Modern Lending Podcast | René Rodriguez

Don't miss this amazing conversation. If you've never seen René speak now is the chance. For the last 20 years, René has researched and applied behavioral neuroscience as a dynamic keynote speaker, leadership advisor, world class sales expert, and renowned speaker coach. Yet, he believes that we are only scratching the surface of what is possible and that every profession can benefit from fully engaging human mind/brain. Join us as we discuss how to manage stress, the dangers of group think and the power and importance of digital body language in this virtual world.

Your snippet of this episode of the Modern Lending Podcast:

  • How authenticity is more meaningful then the crazy attention tactics 
  • What digital body language is and why it matters more now
  • Group think can be dangerous and how to deal with it
  • Your digital box can tell a lot about you but what story is it telling?

Episode Transcribe

Alec:
What's up, everybody.

Welcome to another episode of the Modern Lending Podcast live.

And it's hysterical because we've been two minutes in our incredible podcast and realized we didn't hit the go live button, which is just part of the life. So we're going to roll with it. I'm really excited for the conversation today. If you don't know Rene Rodriguez, you're not paying attention. This world is causing all of us to shift and pivot, and this man is stepping forward as an industry leading thought leader, helping drive new behaviors, challenging people's paradigms, and really leaning in for the world we're facing today. This is a two times TEDx, TED Talk speaker and man, I'm so, so excited to bring Rene on for a great conversation. So without any further ado, let's bring on Rene Rodriguez.
We did it this time for sure.

Rene Rodriguez:
We got it. We got it.

Alec:
For those of you that are just jumping in, Rene and I were rapping for like two minutes and I realized it's not live, which means we were just hanging out together, which is fun, but in and out of itself. So thank you, Rene, for coming on today.

Rene Rodriguez:
Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Alec:
You've been busy. You've been super busy.

Rene Rodriguez:
It's been a while, a few weeks. That's for sure. Very well.

Alec:
It's got to be weird for someone who is used to presenting in-person to a lot of people and just being in that physical intimacy now being forced into COVID land. And look, before we dive in, I have so many fun questions. Please share a little bit about your background so people can understand the context in which you're seeing this world and what you're really leaning into and teaching.

Rene Rodriguez:
For sure. First, I want to look as cool as you get my pop filter on.

Alec:
Yeah, you got it.

Rene Rodriguez:
Now that you have the right-

Alec:
[crosstalk 00:01:54].

Rene Rodriguez:
Well, you have the right quality. So I just realizing it's coming through. So my background is in behavioral neuroscience and so I look at everything from a perspective of applied neuroscience. And so what does that mean? There's a lot of really smart researchers out there, psychologist, and they do the research and then put the study on the shelf and go onto the next. I'm the guy that goes in and pulls out research often says, "What does this mean to the business world? What does this mean to my life? What does it mean to selling leadership? What does it mean to conflict resolution, communication, influence, all of those different elements?" And so, yeah, I've been doing this work for 23 plus years and 18 of those have been also within the mortgage industry. So I do know your industry very well, but it's not solely the mortgage industry, but I do seem to get a lot of social media touches in mortgage.

Alec:
Yeah. So that's a fantastic, interesting background. I don't have that. I just have the sales background of like meeting realtors and kissing babies. And so one of the things that, before we get into the meat of what I want to talk about is you're putting out a lot of your content for free in this Lighthouse Series.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Alec:
I got to... Mikey, can you throw that up there real quick for everybody that's curious? Here's the link and people can write it down, screenshot this, et cetera, but can you share what you've done with this? Because it's incredible. I've personally absolutely enjoyed them.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah. Thank you. Well, I do close to a hundred events a year and this all came down and I was committed to still fly and still flying. All of a sudden, you just start seeing events cancel and cancel and cancel, and all of a sudden, it's be the equivalent for you guys, all your banks just saying, "We're not funding loans anymore."

Alec:
Which we've experienced in 2008, which was really delightful.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah. And so we sat back and I started giggling and I thought to myself, I said, "Okay, well, I went through 911 where we lost everything," and I go, "Here we go again." And I go, "What do we do?" And so my first thought was, and what everybody told me, "Well, now you got to move your content online." And I said, "Great, let's do that." And I grabbed my video crew over and we created these videos and about halfway through, I thought to myself, I'm like, "Geez, moving just immediately online, is it going to feel right?"

