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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 reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Vanessa Van Edwards (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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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.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Extroverts: This Book Is For You Too

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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. <br/><br/>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.

44 of 47 people found this review helpful

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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.

15 of 16 people found this review 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.

60 of 71 people found this review 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!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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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.

52 of 64 people found this review helpful

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Nice Guys Listen Up

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I have read The Game, Models and an embarrassingly huge amount of other pick up/seduction books. I have never received as immediate positive feedback as doing stuff from Vanessa's creative live "Master Your People Skills" course which is basically a course that teaches everything inside this book for 10X less the price. I had a girl from the gym search me up on facebook the first day and had many other great interactions the following days on other girls I came across. This is coming from a guy who made weird cringy eye contact with girls walking down the hallway in school after something I learned on an RSD youtube video (I know I'm dumb you don't have to tell me :P). Basically what I'm saying is that you may feel like you already know everything inside this book before reading but coming from a recovering "Nice Guy" you need to read this book!

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

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I enjoyed it, lots of good data.

This book has great content and I will listen again, my only complaint is her style isn't my preference, she's to trendy and modern, everything is a communication hack. But once again the content is great and I will enjoy it again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Worth a listen.Helpful living tips.Put it to work.

Worth a listen. Helpful living tips. Going to put my action plan together today. Thanks Vanessa!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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People Skills for All Areas of Life

Captivate is loaded with tips and insights about people skills. No matter the social ring (work, family, dating, parties, etc.), being able to read people is important to succeeding in relationships. This book will help you to improve all of your relationships. Some topics it covers include body language, how to really listen and empathize, micro-expressions, and where and how to position yourself at an event for social interaction. For example, when you are alone at a party, hang out near where people exit the drink station/bar rather than the entrance or in a corner. Typically, people enter a party, do a quick scan of the room, and then get a drink; only then do they look to enter into conversation. If you're nearby, they will be more open to engage. Another example is that if people point their feet toward you, they are interested in you, but if their feet are pointed away from you, especially toward the door, they want to exit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful