this video they already know you David so they know and love and trust you and they’ve come back for more.
Pamela Barnum: they’ve never seen or heard me before within 50 milliseconds of seeing my face they decided whether they like or dislike trust or distrust of me before they even blink your eyes that registered in their brain now, it could be.
Pamela Barnum: They had a childhood friend, or they have their sister wears the same glasses as me.
Pamela Barnum: They love their sister they really love me they liked me and the things that i’m saying resonate with them, they don’t even know why, but their subconscious is picking up on things, conversely.
Pamela Barnum: Someone that they’ve had a falling out with that work their ex wife, whatever where’s the same color of blue had a similar necklace whatever that is.
Pamela Barnum: triggered them to dislike or distrust or their accountant looked like me and embezzled money at some point, and all of a sudden, that was a trigger we can’t control that we can’t.
Pamela Barnum: know that in advance, so we can’t make up for that, however, we can control for the things that we do know in advance.
Pamela Barnum: And if we sense that things are challenged, because there are things that we can decode remember that’s the second D.
Pamela Barnum: We can sense those things if we’re paying attention you know we’re using our auditory and our visual senses and we’re paying keen attention to the other person we can start to make shifts and course correct as we’re working through these conversations to build trust.
David Horsager: Okay, so I want to pause for a second, because what I feel like you’re telling us is a very selfless approach.
David Horsager: And our move in our world is towards selfishness, I deserve this you can’t judge me you don’t judge me and yet you’re saying you will even.
David Horsager: change what you were, for the sake of them, the greater good you’ll cover a tattoo it’ll be judged, because I think.
David Horsager: What I love about this is you’re so honest and yet people don’t seem to you know.
David Horsager: People don’t want to hear this, that you, you you everybody, you are all going to be judged in the first 15 milliseconds you’re going to be judged and people can’t help it.
David Horsager: We will be judged, this is, I think I just think it has to be stated, because this idea of a don’t judge each other, no chance.
David Horsager: you’re going to be judged, so what you are judged for isn’t just up to them it’s up to you, and you can do something about it, but you might have to sacrifice your independence and your self focus is that true.
Pamela Barnum: it’s a 100% true, and is it always fair, is it always just no it isn’t and that’s part of being in a Community that’s part of being in a world where other people exist and no other time in history has that been more apparent.
Pamela Barnum: than at this time that we’ve all been living through, where people in some cases have felt that they’ve had a right.
Pamela Barnum: To say awful things to one another and to be judgmental in ways that never in our history, have we thought that that has been okay.
Pamela Barnum: And you know I think we’ll be talking about different books and things and there’s a book that’s been talking about this for years and it’s always I always have it it’s called.
Pamela Barnum: How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie and you know it’s dated for sure, and some of his reference are a little kitschy and.
Pamela Barnum: that’s all but that’s exactly you succinctly put exactly what he said you just sometimes you just do things for other people and you’ll get more with honey than vinegar every single time and.
Pamela Barnum: That will make you you’re doing it actually for yourself, deep down, because when you’re making other people feel good about their choices and feel good about what they’re doing is also serving you.
Pamela Barnum: And if you don’t want to be a part of a culture or a company where for getting back to our tattoo example or multiple facial piercings are frowned upon.
Pamela Barnum: Then you don’t have to be that is a complete choice you can.
Pamela Barnum: work somewhere else or be part of something that that is welcome and encouraged and celebrated and you earn a great income as a part of that culture or you start it yourself that’s completely available but.
Pamela Barnum: it’s not always something that you have the power to enforce and change in that particular company, you can always start your own and do your own thing, but I just want to help people understand that you can win.
Pamela Barnum: If you understand what the rules are and you use them to your advantage.
David Horsager: Absolutely so let’s so what let’s take it a step further we’re walking into the we hit the DS a couple times and just to say them display decode detect.