Alec:
No.

Rene Rodriguez:
It's not going to feel right.

Alec:
It hurts.

Rene Rodriguez:
Not just for me, I'm fine with it, but for my audience. And the other two pieces, there was this image that came through for me. And I told my team, I said, "Imagine if we're inside and we're safe and you see a group of people out there drowning, and we have this beautiful boat. And would that be the time that we think of our business model and how much we can charge them for saving them? Or do we just get in the boat and go out there and pull people to shore?" And it immediately clicked with the team. And I said, "We just need to give this stuff away for free." And it was some of the better content. And when I say better content, it's overview introduction to the work, but we wanted to give people something to grab onto, to understand behaviorally and emotionally what was going on during times like this. So this was like day two, albeit. And so a lot of it was more of my prediction of how people would respond.

Alec:
So let's... First of all, thank you. Thank you for giving. I'm a huge believer of giving away things for free. Like I think that just cements your position as a leader in your space when you're just willing to have that abundance mentality. And it's not a trick and here sign up for my ebook and it's just here, here, let's learn together and what a gift to people in this chaos? Because there is a ton of chaos right now.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Alec:
I'm coaching people right now who are just absolutely incredible people, incredible producers, in my opinion, like way better looking than me, and they're terrified of turning the camera on. And it's a little thing. I'm like, "Guys, you're a master of your trade." But this new world is scary for some people.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah. It sucks. The reality I'm looking at myself and I keep adjusting with a mic. Is it here? I'm looking at the lighting here, you can tell that I broke my nose twice because it goes out and it goes out this way.

Alec:
I've got the light from the Lord. [crosstalk 00:06:05]. No, it's not better. You just got-

Rene Rodriguez:
It's [crosstalk 00:06:11].

Alec:
We don't have [crosstalk 00:06:12] in our lives. We just are us.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah. And it's a real stress. I think that stress is coming at people from all angles right now.

Alec:
Well, that's the first topic that we should dive into, is managing stress. And so I would love for you to just go into your insight into this world of stress. A lot of people are feeling it and they're not really aware. For me, I'm not necessarily aware of it and I have like a meltdown. And I'm just like, "Oh, I'm carrying a lot right now."

Rene Rodriguez:
For sure.

Alec:
So let's break it down. Let's talk about managing stress.

Rene Rodriguez:
So I think the first thing I tell people is that you have to understand stress is a physiological response and stress is a good thing. Stress has a purpose. It is designed to protect us. It's designed to wake up our muscles. It's designed to make us more focused. And if you're growing up playing baseball and you go up to bat and you have no stress, you're not going to do all that well. If you're playing a sport, and you don't have stress you couldn't do well. If you're in the military and you're going to battle and you don't have stress, that's not a good thing. And so stress is designed-

Alec:
I've rarely heard somebody say stress is a good thing. I've rarely. The second you said it, I was like, really?

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah, well, it's good. It's the release of cortisol into the body and cortisol plays a role. And that gets you more focused, you become more alert and you pay attention to what's going on. It's the overuse and the over secretion of cortisol or too much stress that begins to hurt us. It's just like anything. Too much of anything is not a good thing. And so what people think is that stress is an external thing, or that stress is something that people cause. Stress is an internal response and it is something that we can learn to control. There are two different nervous systems that are being triggered when we can understand how that process works, understand that it's physiological, it's there. And what's interesting is, I played basketball and I was an amazing basketball player. I could hit-

Alec:
Wait, I played too. What position?

Rene Rodriguez:
What's funny is I was a power forward, shooting power forward. Is there a such thing?

Alec:
Yes, absolutely. [crosstalk 00:08:13]. One of my best teammates and my brother basically was actually a shooting power forward. Killed it. Taking roles all day.

