Captivate – Chapter 6 The decoder

In this chapter the author describe some tips and tricks to decode people’s personality. The key is to listen by feeling and hearing. The author go in depth explaining how to decode the facial expression when someone is angry, content, etc. We can mimick these expression and learn to understand and decode the facial expressions. There are 7 facial expression that we need to master, they are :

– Anger

– Happiness

– Contempt

– Fear

– Surprise

– Disgust

– Sadness

Once we can identify the facial expressions, we can then attempt to decode the micro expression.

Captivate – Chapter 5 How to be likeable

The author talk about how to make yourself be ridiculously likable. In conversation we need to thread commonality, this means that we are trying to find what do we have in common with the other people. When we find the commonality suddenly the conversation gets easier and we both connect at a deeper level as we can relate to each other much better. Use the following conversational phrases “me too”, “teach Me”, you can also adopt the 5 why, to get to know the topic better.

Captivate – chapter 3 create spark

The author describe how to start an interesting conversation, instead of the usual "how are you" why don't you use "what is your story", instead of "howdy" why not ask "what is the most interesting thing that happened today?". We need to be able to push the "spark" button, be unique in our approach and don't user the old boring chit chat expression.

Captivate – chapter 2 (First impression)

The second chapter explores how important is the first impression. We make up our mind in the first two seconds meeting with people, whether we trust them, whether we would like to interact with them and so on.
It is important to ensure that we had a good eye contact, visibility of hands, the visibility of hands going back years to our ancestry. It is a sign of trust.
The author also introduce what she called a launch stance where you are presenting yourself with confident. Taking example on how the Ted talk presenter engage their audiences, the use the “triple hack”, which is effective use of hand gesture, voice and eye contact.
The author have some book companion in her website

Captivate – The science of succeeding with people

In the book Captivate, the science of succeeding with people, the author explain about how you should play to your strength. And play your position where you thrive. In the normal social setting for example a party, there are three area that you need to be focusing on.

The first area is Arrival area, in general you don’t want to start socialize in this area as people just arrive and start trying to find whether they know anyone, so they have very little attention to what you are takin about.

The second area is by the food, or outside the exit of the bar. This is generally the best place to socialize and start the conversation. People had settled in and ready to mingle. One thing to note, don’t talk with your mouth full. Next to the host or in their line of sight is also the best place, as they might introduce you to their guest.

The last area is the side line, bathroom, or next to the food, this is considered to be outcast area. This place is to be avoided, because usually people who hang around in this area is the one that no longer want to have any conversation.

How habit works

The book goes on explaining how the habit formation works. The foundation of habit is “cue”, flowed by series of action and then closed with “reward”. The cue act as the trigger to the series of automatic action that had been pre-programmed actions which will resulting on thhe reward. Our brain will anticipate this reward once the cue appeared. So the series of action is triggered automatically from our basil ganglia.

If we know the cue, it is possible to try to reprogram the series of action that flows. However, to ensure that this new formed habit stays, we need to have a great will power. Without the will power the individual are most likely to refer back to the old habit, when the pressure is on.


Getting Things Done

The book started by telling a story about how much distraction we get in our day to day work. It goes on explaining about the concept of “The flow of water”. How the water react when you throw a stone at it. It will create a splash and ripple depends on the mass of the stone. No more and no less. And after the ripples are gone, it will go back to its calm state.


This book is written to change the way you think about things. How to look at things from different perspective to trigger your imaginative thinking.

What is the similarity between School teacher and Sumo wrestlers? You probably wanted to know what the book is all about. The way the author present this is by showing the research based on the data. The data will never lie.

What causes the drop in crime rate in the 1990 in the US? where everyone is forecasting the increase in crime. Is it the effective police strategy? is it the boom of the economy? is it the gun control law? or is it due to the legalisation of abortion? the answer to this question might shock you in a way.

Another question that it pose to the reader is “If the drug dealer is rich why they are still living with their mother?”. There are in depth investigation within how the drug dealer organisation works, how the commission is being set, how the pecking order works.

All in all the book presents lots of data, and data analytics to get to the meaningful information.