David Horsager: But let’s let’s go into the conference room for the first time i’m giving a presentation, how can I show up and build trust i’ve never seen this board of directors before, how should I think about showing up i’m not.
David Horsager: overtly you know wearing or looking away that’s inappropriate wearing something inappropriate or looking with it’s inappropriate what else should, I think about.
Pamela Barnum: posture is critically important it starts the minute you pull into the parking lot so depending on how you get there, maybe you take public transit maybe you’ve driven.
Pamela Barnum: But how you walk through the parking lot up to the building you never know who’s looking out the window.
Pamela Barnum: And when you walk with purpose there’s actually been research done on this and it’s fascinating to me people that walk slightly faster than average and walk like they know where they’re going are seen as confident competent and trustworthy.
Pamela Barnum: So we are walking with purpose essentially we’re walking with purpose to the building, we make eye contact and smile at the security guard or the cleaner or the receptionist or the person who greets us at the front.
Pamela Barnum: And we are genuine in that smile we’re happy to see them because we don’t know first of all that’s the human thing to do, and it is the kind thing to do so that should be enough, but secondly.
Pamela Barnum: Again we don’t know who knows who who’s telling who’s talking to who at the coffee break or the lunch break gee did you see that.
Pamela Barnum: David came in for an interview he was so nice, he asked me how my day was, and you know, nobody ever talks to me when they come in and check them to get their security badge to go up to see Mr so and so so.
Pamela Barnum: there’s you know always making that I contact critically important in western cultures now again a lot of what i’m going to talk about here today, David is Western cultures there.
Pamela Barnum: A lot of your listeners are all over the world, I know you do a lot of work in Africa, and there are different ways of handling I contact proximity to one another, that are very different, so I wanted to stress that i’m talking primarily about Western cultures here excellent.
David Horsager: yep no problem.
Pamela Barnum: Okay.
Pamela Barnum: So we’re making eye contact and for those introverts are people who are a little bit more.
Pamela Barnum: reserved a little bit shire here’s a strategy, and I was that person, especially starting out working undercover.
Pamela Barnum: I just made it my purpose to register the eye color of every person I spoke with So if I could figure out what their ICO and it sounds easy like Oh, I know what their eye color is I just but.
Pamela Barnum: It takes a little effort you have to really look into their eyes for a moment, and when you look into someone’s eyes, they feel seen.
Pamela Barnum: And that builds that connection, so I would look into their eyes just it just took a moment to register there, so I try to look into and I practice this still to this day I go to the grocery store I.
Pamela Barnum: You know, pay for gas, I do these things, I look into people’s eyes and now it’s more important than ever, especially if we happen to be in a part of the world.
Pamela Barnum: Where our faces covered where we can’t see our smile from our mouth, but they can see her smile in our eyes so registering that smile making eye contact very important walking with purpose.
Pamela Barnum: Excellent posture open posture Those are all things that communicate confidence and trustworthiness and that’s before you even show up into that boardroom.
Pamela Barnum: Keeping your bag or the things that you need to carry with you, maybe it’s your laptop whatever it is, in your non dominant hand.
Pamela Barnum: I know that handshaking is not something that’s happening as much as it once was, in many places, except I have traveled a little bit in the south and it’s still very popular.
Pamela Barnum: So.
David Horsager: there’s someplace they don’t even know, there was a pandemic, but it’s.
Pamela Barnum: Totally yeah.
Pamela Barnum: Totally fine with it, so, but in some places, but there’s still the elbow thing that some people are doing as well, so you need your dominant term for that so whatever the greeting happens to be usually it’s going to happen with your dominant hand or arm so keeping your.
Pamela Barnum: Your non dominant arm for carrying your supplies or your bag, etc, is important to you all, with this week.
Pamela Barnum: I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that situation, we got to switch hands you’re doing something feels kind of awkward throws you off your game.
Pamela Barnum: But if you’ve already pre planned it makes a big difference so having that and then that is before you now you’re into the boardroom.