Rene Rodriguez:
All day long. All day long. And for me, I was a great shooter until my coach was walking. And I could get 23, 24 out of 25, three point shots, and then the coach would walk in and I couldn't even find the rim. And so the question was, did it matter? Did it matter at that point that I could shoot that way? And the reality is it didn't matter. If you're in the military and you go on the range and you're hitting bullseye after bullseye, then [inaudible 00:08:41] and you completely dismantled human being, it didn't matter. If you're a pro athlete and you can't perform at a pressure, it doesn't matter what you trained. And so what you'll find is the tool of the elite performer or anything is management of stress, but what's challenging is that it's also the punchline of the under-performer.
"Oh, we're going to meditate today. And oh, we're going to talk about mindfulness." I was like, the moment I see somebody make fun of that, I already know their performance level. I know they've never had to manage true pressure of having a couple thousand people looking at them to say, "Can you manage this? Can you carry an audience? Can you carry a message?" That is stress management.

Alec:
Dude, you just blew my mind. That's got to be one of our clips, Mikey, the fact that somebody who's going to mock stress management in terms of meditation, all that stuff, that's a powerful statement.

Rene Rodriguez:
It's unfortunate. It's really unfortunate because it's also the avenue out for those that want to perform better. Think about it. In sales, picking up the phone, making more phone calls, equates to more sales activity. Why don't they pick it up? Because of stress. And if they can't manage the stress of the rejection, they're going to call less. And if they can't... Think about presentation. Presenting one-on-one versus one on many. Present to 10 people, you just increased your reach and you upped your credibility, you upped your leverage. You've compressed your time. Everything is good about that. People don't do it. Not because of logic. They do it because of stress. It's a completely irrational response. So the ticket out is usually what people make the joke.

Alec:
So how do you manage it then? How do you deal with it? Once you recognize that it's a good thing, and once you pause and realize, "This is a normal, real thing. I'm not bad. This isn't wrong," what are some techniques?

Rene Rodriguez:
If you talk to a Navy SEAL, they're going to tell you that... when you get into it's a concept called system 1 versus system 2. Dr. Daniel Kahneman won a Nobel prize on this. He wrote a book called Thinking Fast and Slow. And he's a behavioral economist, which is finally starting to give some value or credence to the fact that economics isn't about logic. It's actually emotional and completely rational, which has to do with the brain. And so it's all of those different elements. And so he wrote this book and he talked about having two systems. System 1 is our fast thinking brain. It's quick to respond. It's a part of the brain that makes very quick judgements. I'll give you an example. How many of each animal did Moses bring on the ark?

Alec:
Two.

Rene Rodriguez:
Okay. So the real answer is zero. Because it was Noah, not Moses. Right? And so that example is I used system 1 against you, which is contextual. It looks at Moses and Noah contextually close enough, the ark, how many of each animal, you're already thinking Noah's Ark. And your brain immediately cut out the difference to hear all of the context, that's system 1 at play. And system 1 is at play in the stock market when we buy and sell. It's in play in negotiations where we'll take worst deals all the time. I give people an example. I have it over here. I did a sales meeting this morning with Aim.

Alec:
I watched [crosstalk 00:11:54]. Incredible.

Rene Rodriguez:
Oh, good. So you saw the one, 1.5, 2.5, five and 25 numbers, right? Where alone is worth $3,000, and application's 2000, and meetings were 1200, leads were $600, and a [inaudible 00:12:04] is $120. I'll immediately follow that. Once I break that up I say, "I want to hire somebody here." And I'm going to pay a $20 to just come to my office and you pick up the phone. And every time you talk to somebody and ask for a deal, I'm going to pay you 20 bucks." They don't have to say yes. You know how many people take that job? All of them. That's guaranteed 20 bucks, but I just told them they get paid 120 and they're going to take the 20.

Alec:
Yep.

