In today’s show, Chris Cox Au.D., and Riley Bass Au.D. are LIVE from the Chelsea Theater at the Cosmopolitan Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for Team Summit 2016! Today’s special guest is Tonya Reiman, an author, motivational speaker and body-language expert. She is a regular contributor on The O’Reilly Factor, on the Fox News Channel. Reiman has also appeared on CN8, Access Hollywood, EXTRA, and Fast Money.
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RILEY BASS: Yeah, she just finished up two workshops here at Team Summit, and both of them–
CHRIS COX: Back to back.
RILEY BASS: –were standing room only. And those rooms fit, I think, about 150 people, so over probably 400 people actually attended these two workshops.
CHRIS COX: Fuzzy math, but yeah. Sure.
RILEY BASS: Yeah, I’m not very good at math. But we are so excited to have you here, and so thrilled that you agreed to come and hang out with us for a few minutes on The pAuDcast. Tonya Reiman, you are a body language expert, amongst other things, so tell us a little bit about what you do and what brings you here?
TONYA REIMAN: Well, typically I do several things. I speak for a living, so I travel all over the place and talk to companies, and help them to make nice-nice between themselves as well as with their customers, their clients, their patients. And then I’m also an author. I have three books out.
Finally, I do a lot of media. So for instance, the elections are coming up. I’m on MSNBC this week, CNN this week, Fox this week. So it’s kind of like a barrage of, hey, let’s look at every single person’s non-verbals and figure out what they’re saying. So it’s going to be good week.
CHRIS COX: That’s awesome. And to add to that, you’re on The pAuDcast this week.
TONYA REIMAN: That is awesome. This is actually my very first podcast.
CHRIS COX: Is it really?
TONYA REIMAN: Yes.
RILEY BASS: I feel like this would be something you would just be awesome at just normally podcasting. You can join us every week if you want.
TONYA REIMAN: I would love that, actually. Just do a Tonya segment. I’ve never done a podcast, so this is super cool.
RILEY BASS: Well, the best thing about it is you don’t have to worry about your body language.
TONYA REIMAN: That’s right.
CHRIS COX: How are we going to do this? We don’t have any visuals.
RILEY BASS: We’re just going to body language at each other, and you guys are just going to have to fill in the blanks this week.
TONYA REIMAN: That’s it. Although, it’s very descriptive. We can easily describe different things, so it’s kind of cool that way as well.
CHRIS COX: I know you meet a lot of people out there, and a lot of our audience are younger professionals. What do you see that our peers are making mistakes on and kind of flubbing a bit?
TONYA REIMAN: You know, it’s not even just your peers. I do want to point out that one of the newest things is everybody is so individualized. We’re all on our phones. We’re all on iPad’s and tablets, and so that’s becoming the new thing. And because of that, we’re losing touch with the population in general.
So for instance, if I go back to when I first started speaking, I would go get in an airport– because that’s all I do, right? I travel all the time– sit in an airport, and the person next to me would normally ask me a question. We’d start engaging in conversation.
Now, it’s– the person next to me is on their phone or on their tablet. And suddenly if I don’t want to be bothered, I now have an excuse to be on my phone or my tablet. So I think that’s one of the biggest problems, because we’re losing the capability to just interact with one another.
And that’s such an important aspect, especially when we talk about young people who want to build relationships and they want to get ahead. The way you meet people is just shutting down your phone for a little bit and interacting, and none of us are able to do it that easily. It takes some practice.
CHRIS COX: Yeah, it’s real tough.
TONYA REIMAN: So I think that’s one of the real problems.
CHRIS COX: Yeah, for sure. And then you have the added level of security by putting in your earbuds.
TONYA REIMAN: Yes.
CHRIS COX: That really lets everybody know do not talk to me.
TONYA REIMAN: Yes. Yeah. I mean, there’s times I go to the gym, and I know people are going to ask me something because maybe I was on TV last night. And they want to come over and bombard me with questions about whatever election or, unfortunately, whatever celebrity was on. And I will just put my headphones on, no music, nothing, but those headphones say do not disturb. That is my do not disturb sign.