Pamela Barnum: You have an air of confidence about you, you have.
Pamela Barnum: At least a neutral smile it doesn’t have to be the big hey we’re all here type of dissing genuine smile, but at least a neutral smile that lets people know that you’re.
Pamela Barnum: happy to be there you’re grateful for the opportunity and you’re excited to get started in whatever it is that they’ve invited you to be there to do.
David Horsager: love it, these are great ideas I and they’re actionable and I can do them and.
David Horsager: You can just see where it where these kind of things that were there more natural for people, those people are coming out, whether inside their head or heart they’re more trustworthy or not they show up here they heal it there, since you know.
David Horsager: So you know, one of the most repelling traits and people well a magnetic trait can be competence and and humility and these kind of healthy humility and.
David Horsager: arrogance pushes people away and some of these could quickly feel like arrogance and i’m even thinking back to our drug dealer which I can’t wait we’ll come back around to the end of the story on but i’m thinking okay hot shot.
David Horsager: You know blonde lady comes in, is walking confident and all that, like I i’m almost feeling like.
David Horsager: I wouldn’t I would think natural would be to intimidate you a little bit you’re going to keep back like that i’m actually almost wondering about you, but that it can quickly look like arrogance, how do you how do you manage that.
Pamela Barnum: You have to temper it with empathy so that is the critical piece so you’d like I said, you have the competence and the confidence if you’re missing empathy the trust.
Pamela Barnum: it’s difficult to have that display of trust so empathy is communicated again with a neutral smile making eye contact that is not intimidating or creepy too much eye contact, especially if its opposite genders can be interpreted as creepy or.
Pamela Barnum: ill advised certainly and unprofessional to little again Western cultures can be seen as disinterested or.
Pamela Barnum: disengaged so we want to have six the research tells us 60 to 70% and we get that by registering I Pilar by just making eye contact when someone is speaking now here’s an interesting piece of research as well if we’re in a room.
Pamela Barnum: And we’re having a conversation maybe it’s a sales conversation maybe it is a conversation that we’re presenting to the board, whatever that is.
Pamela Barnum: And usually we find there always one or two people who do a lot of the talking and there are sometimes people who do none of the talking.
Pamela Barnum: And just based on that we don’t know who the decision maker is.
Pamela Barnum: Sometimes it could be the person who does, none of the talking and the one who’s doing all the talking has zero decision making power, but maybe we’re the new person we don’t know that so Here are a couple of ways to tell.
Pamela Barnum: And two things that someone in our position as we’re walking into that room should do.
Pamela Barnum: We need to make eye contact equally with all of the people, whether or not they’re speaking or silent so we’re looking when we are opening our mouth our eyes are 60 to 70% of everyone in the room.
Pamela Barnum: The next thing so that’s what we are displaying the thing that we are decoding is regardless of who is speaking.
Pamela Barnum: Where is the torso, of the other people in the room, pointed when they are either speaking or listening and oftentimes and especially their feet, are going to be positioned slightly more toward the decision maker, so if you are at a board table it can be difficult to see the feet.
Pamela Barnum: Because you know the table is there and it’s tough, but if we’re in those swivel chairs those executive chairs, it can be even it can be easier because you can slightly see.
Pamela Barnum: Where they are positioned so if someone is speaking over.
Pamela Barnum: To my side, but I am positioned away, but even though they’re talking I could kind of be looked looking as though i’m listening.
Pamela Barnum: But when my body is pointed toward Sally over here Sally hasn’t said much if i’m the one giving the meeting I should really be paying attention to Sally I should really be queued in.
Pamela Barnum: That it’s quite possible and more likely that Sally has regardless of her title and regardless of where her positions in the company that Sally probably has a lot of authority and a lot of sway with the people in that room to make decisions.
David Horsager: very interesting so let’s take it, you know you’ve given some nonverbal techniques, maybe you have some more to increase trust, but.