Rene Rodriguez:
And so that's system 1 at play where it becomes very irrational, but that is a stress response, right? It's what's in front of me versus system 2, which is a slower part of our brain, is the only part of the brain that actually humans have system 2 so they can think through the future, they can calculate things. And that battle between the two is there. So I shared all that with you because you asked how do you manage it? When you talk to a Navy SEAL and you talk to a professional athlete, a sprinter, a professional fighter, I've talked to them. In fact, I've been punched by many of them. And it's the... Excuse me. The training is the price of entry. You got to train harder than anyone, but once you've done that, how do you perform? And that comes down to understanding system 1 and system 2.
And the only bridge between system 1, which is too much stress, and system 2, which is that flow would be breathing. It's the only thing. So Navy SEALs have made famous box breathing, which is you breathe four seconds in, hold four seconds, out four seconds, hold four seconds, in four seconds, out four seconds. And you go through that process. I've taught a method for 20, over 23 years, 25 years. In fact, I've got a recording of it called progressive relaxation, where you go through and you tend to tighten different parts of your body and let it out for the purpose of creating a mind-body connection, with what mind-body connection mean, which means I'm thinking about my body and I see that stress is held here or here or in my jaw or in my eyes, where are my shoulders? And then I'm like, "Oh, I made a connection, mind-body so I can relax that."
And all of a sudden, I start to relax. Training yourself to do that, learning how to... If you can just breathe like that, it immediately calms you down. I have to do it before every podcast, before every presentation, every single time I have to go through that to get my body to function correctly.

Alec:
I want to make a pause on this because it's so simplistic in how you laid it out, Rene. But I feel like it's never top of mind for anybody in their day to day interactions.

Rene Rodriguez:
Unless the elite, it is top of mind all the time.

Alec:
Well said.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Alec:
Well said.

Rene Rodriguez:
All the time. You just look at what they did. Phil Jackson brought progressive relaxation to the Bowls and to the Lakers.

Alec:
That's right.

Rene Rodriguez:
Every single sprinter imagined Tiger Woods plays his entire game in his head every shot, every part of the field before he plays, he's managing the stress response when we're out there. It is-

Alec:
Let me drive a comment in for everybody that's watching and for everybody that is afraid and feeling that stress response to video, to putting themselves out there into what they, and we all think as a position of vulnerability, breathing, Rene literally just told us how to do it. So you can just go back and rewind and see the strategy. How long should someone read like that, Rene if they're going to go through a practice of this?

Rene Rodriguez:
At first, it's going to be hard because we were going to go... It didn't work. Well, that was one second in, one second out, why this didn't work. There's a number to it. It's four seconds in, four seconds hold, four seconds out, four seconds hold. Four, four, four, four. Another way the male clinic goes three seconds in, four seconds out. So three in and then four out. But if you're not measuring it, you're not doing it right. There's a science to this whole thing. You have to be breathing out longer than you breathe in. But what happens is that you're creating control structure, order predictability for your mind. Think about the logic here. When we are stressed and when we're in a high alert state, we take shallow breaths, right?

Alec:
100%.

Rene Rodriguez:
And what does our brain need? Oxygen. So when we take shallow short breath, we get less oxygen. It's no different than somebody choking us. And so the brain is going, "I'm getting less oxygen. I'm going to die.

Alec:
This is-

Rene Rodriguez:
Fight, flight or freeze. Let me freeze up. And you know what? Let me shut down memory. Let me shut down creative thought. And let me shut down. Let me shut down. Let me shut down to focus on fight flight or freeze." That's why they say what's the number one rule of brainstorming. There's no bad idea. This isn't new. Why? Because a critical environment causes stress. Stress causes that part of the brain shut down. And it's not as creative. This isn't rocket science.

Alec:
It's not rocket science, but it's not something we think about.

Rene Rodriguez:
Unfortunately not.

Alec:
You think about. And now in these moments of great stress, whether we think we're in it or not, or we think, "Oh, I'm coping just fine," with sheltered home realizing, "No, I'm not. I'm not doing okay." And then taking into consideration of, "How do I meditate? How do I deep breathe? How do I start to control my physical responses that's going on in my body?" I think that this has been... If anyone takes anything from this, the four breaths; hold four, release four, that's all that anyone needs today. Just take that as one thing.

Rene Rodriguez:
And I'll just add this to it. It's just start the process of beginning to be aware. When you're stressed, instead of starting saying, "Oh my God, I'm stressed. I got to slow down," ask yourself and be curious like, "Oh man, why am I stressed? Where's it coming from? Am I even breathing? And what's my breathing like right now?" You start building that self awareness. Self awareness is the first key and the first skillset of leadership anyways, building that self awareness and then asking for help. Sometimes you got to ask for help say, "Hey, can you help calm me down?" In fact, I'm going to send you animated gift that opens and closes at the right pace for people. And then you can just follow it. I just put it on my phone. I give it to my son when he's stressed and say, "Just breathe along with this." And it's pretty amazing what happens.

