Captivate

The Science of Succeeding with People
Narrated by: Vanessa Van Edwards
Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,782 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Do you wish you could decode people? Do you want a formula for charisma? Do you want to know exactly what to say to your boss, your date, or your networking partner? You need to know how people work. 

As a human behavior investigator, Vanessa Van Edwards studies the hidden forces that drive our behavior patterns in her lab - and she's cracked the code. In Captivate she shares a wealth of valuable shortcuts, systems, and behavior hacks for taking charge of interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren't the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science-backed, real-life manual on human behavior and a completely new approach to building connections. 

Just like knowing the right formulas to use in chemistry or the right programming language to write code, the hacks in this book are simple ways to solve for people. For example: 

The Social Game Plan: every party, networking event, and social situation has a predictable map - discover how to work a room and the sweet spot for making the most connections. 

The Seven Microexpressions: learn how to speed-read the seven universal facial expressions and how they can be used to predict people's emotions. 

Conversation Sparks: all conversations can be hacked - if you know how certain words generate dopamine in the people you meet. 

When you understand the laws of human behavior, you can get along with anyone, and your influence, impact, and income will increase as a result. What's more, you will improve your interpersonal intelligence, make a killer first impression, and build rapport quickly and authentically in any situation - negotiations, interviews, parties, and pitches. You will never interact in the same way again. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2017 Vanessa Van Edwards (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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Practice After Each Chapter

Introverts and logical people would find this book useful. Each chapter provides examples, "before" and "after" dialogs, and a list of actions (which research has demonstrated to be effective). After finishing each chapter, practice the techniques before moving on. While some of the suggestions are simple (like having hand gestures to make your talk more engaging to the listener), you need to develop that habit and be able to do it naturally. Or you can sign up for the digital bonus material at scienceofpeople.com/toolbox.

There are some chapters that highlight concepts from other authors, such as Paul Ekman (Emotions Revealed) and Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages). If you've already read these books, the material is redundant. There are also snippets of repeated information or research from "Predicably Irrational" by Dan Ariely and "Influence" by Robert Cialdini.

82 people found this helpful

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Start here

While other books hammer home deep specific knowledge on any given topic, Van Edwards offers a joy ride through the world of social personal growth on various topics which include vulnerability, reading people, leading, fears, body language, popularity, and so much more. Unlike many other books, she prepares for you a summary, specific challenge and reflection at the end of each chapter or "hack". If you need to up your social game to get ahead, this is the book for you. I've listened once, taken notes, and will listen again to begin applying its tenets.

46 people found this helpful

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Loved It

Packed with great information and advice. For an introvert like me, who isn't that great socially, the knowledge and advice in this book are indispensable.

12 people found this helpful

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Extroverts: This Book Is For You Too

Any additional comments?

As a self proclaimed extrovert, I was hesitant about buying this book because I thought it was geared only toward introverts. Wow, how wrong I was. Vanessa, was able to provide hacks, challenges, and insights into ways make me into the best version of myself. From where to stand in a room to how to appropriately thank people based on their love language. Her hacks/lessons occasionally conjured up the reaction of "oh S*** I do that." It is those moments that made me really love this book because she was willing to call us all out on our poor social form (looking down at a phone or hands in the pockets). Not only did she illuminate the negative connotation with that form, but she actually provided simple hacks to remedy these issues.

Even if you are an extrovert who thinks they understand people, you should buy this book. Because like me, I am sure there are some negative social cues (that I was totally unaware of too!) that you possess that Vanessa will help hack.

70 people found this helpful

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If understanding why people do what they do makes you tick, this book is for you.

Vanessa and her team help build a framework in which to understand how we're wired in order to optimize any and all interactions, both personal and professional. Rooted in empathy and honest communication, backed by science, and laying out a play book if you will to create the life and relationships you want.

Excellent listen on audible, it flows and is easy to follow. With the science backed examples it's a little reminiscent of Malcolm Gladwell. Excited for the books to follow!

16 people found this helpful

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Say What!