David Horsager: What about the top three I know you talk about this sometimes top three that damage trust during even virtual events in a meet and meetings and why they aren’t what you think.
Pamela Barnum: Okay, well, one is having a virtual background.
Pamela Barnum: So.
Pamela Barnum: Now there’s a proviso for that so.
David Horsager: If that’s why we have what we have a real background.
Pamela Barnum: So the providers, though, for that is if you’re in a conference or if you’re with a company and having the branding.
Pamela Barnum: is critically important the virtual background can be fine just make sure you actually have a real green screen.
Pamela Barnum: and appropriate backlighting and front lighting, so that when you move your hair and your hands and things don’t ghost and that it’s not really possible to tell that it’s a virtual background.
Pamela Barnum: But if you’re just conducting you know, a zoom meeting you’re at home or don’t put up those virtual backgrounds, with the palm tree or it looks like you have like a Manhattan loft.
Pamela Barnum: But you’re you know inter house in suburbia and it’s seven o’clock at night, but it looks like it’s 12 High Noon on you know time square behind you.
Pamela Barnum: And the reason for that there’s a couple of reasons, and the first is around some research around vulnerability.
Pamela Barnum: And the research tells us that when I am being vulnerable with you, so I have you in my home and we try to keep it as professional and without a lot of personal things that i’m not prepared to share with complete strangers, that are not in the background.
Pamela Barnum: i’m feeling vulnerable because you’re in my house and that’s as vulnerable as it gets inviting people or even in your office.
Pamela Barnum: Complete strangers, and by you know coming into your office can be make people feel vulnerable as well, depending on the situation.
Pamela Barnum: So there’s a bit of vulnerability there, and in my mind and in the mind, most people they expect that vulnerability to be returned and that builds trust i’m being vulnerable with you you’re being vulnerable with me.
Pamela Barnum: We are building some trust together the second piece to that is a going back to our limbic brain our subconscious where we’re how we developed over time.
Pamela Barnum: you’re hiding something what else, are you hiding so you’re hiding what’s going on back there now you’re saying this.
Pamela Barnum: Maybe consciously i’m not even wondering, but my subconscious is now listening and looking for triggers as to what else you’re not being open about.
Pamela Barnum: And i’m second guessing a few things i’m maybe being a little bit harder on you than I need to be because.
Pamela Barnum: I don’t feel that you’re being completely honest with me so there’s those two things so that that would definitely be one and that all it takes a lot of people by surprise because they feel.
Pamela Barnum: You know, when I don’t know if you watch tiger King or not, when the pandemic first began Okay, even if you did most people will never admit to it it’s one of those things that nobody wants to talk about.
David Horsager: i’m being open I didn’t see it.
Pamela Barnum: Well, it was the number one virtual background was actually the guy from Tyler King with one of the Tigers.
Pamela Barnum: For.
Pamela Barnum: The entire month.
Pamela Barnum: of March and April during that netflix show what can you imagine how horrifying that would be for people in a professional setting so.
David Horsager: i’ll tell you, you know another piece of.
David Horsager: Research here early on in the pandemic well a big finding was all of a sudden CEOs were being more trusted.
David Horsager: Because they were removed from the ivory tower and you know the cat jumped on the piano behind them and the four year old was running in their undies.
David Horsager: And so that just opened this all of a sudden, they saw them as human and human ization went up and connection went up with many at least.
David Horsager: Especially if they didn’t of course do a virtual background, which made it didn’t and there was a lot of human ization that happened there, and a lot of positive for a time, virtually.
Pamela Barnum: Absolutely absolutely.
David Horsager: Well, we could talk a whole lot more go.
David Horsager: ahead, give us a couple more tips okay and.
Pamela Barnum: What is eye contact.
Pamela Barnum: And it’s hard to do, especially if you’re in a meeting where there’s you know we call it Brady bunch style or wherever there’s a lot of people I use all these old TV show references but.