Alec:
I'm going to give it to my kids because they're eight and six or nine and six this month and they need it as much as I do.

Rene Rodriguez:
And I love your application because I want to make sure we drive application to this. Before you're getting on video, learn how to breathe, learn how to relax. Do it often. It's not going to work perfectly the first time, nothing works perfect. Give it a few dozen times, right? Let's go back to the old days where we had to try things a few hundred times.

Alec:
Well, what are you talking about? You mean practice?

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah, exactly.

Alec:
Come on. Well, all right. So let's move to group think. There's three topics that... So everyone listening and if you saw the bumper on this and you got a reminder, there are three topics that Rene and I are really going to lean into and that would be exciting. Number one, managing stress because clearly we're in unprecedented stressful times. But number two is the dangers of group think. And so some people don't know what group think is, by the way. So Rene, could you give the definition and let's have a dialogue about group think?

Rene Rodriguez:
So group thing is... I don't want to get too technical on it, but basically it's a psychological phenomenon. And it happens within a group of people and their ultimate desire is harmony or conformity in the group results. But it ends up leading to irrational and dysfunctional decision making as the outcome. So that can trigger all sorts of thoughts right there. Right?

Alec:
We can break it down because right now, here's a really real place we find ourselves in today. We can't go into our offices. We can't go see the people we used to see. We can't go see our friends. And in my opinion, we're now surrounding ourselves with whoever was in our digital community on social media. And that's our groups now. I just I'm seeing it. And then I'm wondering what's group think affecting these groups on social?

Rene Rodriguez:
Well, it happens in everything. It's a part of a human survival too because we know that when we're in groups, it help us survive, right. And when we're in groups and we are thinking of people that think and act like us, we're going to protect each other. We're going to be there. You could be sitting in a group of people and one person starts running and all of a sudden you're going to feel this urge to start running. It's just natural, right? You could be-

Alec:
Well, [crosstalk 00:20:15] some silly videos, right? Where like a group of people are in on it and they'd run down an alley and somebody's like, what? And they turn around and just immediately like run with them because they don't know what's happening.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yes. Yep.

Alec:
It's true.

Rene Rodriguez:
And it's absolutely hilarious because I've been part of that. We used to do that as kids. We'd be just saying, "Just start running and see what people do at that point." So it's pretty funny, but it can be scary when it starts hitting a larger group. So when it starts hitting the government, when it starts hitting the media. And I think that's the biggest piece is we have to understand it's started learning how to recognize it and the way to combat it is just starting to ask questions, just be willing to ask. And it's easy to call others out for group think while we're group thinking as well. So we got to be careful with that as well. It's-

Alec:
Yeah. That's amazing. Stop your group think from my [crosstalk 00:21:04].

Rene Rodriguez:
Exactly. It's this clash. And so-

Alec:
You point it's natural. Look, we grew up on teams. When I was on my basketball team, the other team were the bad guys. You had school, your alma mater, pride in your school, pride in your college, pride in your company, pride in your industry. And all of a sudden these things can become very combative, where all of a sudden one group thinks they're better than another group and now you have this toxicity entering in.

Rene Rodriguez:
Absolutely. And there is a sense of safety that comes from it as well. You watch people they say, "Well, I'm deleting everybody that doesn't agree with me on this whole thing." And there's a part of me that agrees with that because I shut people down that are negative. That's the thing. If you're negative, and negative doesn't mean challenging information. I love to be challenged. I love the... Because right now, you couldn't guess what it is that I believe right now, because I don't even know if I know what I believe. And so if you tell me what I believe, then you must know something about me I don't. But it's interesting to watch. I love to be challenged, but I don't like alarmist behavior.
I don't like people searching for attention through... Most people, if they post about this, I'm not even going to name it because I don't want to do it. But that flying murder thing, I just don't... Don't even say it because I don't want to give it any energy. If they post about that, you're part of the problem because that's not going to happen to us. Let's get back to the focus. And somewhere out there, people are just managing attention and I'll say this and I might get in trouble for it. But I lost a ton of respect for Grant Cardone because he fell right into it. He went out and played that hoax about he was going bankrupt and everybody started posting about it and I was just watching. And then he went out the next day and he started saying, "Oh, well we did that because, hey, today you got to be crazy. If you're going to get people's attention, you got to talk about murder. You got to talk about shooting. You got to talk about bankruptcy." And I thought, "Wow, he stooped to that level because what's sad is that so many are going to follow him and they're going to use anything they can to get our attention."
But then you think about what he says, well, that's what the media is. The media is a for profit organization.