So it’s sad that we’ve come to this, but at the same time it’s a benefit and it’s a harm. So you probably should take it with the benefit if you can use it, and then recognize that if you want to interact, and if you want to be able to commingle with people, pull them out!
CHRIS COX: So head in your tech, that’s one. What’s another one that you see out there that we do?
TONYA REIMAN: I feel like younger people don’t have that same ability to meet and greet. And what I mean by that is we were talking earlier today about handshakes. Handshakes are really important because it’s the cornerstone of how we bond with people and how we feel about people.
So when I meet somebody for the first time, whether they’re 16, whether they’re 60, I want to be able to have some kind of rapport, some kind of touching. So normally I would just shake hands with somebody, get that initial bonding mechanism going, and then be able to have a conversation recognizing what’s good and what’s bad.
The other thing is we’re so tuned in to everything on the media that we’ve forgotten how to have real conversations. So a real conversation starts by, I bring a topic up or you bring a topic up, and then when we’re in rapport, we wind up threading. So I might say to you, oh, how’s the weather in Las Vegas? And you’d be like, oh, my god. It’s beautiful.
And you know what? I just came from California, and– and then from that point, I go, oh, California. I was there a couple weeks ago. Did you ever go to– so it’s a matter of younger generations aren’t that good at going from thread to thread. And it’s because we’re so used to just watching and listening to other people so often that we’ve lost touch with how to communicate face to face.
CHRIS COX: I can definitely see that.
RILEY BASS: That’s such a great thing. I never thought about it that way until you just said it, but we’re so locked into all the comments and stuff that we see on all the social media that that’s what we’re doing instead of having conversations is we’re just watching other people have conversations instead of practicing it ourselves.
TONYA REIMAN: Yes.
RILEY BASS: You’re never going to get better at it just watching, so that’s a really great point. I never thought about it like that.
TONYA REIMAN: Well, if you think about the key to success, it’s about being able to talk to anyone about anything. Does that mean you have to be the golden mind of everything? No. It just means that you should know a little bit about a lot of things, and in that you’re able to have a conversation with anyone. Maybe there’s a person who doesn’t know what’s going on in politics, but they know there’s a certain people, there’s a certain group that that’s taking over, at least if you can have a conversation. I’ve spoken to people, both adults and the younger generations, or the older generations and the younger, and they’re like, I don’t know who the vice president is. And I’m like–
CHRIS COX: Ooh.
TONYA REIMAN: –how do you not know who the–
RILEY BASS: Right?
TONYA REIMAN: You know?
CHRIS COX: Yeah. It’s sad sometimes–
TONYA REIMAN: Yes. Yeah.
CHRIS COX: –to see that, because that is our world.
TONYA REIMAN: Yes.
CHRIS COX: That’s what is important, not the stuff that’s going on Facebook or Twitter or whatever it is. But we tend to just stick our heads in that, and that’s it.
TONYA REIMAN: Yeah. And I also think that people at this point– and this isn’t new. This has– it’s been around forever, but people get their mind set on something and they become stuck. And that’s one of the things I teach people. Don’t get stuck, and if you do get stuck, I’m going to help you unstick.
And how do I do that? I just shock your system. So I come to you, and I maybe–
RILEY BASS: Taser?
TONYA REIMAN: –hand you something. No, no tasers.
CHRIS COX: Don’t taze me, though!
TONYA REIMAN: No tasers. Only carry switchblades. No, I’m just kidding.
So I come to you, and maybe I feel like you’re stuck in this world that you can’t see anything else. You’re biased. You’re filter’s are biased, and you’re not able to open up. So I’ll come to you, and I’ll hand you something, right?
And when I hand you something, I’m going to hold on to it for just a beat extra. And when you go to take it, you’re going to kind of be shocked. And that shock, that initial shock, takes you off autopilot and suddenly you go– and it’s like a reset button.
You have this moment, this second, actually, where it’s reset, and you go back to being open to some of the things that maybe you weren’t open to before. And that’s one of the most powerful things that I teach people.
