When we think of hacking, we think of a tech-savvy dude breaking into computer systems to steal data. But hackers can also take the form of “social engineers” who get what they want by building rapport and penetrating psychological defenses.

My guest is an expert and pioneer in the area of human hacking, and shows individuals and companies the weaknesses of their security systems by breaking into their offices and computers, not by bypassing pass codes and firewalls, but simply by walking in the front door, and knowing how to ask for and receive access from the humans who run the show

His name is Chris Hadnagy, and he’s the author of Human Hacking: Win Friends, Influence People, and Leave Them Better Off for Having Met You, which takes the social engineering principles con men and malicious social hackers use to breach security systems and steal data, and shows the average person how to use them for positive ends in their personal and professional relationships. Today on the show, Chris shares how assessing which of four styles of communication someone prefers can help you better connect with them, why you should approach every interaction knowing your pretext, the keys for building rapport, and the difference between manipulation and influence. We end our conversation with tips on the art of elicitation — how to get information from someone without directly asking for it.

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Show Highlights

What is human hacking?Using the DiSC assessment to figure out which of 4 types of communicator someone isUsing “pretexting” to decide how to approach a conversationHow to build rapport with othersHow to influence, persuade, and have hard conversations with your kidsWhy offering choices leads to greater complianceThe difference between manipulation and influenceHow to get information from someone without asking for it directly by having an “elicitation conversation”Why it’s helpful to outline a conversation before having it

Resources/Articles/People Mentioned in Podcast

Con man Victor Lustig, who tried to sell the Eiffel TowerAoM interview with former con man turned security consultant Frank Abagnale Why People Do (Or Don’t) Listen to YouLessons in Building Rapport From Experts in Terrorist Negotiation How to Build Instant RapportDiSC assessmentAoM’s interviews with former FBI agent Robin Dreeke on the code of trust and the 6 signs to look for when sizing someone upThe Charismatic Man: The 3 Elements of Personal MagnetismHow to Become a Good ListenerHow to Design Conversations That Matter


Connect With Chris

Social Engineer Website

Chris on Twitter

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)

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