Alec:
I feel like it's what everything is. Everyone's clamoring for attention. This is the reason, in my opinion, authentic social media, where people are sharing their actual fears and sharing what they're going through, it has so much more power than the scripted marketing world.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Alec:
It's just trying to poke you with a flashy object or an alarmist mentality. I agree.

Rene Rodriguez:
And I'm all for... I love marketing ideas and branding and catching attention, but when it crosses the moral ethical line, that's where I have a big problem.

Alec:
So we've identified what group think is. I think everybody that has heard us chat for a few minutes is recognizing, "Hey, I see this. I can now tell there are these groups happening, there is group think happening." And in your answer and I'll have you go deeper on this, your comment of how to deal with it because it's just around us is by asking questions and staying in a positive frame of mind. So like when you say asking questions, unpack that.

Rene Rodriguez:
There's something else. So why am I believing this? I told my kids. I said, "Yes, what religion are you? What do you believe?" And they say, "Well, I believe this." And I said, "Well, what if you grew up in India, what would you believe? What if you grew up in China? What would you believe? In Russia? In Israel, what would you believe?" And it's like, "Okay. So why do you believe that now?" I said, "Son, that's your journey now." And so sometimes we have to ask ourselves, why do we believe what we believe? There's a great TED Talk that I think everybody should watch. And it's on how to have better political conversations. Two neuroscientists break down the realities of where you can get a Republican and a Democrat to sound like the opposite. When you remove the political veil and you talk about values.
And I love it because I have friends all over the spectrum. I have very extremist friends that on Facebook, people would call it racist, but if you were to see them in real life, they give you the shirt off their back and they never ask what race you were from, what language you spoke, because they're kind, good people. But for some reason, the political veil brings it up. I know people that are in another extreme that you'd see them on Facebook as well. They're complete activists and they love the world, but you catch them one on one and they do some of the most horrific things. It's amazing just the human range of who we can be in that. And so when you look at it and you break that down, and you take away the veil and you see the humanness, to me, the only conversation that matters is what do you value? What are your personal values?

Alec:
I could not agree more. I did a video on labels and how they're good for canned food, not so good for people. But we want to label people. We do it. We do it when we see them without any... We don't know them at all and we immediately go, "I've labeled you now. I know what you are." And we subconsciously just play that game all day long. And to consciously unstick ourselves from that, it's hard.

Rene Rodriguez:
It is. And again, it's a survival mechanism. My whole career has been understanding how our biology has been designed to keep us alive, but it kills us in a modern world. And our fight flight freeze response was designed to keep us away from animals and things that were of danger. And then now we bring that into a modern world where the trigger of the fight flight freeze was stress level, but now a board or a meeting or a presentation could because that same level of stress. And we act in a primitive fashion. And so we have to be able to learn to get past that.

Alec:
So John asks on YouTube, what TED Talk is that? Let's-

Rene Rodriguez:
How to have better political conversations.

Alec:
Which honestly, I think the whole world could use right now. I think the United States could use right now.

Rene Rodriguez:
It's-

Alec:
Going on an election, it's time.

Rene Rodriguez:
And here's the other thing. And I'll tell you this. There was a great Harvard and I'm going to have to look them up. I'm going to try to find this afterwards to give you a link, but a study that said, how can you tell if somebody lacks intelligence or isn't that smart? And the one trait was certainty. The more certain you come off or the more certain you think you are, the less intelligent you are. The more intelligent, the more open-mind is like, "Maybe I'm not right. So I should probably listen." And just because you listen, doesn't mean that you have to agree.

Alec:
That's a wonderful comment. That's a wonderful comment. That gives people the ability to not have to go into conflict.

Rene Rodriguez:
But I think conflict's great, respectful conflict is great.

Alec:
Well said.