So if you feel like you’re talking to somebody and it’s a dead end– and not that you need to get your point across and make them a believer in whatever you believe, but just that you want to have an open dialogue with real conversation– the way to do that is to take somebody off autopilot and allow them to have that moment of wow. What happened?
RILEY BASS: Where am I?
TONYA REIMAN: Yeah. I just woke up, and now I’m open to conversation as opposed to just a closed mindset.
RILEY BASS: Well, just FYI to you guys, when she was talking about handing something, she was holding her hand out to me, and I was legitimately fighting the urge to put my hand out and take this imaginary thing she was pretending to hand me.
TONYA REIMAN: It was an imaginary pen.
RILEY BASS: Yeah, I was like, I can’t put my hand out. That would be weird. But I was definitely thinking about it, and she could probably tell I was thinking about it, so–
TONYA REIMAN: The intention queue, right? That’s what I said.
RILEY BASS: Yeah, and then sitting right across from me is making me really aware of everything.
TONYA REIMAN: That’s the greatest thing, because so many times people are just going through life on autopilot. And yes, autopilot means that we get through our day, because we need to be on autopilot. We need to know that when we’re driving, we don’t have to be consciously thinking, oh, I have to get off at this exit. Our mind takes over and it gets us home, right?
At the same time, when you’re having a conversation with somebody who you just met for the first time, or you’re on a job interview, you don’t want to be on that autopilot. You want to be super hyper aware–
CHRIS COX: Right.
TONYA REIMAN: –comfortable in your own skin, but super hyper aware of everything that’s going on. You want to be watching them, reading their facial cues. You want to be recognizing what they’re doing with their hands, their legs, their body, so that you’re always talking to them in the language that they need to be spoken in.
And that’s a gift, if you can give it to them, because not only are you going to look like the winner, but the person you’re speaking to is just going to feel this kind of attraction. And not in any other way other than, wow. I like that person, and I want to hang out with them.
RILEY BASS: Yeah.
TONYA REIMAN: You become charismatic.
RILEY BASS: Well, and that’s what we all want, right?
TONYA REIMAN: Exactly. That’s the golden ticket.
CHRIS COX: And a lot of what you talk about really isn’t about a cognitive process, it’s all about that gut feeling that you have when you read somebody, when you listen to their tone and so forth. So can you tell us a little bit about that, and how that’s all connected with our own instincts?
TONYA REIMAN: Yeah, that’s a great question. So what winds up happening is if you think about where we were before we had words, everything was based on our non-verbals. Everything was, if I move this arm, if I move that arm, where do I tilt my head. This is how we communicated. So non-verbals were there before verbals, and so because of that, it’s a gut instinct to be able to look at someone and just automatically analyze and think about what they are feeling and experiencing.
Now, you bring words in, and so now not only do I have to watch your non-verbals, because we know that’s really where the truth is, but we also have to listen to your words and make sure that they’re cohesive so that we’re looking at you and we’re believing you. You come across as congruent. Because if you don’t, I’m going to believe the non-verbals over the verbals.
So it’s that piece that people go, oh, I just had that gut instinct. And it’s always my job to say, you know why you have that gut instinct? Because that person just did this. They just moved their hands. They just fiddled.
They crossed their arms when you said that. They closed their thumb when you said that. So you recognize the signs of discomfort, and then decide why those signs or signals or cues or red flags are coming into the conversation, what you might have said to tick that off, and then go back and start over and say, hmm, I kind of got the impression that maybe you didn’t agree with this.
So I always make the joke with my kids– I have three kids– and all three of them have tells. I mean, I know exactly–
RILEY BASS: I was going to say, they can’t get away with anything.
TONYA REIMAN: No, they can’t.
CHRIS COX: No, they can’t.
TONYA REIMAN: So growing up, we have a very open household. My policy is as long as you tell me the truth, fine. We’re good.
You want to stay home from school today, don’t pretend you have a belly ache. Just say, mom, you know what? I want a play day. And you’re going to get it, as long as you don’t take advantage. So having said that–
CHRIS COX: Nice.
TONYA REIMAN: –my kids also know that they should not lie to me, because I’ll always know. So one of my kids– the youngest, it’s usually him, because he still doesn’t fully get it– but he’ll say something to me that I know is not true. But I don’t tell him when he says it. I just watch him.