Pamela Barnum: Because you know for it’ll be talking over here and sally’s up over here and we’re looking around because we feel like that’s natural to look at a human face and was drawn to the human face.
Pamela Barnum: So a little tip is even though it feels completely unnatural and disengaged is to always be looking at your webcam.
Pamela Barnum: And you can do that by putting a photograph of your family your pets your little SMILEY face whatever it is right beside your webcam always be looking.
Pamela Barnum: At your webcam you know the research tells us 60 to 70% eye contact in person virtual is almost 100% otherwise you look disengaged or you fall into that are BF that happens and people see you as disengaged and it goes a long way in not building trust.
David Horsager: So i’m here in this big studio i’ve got this massive screen so there’s my camera right there i’m looking at, and I can see, I look like i’m looking at you, but I want to.
David Horsager: See you like you’re just a few inches away, and yet it feels like you’re a marathon away right because.
David Horsager: Art I almost need to put the move that just have have have our team move the picture of you over because I can see.
David Horsager: You know it’s set up, so I can have 100 people watching watching all of them, if you know, if needed, but that’s a very interesting and very true, I can tell when people are looking at me.
David Horsager: right through the camera lens or if they’re looking just off slightly, which is a big deal on how we set the room.
Pamela Barnum: It is and for those of you that present so here’s one last little tip that i’ll just give that has served me very, very well.
Pamela Barnum: For CEOs are leaders that are presenting in meetings and they feel nervous, or maybe don’t know their material.
Pamela Barnum: As well as they would like words, the last minute thing there’s a little program very inexpensive it’s called pressie video.
Pamela Barnum: And you can use on MAC or PC and you can type your notes you’ll even have to use slides or anything you can just type your notes into one long thing.
Pamela Barnum: And you can position it so your notes are right underneath of your camera.
Pamela Barnum: And you can just use your mouse and just slide them along, so it always looks like you are looking exactly at the camera and you are not moving your eye anywhere else, it is brilliant so anytime you have new research it’s a great little tip.
David Horsager: Great tips well there’s a whole lot more we get extract from your brilliant mind on this this these ideas let’s go back to the story of you know, there you are the drug deals going on you’re in there all by yourself what happened.
Pamela Barnum: So the deal happen, so we have the money, and we had negotiated it in advance.
Pamela Barnum: And what people see on TV is that you know the deal happens the undercover leads or, then the Swat team kicks in the door, and everybody gets taken down that sort of thing in real long term undercover projects that never happens.
Pamela Barnum: Because I have to continue, I have to leave the next day or go to the next house or go to the.
David Horsager: place you want to live because.
Pamela Barnum: Because I want to live and because I need to maintain my cover for the entirety of the project.
Pamela Barnum: And usually what happens is at the beginning of the project, we have a tentative idea if it starts to go well, which this one did we I.
Pamela Barnum: bought for over 70 drug dealer so we had over 70 dealers in this town that I had made connections and had solid drunk buys from which is remarkable in a street level.
Pamela Barnum: Project, especially for women, and so we knew that we wanted to keep going we’re going to have this date that we set way in advance, because you need to bring in.
Pamela Barnum: Over 100 other police officers from all over to do what we call take down day.
Pamela Barnum: and take down day is planned at months in advance and we’re going to do what we call REPS and REPS are essentially what they sound like you rip off drug dealers.
Pamela Barnum: For lots of drugs, with no intention of paying them it’s as exciting and as dangerous as it sounds so you show up to a deal.
Pamela Barnum: You get the drugs and you either take off your hat or do whatever other signal you’re going to do, and then the team comes in and takes off the drug dealers, etc.
Pamela Barnum: So we had one of those set format at a few who is the name of this particular person.
Pamela Barnum: At a much later date, so we had set up we done this deal I leave, I had the drugs, we have set up some other deals and we’re going to do this big REP at the very end.
