The Science of Succeeding with People

The book review for this week is Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards.

Van Edwards takes the reader through a detailed study of the art and the science of networking. She explains the power and benefits of building your network and covers many of the aspects of starting and building genuine relationships.

My takeaway from this book is the fact that anyone can be a great networker. You do not have to be an extrovert. In fact, Van Edwards herself is an introvert and provides quite a few humorous examples to prove this!

Follow her 14 networking hacks (below) and your skills will improve dramatically!

  • HACK #1: The Social Game Plan Take control of your interactions and play by your social rules.
  • HACK #2: The Triple Threat Make a powerful first impression by nonverbally hacking all three levels of trust.
  • HACK #3: Conversational Sparks Use unique talking points to create pleasurable and memorable conversations.
  • HACK #4: Highlighter Bring out the best in people by highlighting their strengths.
  • HACK #5: Thread Theory Find and follow threads of similarity to be more socially attractive.
  • HACK #6: The Decoder Spot the seven micro expressions during interactions to uncover truth.
  • HACK #7: Speed-Read Use the matrix to solve people’s Big Five personality traits.
  • HACK #9: Primary Value The underlying motivation that drives a person’s decisions, actions, and desires.
  • HACK #10: The Story Stack Share, tell, and hunt for captivating stories to capture imagination and attention.
  • HACK #11: Own It! Empower people by giving them buy-in, control, and ownership.
  • HACK #12: The Franklin Effect – Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, share a vulnerability, or admit a weakness—they bond you to people.
  • HACK #13: The NUT Job When dealing with difficult people, name the emotion, understand the feeling, and transform the fear.
  • HACK #14: “Attunement” – Turn people on by making them feel wanted, liked, and known.


Note that I have previously reviewed the following books in 2018:

  1. Tim O’Reilly’s Whats the Future and Why Its Up to Us
  2. Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art
  3. Timothy Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors
  4. Richard P. Feynman’s Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!
  5. Bernadette Jiwa’s Hunch
  6. Scott Galloway’s The Four
  7. William Mougayar’s The Business Blockchain
  8. Fredrik Haren’s The Idea Book
  9. David Burkus’ Friend of a Friend
  10. Stay on Top of Your Work podcast episode #15
  11. Blue Ocean Shift by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
  12. Ideas and Stuff Podcast episode #50
  13. Tom Peter’s The Excellence Dividend
  14. Travis Christofferson’s Tripping Over the Truth
  15. Michael Zipursky’s The Elite Consulting Mind
  16. Mike Michalowicz’s Profit First



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