And I go, you know what? Keep talking. And then a few minutes later I go, you know what, Jayden? We’re going to revisit that in about 25 minutes, and I want you to rethink what you just said. And if you want to say it again, that’s fine, but perhaps you should think about it a little bit more.
And why do I say that? Because I saw his cue. I knew his tell. I knew he was not being completely honest. And now instead of just punishing him and calling him out, I give him a second opportunity to revisit and come clean. And that’s worked incredibly well at my house.
CHRIS COX: That is amazing. Wow.
RILEY BASS: I wish you were my mom. That was awesome.
TONYA REIMAN: Because the whole thing with being a mom, especially with what I do, my kids– they look at me as almost like a superhero. Not because I do television or because I’ve written books, but just because they know I know what’s happening in their minds–
RILEY BASS: You’re a mind reader.
TONYA REIMAN: –and that’s kind of cool for them. So giving them the opportunity to just re-evaluate what they might have said makes them feel like this is a safe place, and no matter what I do as long as I eventually come clean, I don’t have to worry.
CHRIS COX: That’s a great philosophy. I need to start– I need to use that for–
RILEY BASS: With your kid?
CHRIS COX: With my kid, yeah. I don’t think she’s old enough to get that level–
TONYA REIMAN: Start young, because you know what? It’s at the youngest age that you start to see their tells. So it could be something as simplistic as what I talked about earlier today, swiping the nose, pulling on the ear, averting eye contact, but doing it in a similar pattern each and every time. Rubbing the arm.
There are so many singular tells, but then if you group them together you automatically see. Like, I could tell you my sons, but then if he listens, he’s going to be like, not doing that again. But it is important to start it young so that you see the tells, because they do evolve. And the tells, if you don’t point them out, get stronger. And so it becomes easier–
CHRIS COX: Yeah
TONYA REIMAN: –to read them. And the real rule is not saying it– never telling them what their tell is– and then giving a 10 minute time span between their tell and when you say, I think we should take some time and just revisit that.
CHRIS COX: Yeah, that’s awesome. A little parenting advice along with this one too. A little bonus. Thank you for that. So let’s move on to the next thing. What about–
TONYA REIMAN: Wait. By the way, that works on friends, spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends. Don’t kid yourself. This isn’t just a parenting tip, this is a life tip. It works on everyone in your life.
You just have to– instead of going, we’re going to revisit that and being condescending, it would be something like, you know what? I have to run and do something, but when I come back can we talk about that again, because I don’t know. I feel like I missed something. And that’s a way of injecting the fact that, hey, something wasn’t right.
CHRIS COX: It just gives them another chance–
TONYA REIMAN: It’s a life skill.
CHRIS COX: Yeah, that’s awesome. Next time you do that to me, Riley, I’m still going to lie the second time.
RILEY BASS: I know. All right, so we talked about some things that are red flags, and those things you don’t want to see whenever you’re communicating with someone. But what are some things that these students, these young graduates can do to really help them build those connections and establish that rapport?
TONYA REIMAN: It all goes back to making shared connections, and what I mean by that is making people feel comfortable in their own skin and recognizing that, in general, we just want to connect with others. So if I can make you feel like you’re similar to me, then I’m going to like you and you’re going to like me, because we like people who are just like us. And that’s the main goal, just making sure that people recognize the similarities we share. And that’s why I constantly stress, don’t go out of your way to be different unless the different crowd is the one you want to get into.
So it’s really– especially in graduates who are looking to get jobs, who are looking to build those relationships, get those connections, you want to make sure you make them feel like, hey, you’re great. I’m great, and together we could do a lot of things. And that goes with having open body language.
So if you could see me visually, it would mean that my arms are open, my chest is back. I’m pulling back because I want you to know that I’m open to everything you say. And I think people get lost in that, especially because we’re so visually untuned, and we’re so used to just being by ourselves.
My son’s like, oh, yeah. I have tons of friends, and I Skype with them every night. And I’m like, no, you need to actually hang out with them. You need that human contact.