Pamela Barnum: And we do all of these REPS and at you know between four and 6am over 70 different houses search warrants are executed in the early morning hours because it’s a lot less dangerous usually people are sleeping.
Pamela Barnum: boom search warrants he gets brought in, and he decides he wants to go into witness protection.
Pamela Barnum: For lots of different reasons, you know doesn’t want to go to prison but also he had shared information about other people, that would be.
Pamela Barnum: bad news for him for sure, in the long run, so I met with him.
Pamela Barnum: and asked him, you know why did you why did you have your guy locked me in and what was going on and why were all of these things happening and I asked him what the drugs and there were a few other things that have gone on in the apartment that weren’t right and.
Pamela Barnum: And he said, you know I just didn’t know who you brought with you, I had no idea who you were.
Pamela Barnum: If you would brought like if there were five guys on the stairs that we’re going to rip me off if what was going to happen if you maybe you brought a gun what was going on, I didn’t know and so to me it was really interesting because.
Pamela Barnum: i’ve only thinking about myself in that moment, like my safety what’s going on, you know I didn’t mention at the beginning of the story, I was a rookie undercover.
Pamela Barnum: At this time it was one of my very first project so i’m also you know terrified inside trying to make myself appear all of these different things, but inside i’m just dying.
Pamela Barnum: And so it really stuck in my mind and so he walked me through all of the things that he was noticing about me.
Pamela Barnum: i’m remembering all of the things that I noticed about him, which is you know it’s really stuck in my mind, because, again, it was one of the first.
Pamela Barnum: And we had a really great talk almost philosophical in a way, about how you never know what the other person is thinking.
Pamela Barnum: What your expectations are around other people and how you know we always see things from our own baggage all the things we bring to the table and all the things that we expect to have happen.
Pamela Barnum: And it was really just profound to me to think that he was thinking, the identical things that I was thinking, even though I thought he had the upper hand.
Pamela Barnum: He thought that I did, and I really believe that, in every interaction that we have both professionally and personally I think that that happens all the time.
Pamela Barnum: I think people feel very vulnerable and feel very like.
Pamela Barnum: That they need to protect themselves and that they’re wondering how you know they’ve screwed something up or this other person has the upper hand, or what the other person is thinking.
Pamela Barnum: And we play these games in our minds, all the time, whether we’re the CEO of a fortune 500 company or we’re cocaine dealer on street level deals like there’s the human brain works, the same, and it was just really interesting to me.
David Horsager: That is fascinating.
David Horsager: So much more i’ve got one more question for you, I got many but i’m going to ask you at least one more before that, where can we find out about pamela.
Pamela Barnum: Well, my website, right now, it will be under construction, Charlie, but you can go to pamela Barnum calm and Barnum is like the circus, so I make jokes to my husband about that all the time, because he really is like the greatest showman he is the circus guy so.
David Horsager: All right, we’re gonna put all that in the show notes stress the Leader show.com.
David Horsager: pamela this has been fascinating you know it’s a trusted leader show we have so many other things we could talk about being trusted leaders and how we show up and all that but who is the leader you trust and why.
Pamela Barnum: You know I thought, a lot about that because I knew you’re gonna ask me that question, and the one answer that just kept coming back to me was mala and I know that just may seem.
Pamela Barnum: obvious, but she is just such a powerful person that at a young age, made such an impact and continues to she hasn’t changed.
Pamela Barnum: And that I think has been so powerful for me and I just pulled a quote of hers I love this that some people only ask others to do something and I believe Why wait for someone else we can make that step ourselves and I thought.
Pamela Barnum: That that’s just words to live by she just takes action and she doesn’t expect others to but that’s what she lives by and i’m impressed by that.
David Horsager: inspiring love it pamela Thank you so much for joining us pamela Barnum from undercover to trust and communication expert and we’re i’m grateful to call you friend.
David Horsager: Everybody Thank you for listening to the dress of LEADER show until next time stay trusted.