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Episode 17: Jordan Harbinger and the Art of Charm Interview

By Arel Moodie

            Jordan Harbinger is the man behind the Art of Charm, a podcast dedicated to helping men develop their social skills from the dating scene to the business world.  Before he stepped into the world of charm and podcasts, he was a lawyer on Wall Street.  He joins us today on the Art of Likability to discuss networking skills and charismatic habits.

Quick Rundown:
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You’re in sales and you don’t even know it!

As a partner at a law firm on Wall Street, Jordan had a sit-down with one of the senior partners who inexplicably never showed up to the office.  Jordan wasn’t interested in asking banal questions; he wanted to figure out this paradox.  And he found out: when the senior partner was out of the office, business came into the office—from him!  He would be making connections and linking potential clients to the firm, which was a critically important source of revenue.  All this in stark contrast to a junior partner who would work his butt off even on the weekends…

There’s technical, but irreplaceable ability, and there’s social and irreplaceable ability.  You can’t outwork everyone, Jordan realized, and there are only so many hours in a day to work.  But there’s a lot of room to grow when you develop your social sense—when you can build lasting connections and relationships with people for your business.

Speaking of your business, Jordan offers a quick thought experiment for building connections—think of the reasons why a client would do business with your firm. 

Now, imagine you just got fired by your firm, but picked up immediately by a competitor! 

What are the reasons a client would do business with your competitor?

Jordan predicts that these two lists would be very similar—then what’s the difference?  It’s your ability to increase your relationships with your clients that will decide who gets the bulk of business in the end.

The worst way to network.  Plus, how to network.

Networking events.  Okay, did you get your 2 foot stack of business cards ready?  And are you ready to hand them out to everyone in the “spaghetti method,” like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping it (if any) sticks?


I KNOW you said no, Likability fam!  Jordan recommends keeping the spaghetti on your dinner plate rather than for networking methods.  The next time you attend a networking event, don’t come in with an agenda and keep an eye out for how you can help someone else, or if you know people who can help them.

Helping out someone without expecting anything in return is powerful—not only can it get someone to like you, but it can also get people to reciprocate and help you down the line.  Jordan mentions how even a “random guy who met me at a networking event” could help him set up guests on his show.   Down the line, he could in return ask for his advice to set up a podcast himself or to write a book.

“Slow is fast, and fast is slow.”

Keep this phrase next time you want to build a relationship with someone—the slow way (you get value later down the line) is the quickest and fastest way to build the relationship, whereas if you take the fast track (and try to squeeze out value instantly), this will inhibit the relationship from growing.  Check out Bad Networking 101 at 26:45 in the show to see why the fast track is the slowest way to build the relationship or even a sure way to stop it dead in its tracks!

Small habits internalized can bring about big change

Everyone tells you to smile, to stand/sit up straight, and to hold your head up as if it were on a string. “I KNOW this already,” you and I mutter insistently.  Jordan will recommend you the same advice, but with a twist.

Every single time you walk through a door, you straighten your posture and put a smile on your face.  Every single time.  Do this enough, and sooner or later it becomes habit.

I think this is a key ingredient to the “secret” sauce of charm.  It’s not that the most charming guy you know has a thousand small tricks up his sleeve, ready to beguile people into liking him.  He doesn’t tell himself to stand up straight and smile with his teeth because he’s already doing it—it’s second nature to him.  The same concept applies to professional sports players—watch the pros practice layup after layup after layup.  When it comes time to get those “guaranteed points,” they don’t even have to think about it because the layup has been completely internalized.

If you don’t practice your layups, you end up like President Obama here!

So the next time you walk under a doorway, straighten up and show those pearly whites!

When this confidence becomes habit, Jordan observes that other people will see how confident you are, and they’ll treat you like a confident person.  This kind of social validation can get you to believe in your own confidence, and you continue to act more and more confident.  Not so much a vicious cycle as it is an auspicious cycle!

Stay tuned, and stay awesome!
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