RILEY BASS: Skype is for faraway friends.
TONYA REIMAN: Yeah, right. That’s right.
RILEY BASS: Not down the street friends.
TONYA REIMAN: But at the same time, when you’re with somebody on that face-to-face basis, you really have the ability to connect with them on a deeper level.
RILEY BASS: Right.
TONYA REIMAN: You can’t look at a red dot and connect with the other red dot. It doesn’t work.
RILEY BASS: Right.
TONYA REIMAN: So that’s why it is important to have those human connections and be comfortable. And what I’m getting at is I think we’ve become a generation that doesn’t feel the need to. And once we have to, once we’re forced into that position, we really don’t know how to react or how to handle it.
So what happens? We become reticent, and we avoid eye contact, or we look down or we tend to spend our time gazing around instead of really doing what we need to do, which is build a relationship and a bond.
RILEY BASS: One of the things, and I’m sure that you’ve known this because you’ve been around our company for a few years now, is that audiology is a very female dominated industry, and it’s also– there’s a lot of younger female audiologist and graduate students. And I was specifically asked on two things. How can I establish my credibility despite being and looking very young and also being very small and petite? We had one girl that was– she was pretty short–
CHRIS COX: She was like five foot flat.
RILEY BASS: –very, very petite, and she said that she feels like she can’t establish that rapport with patients, or she can’t get them to trust her or be confident in her abilities because she’s small and she looks young. So I think that’s something that a lot of audiology students, particularly female, can relate to. So do you have any advice or any thoughts on that?
TONYA REIMAN: Yes. Actually, that’s a great question, because I hear it time and time again. Especially– not even just from younger petite women, just women in general.
So one of the things that women need to recognize is that they are a dominating force. And if you’ve come this far in your education, and you’re ready to go out and tackle that world, you need to prove it, not only to them but to yourself. And you do that by feeling strong about yourself. And although I can’t visually display what a power pose is–
RILEY BASS: We can tweet it.
TONYA REIMAN: Yes, that’s true. OK, but if you think about what a power pose is, when we can stand up– think of it like putting your arms up in the air and spreading your legs a little bit, shoulders back, and then just taking like two or three really strong deep breaths, staying in that position for like two minutes. What winds up happening is our testosterone levels go up, and our cortisol, which is the stress level that we experience, goes down. And what does that do? That makes us the alpha in any situation.
So I always tell people before you interact with whoever is intimidating you at that moment, go into the restroom for four minutes, do the little cold water on the wrist so that you don’t have sweaty palms, and then power pose. And within doing that power pose, no matter what you choose to do as long as it’s open and expansive, do those deep breaths and you’ll find that you really do relax on one level but feel more powerful on another.
It’s something that people need to do, because once you’ve done it, you can kind of look somebody in the eye and say, you know what? Yes, you may be older. You may be more experienced. But I am just as good, and I will someday be better.
RILEY BASS: You hear that, guys? That’s the question you asked earlier, and there’s your answer for it.
TONYA REIMAN: Yes.
CHRIS COX: Power pose and then put water on your wrist.
RILEY BASS: Own it.
TONYA REIMAN: Well, you know what? It’s funny, because it’s those little things. People say to me, really? You want me to just go and stand in the bathroom and put my arms in the air? And I go, yes, that’s exactly what I want you to do. Because if you do it enough, what winds up happening is it takes over and you become more powerful on the long term.
And I do this myself. I’m a woman who travels all over the place. I go on TV. I’ve written books. I speak in front of thousands of people.
But each and every time I do, I do my own movement. So I’ll go into the ladies room, and I’ll do my power posing. And then right before each and every speech, I will normally go into the room and touch every chair.
And I will even do some primal yells. Why? Because I want that room to be mine. I want to own that room.
So if you’re talking about students who are in an environment that they live in, so to speak, they need to take ownership of that room and recognize that whoever’s coming in there is coming into their world. So you have to realize, especially the younger people, don’t let somebody come into your world and intimidate you, because it’s your world so make it yours. Touch it, yell, scream, whatever you have to do for the five minutes before somebody comes in to make you recognize that you own this space.