So after watching Vanessa Van Edwards on Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu I was inspired to find out more about social anxiety, and how I fit into the mix. I bought the book on my wife's check card without any hesitation and started listening right away. My wife later came and asked me what I had purchased on audible after receiving an email. LoL! Curious stares at me...
I am glad I listened to the book and will start my second go around after this review. I enjoyed the examples giving; information setup; and the personal stories. I feel they give an authentic perspective to people and every day to day interaction.
I will probably experiment with this book for the next six months until I have gained a good grasp of these skills. I have gone to scienceofpeople.com and started to find out more and have taken the big 5 quiz.
I am O 83% C 79% E 44% A 58% N 63%.
I have been testing myself like crazy these past few years because I have been an angry passive person all my life needing affirmation and feared no one cared about me. 2 years ago I enrolled into a recover my life program and began working on these life stressors. I found out none that information was true. Further proof of that is this Great addition to my collection Captivate. Thank you Vanessa, your Husband, and your team I can't wait to see what experiments are next.

5 people found this helpful

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Being A Dick Is Contagious

I didn't want to like her. Vanessa comes off as being cheerful, vibrant, and quite happy. This can be annoying to a glass almost-empty kind of guy. Yes, I'm introverted, extremely skeptical, a real riot at parties, tending to view life as quantity versus quality. I'm the "Good news for people who like bad news" type. I've gone through many self-help books, lots of psychological books, and programs by the big guns like Tony Robbins. I could hear Tony speaking to me throughout Vanessa's book, "You know this stuff, you've just never taken a healthy dose of mental massive action over a prolonged period." Yes, I have paralysis of analysis. So, I'm working on healthy decisions by taking small daily actions. We are driven by our emotions and associations, and I've analyzed myself every which way only to realize I'm a damn mess. But if I can take small steps, these can compound over time, thus creating healthy lasting habits. I understand that life is a flatline of difficulty for most, and I'm no exception, however I do hold the power of decision in pretty much any situation. I do believe that if you put the steps mentioned throughout this book into action, you'll most likely create good lasting habits; and this is coming from a guy who's a "realist" or better yet a pessimist at large.

99 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Eh

I wanted to rate this book 1 star but that was because I was disappointed I paid the money for it. I waited a day because I think this young woman puts a lot of effort into what she really believes in and who am I to say she doesn't know what's she's doing, she obviously does and she's obviously highly intelligent.

I'm 45 and got bored with what I've been listening to, I'm a trucker and listen to a lot of books. I've never had a problem making friends or being social really. I got this book because shippers and receivers can be compared to dealing with bratty 4 year olds on a daily basis and I was hoping this book might give me some tricks to deal with these people better.

I think this book is for a younger generation of people who have problems being social. I truly believe computers, smart phones, and the instant access they give to social media are a big reason a lot of today's younger generations have trouble "fitting in", for lack of a better term.

So it gets two stars, if you don't agree hey I'm entitled to my opinion. It just didn't give me any more insight as to how to deal with difficult people than I already had. If you're a teen struggling with acceptance at school or a 20 something looking for help to advance your social skills you will probably get a lot out of this book.

114 people found this helpful

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a few good points but not worth an audible credit.

outdated. struggled to get through all the fluff. a few good points but not worth an audible credit.

12 people found this helpful

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Her lack of credentials shows.

There's some good tips in here, mostly in the second half, but there's some stuff in here that's just outright incorrect. She advocates power posing, which has been debunked by a dozen studies since it was popularized. Also, she makes an assertion that is downright irresponsible. She says that different people have varying levels of comfort in different social settings (fine, of course), but then she goes on to claim that people are incapable of becoming comfortable in their less than ideal settings and that the solution is to just avoid them altogether. Ha! Just because you weren't clever enough to come up with a simple "hack" to fix something doesn't mean it's impossible. Mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy are just two ways to address this and Jordan Harbinger, whom she thanks at the end of the book, has a business solely dedicated to coaching people in this. Don't buy into her lazy assertion, but go ahead and try out her hacks laid out in the second half. There's some decent stuff there.

7 people found this helpful