CHRIS COX: That is awesome. Amazing.
RILEY BASS: Stand your ground.
TONYA REIMAN: Yes. Do you know how many times the wait staff comes in and is like, is somebody being killed? What’s going on? Why are you screaming? Because I need to do my primal yells, and I need to touch all the chairs, and I need to make this room mine.
RILEY BASS: I just need to do a few things in here.
TONYA REIMAN: Yeah. Because when people then come in, I’m greeting them as if they’re walking into my office as opposed to meeting in a neutral ground.
RILEY BASS: That sterile zone, yeah.
TONYA REIMAN: And it really does make a difference mindset wise.
CHRIS COX: For our listeners, you literally are in your office, and your patients are coming to you. And so that is yours. It is yours absolutely to take over that space and show the confidence and the knowledge and the skills that you have to them so they feel at ease in being your patient.[MUSIC PLAYING]
Tonya, thank you so much for spending time with us today. It’s been an amazing visit with you. How could our audience get a hold of you?
TONYA REIMAN: You know what? I’ve made things very simple.
CHRIS COX: Love it.
TONYA REIMAN: You want to get in touch with me on Facebook, it’s Tonya Reiman. On Twitter, it’s– wait, what? Tonya Reiman. On Snapchat, Tonya Reiman.
CHRIS COX: Easy. Nice.
TONYA REIMAN: LinkedIn, it’s Tonya Reiman.
Website, it’s tonyareiman.com. I also have other things, like Body language University, and each and every one of those is an avenue to just connect with me. And the one thing I want to put out there, and this is who I am just naturally, if you send me a question, if you send me something to look at, I will always get back to you. Because every single question not only helps you, but it also helps me grow at the same time.
So I’m always looking for people to join me on Facebook. As a matter of fact– to give myself a little promo here– the debate’s coming up, and one of the things I do is I do a live debate. So I do live debate twittering. I do live debate Facebooking, and–
CHRIS COX: Nice
TONYA REIMAN: –people are always invited to join in. So we’re watching the debate. I’m watching the debate with thousands and thousands of people, and they’re all sending me questions and thoughts and making comments on what I say, Like, oh, wait. Did you see that? He looked down to the left. Boom.
And now five people want to comment on that or ask a question, so that’s a really powerful thing. And everybody is welcome to join me on that.
CHRIS COX: Excellent. That is awesome.
RILEY BASS: That’s awesome.
CHRIS COX: And if we wanted to read one of your books, what is the latest one that you’ve put out?
TONYA REIMAN: The latest book is on dating, so I would say–
CHRIS COX: Oh, that’s great too.
TONYA REIMAN: It is, but personally my favorite book is The Yes Factor, because it has the capability of teaching you the non-verbal facet as well as the verbal facet. And the first book I wrote, The Power of Body Language is great. It’s like an airplane book, and it’s humorous and it’s comical. But the colleges now are using my second book, The Yes Factor, because it does include everything, and there’s so much background.
The one thing that people always say is, oh, that’s Tonya Reiman’s opinion. And I’m like, no, it’s not Tonya Reiman’s opinion. It’s science. And yes I give out that information, but I’m not giving it out based on what I think at the moment. I’m giving it out based on research that’s been done scientifically.
CHRIS COX: And that’s what we like as–
RILEY BASS: As nerds.
CHRIS COX: Nerds.
TONYA REIMAN: Yes.
CHRIS COX: Science nerds. OK. Well, thanks again for coming to hang out with us, and–
RILEY BASS: We are so excited to have a celebrity on our show.
TONYA REIMAN: Thank you very much for inviting me.
RILEY BASS: I think that means we’ve made it.
TONYA REIMAN: Yes. Thank you.
CHRIS COX: All right, bye bye.
RILEY BASS: As always, thank you so much for tuning in. Please make sure to like and subscribe to us on iTunes or the Google Play Store, and leave us a review so we can continue to make The pAuDcast better each week. Please follow us on Twitter. I am @Rileyb659.
CHRIS COX: And I am @coxchriscox.
RILEY BASS: Or you can find us both at Audigy U #podcast.