Rene Rodriguez:
Right? We have a program or a tool that we use called the respectful dialogue or the respectful contrary because contrarian, a thought or a belief is great. But when you get... Think of a gene pool, think if all the genes were the same, what happened?

Alec:
Yep.

Rene Rodriguez:
That's why you don't marry your sister.

Alec:
Not good. Yeah.

Rene Rodriguez:
It's not a good thing. But in dogs they have a name port called hybrid vigor. The more diverse the gene pool, the more intelligent the dog is. And so the more diverse the species is, or the gene pool, the more diverse the ideas become. All of a sudden, the intelligence of the group goes up as well.

Alec:
So Rene, let's do this for a second. Let's pivot to the last topic that we had because I know that we'll get some questions. Digital body language. We can't get physical anymore. And I've watched, and we've had some conversations about your amplify events and some of the things you do where you really coach body language, intentionality, leaning in, all that fun stuff. And now we're digital. And like right now, I'm really enjoying the fact that I can see you. Like I can look at my camera and I can see you on the screen. And then someone on Zoom calls and stuff, I can see people. But when I'm maybe doing a video and I'm going to post it later, all I have is this stupid little device in my face. I have no connection. Let's talk about it and give your insight into digital body language.

Rene Rodriguez:
Man, that's such a great question, man. It is a new challenge because even right now, I'm looking at you right now, but my camera is up there. So my eyes don't look like I'm looking at you. I should be doing this. Now I'm looking at you, but you're actually down there. And so we have this challenge of how do we connect? We have another challenge too, which is, I have this little square here that I have to influence. So in this square is all I've got. But 20% of the square is taken up by this stupid device here. Right? And now it's here. I used to tell people, I said, "Am I pretentious enough getting all this stuff and then we put the headphones on and we look really cool.?" But yet there's a real reason for this.
And I loved our conversation ahead of time because I can hear the quality. It takes the feedback back and it's going to be really nice for the outcome, but it still can send all sorts of messages. And so when we're standing, I tell people that if you're standing up between your belly button, your eyes is your influence zone. And when your hands are outside of there and say, "Hey, I'm really super excited to be here. And I can't believe." I would just hope everything is, it's all of a sudden people are like, "You look funny." Until they see your hands. I was like, "God, I'm so excited to be here. Everything that we're seeing in moving around." But now the influence zone is within this little square, but very rarely do our hands make it there. And so a lot of times I think you'll notice the influencers, they'll have their hands in their talks. "Okay, guys." And they're holding one phone up and they're doing this and they're always right here and just watch this. There's always a hand involved.
And so get your hands involved is one piece around digital body language. I struggle because I'm doing so many of these a day. Like even this is more comfortable for me. And I try to sit there. I've got the chair. If I really wanted to sit here, this is where I would be. This is my most comfortable place. But now all of a sudden I don't look as engaged. If I'm working though, this is me right here.

Alec:
Yeah. I was going to say, my mind goes way further back than yours. [crosstalk 00:30:44].

Rene Rodriguez:
This is me all day long. And now you can't hear me as well, but you know what, "Hey, I'm comfortable. So I'm going to prioritize my comfort to this." But no, we can't do that. Now all of a sudden I can press that button and lean forward and I'm literally thinking about, "Can I put pads back there to keep me leaning forward?" Because this is more comfortable, but this is more influential. Right? And so we have to think about what is digital body language. And now the other piece is, eyes. If I want to connect with you, I can't be like this. I have to be here. I have to be looking at you. And so now the eyes of the world as this little lens.

Alec:
I know.

Rene Rodriguez:
One of the things I'll give you a little secret, print off a set of eyes and paste it right there. And then-

Alec:
I love [crosstalk 00:31:26] like that. Yes. That's so good.

Rene Rodriguez:
Because then you know what I'm looking at because-

Alec:
I was doing-

Rene Rodriguez:
I'm sorry, go ahead.

Alec:
I was doing little things like that, Rene. So like normally when I'm not in the studio, I take the picture of the video image and I put it as close to my camera on the top of the screen as possible. I shrink it down and put it close, that way if I-

Rene Rodriguez:
So do I.

Alec:
... [crosstalk 00:31:47] I'm doing this.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yes. And it's those little things that make such a big, big difference because again, the battle today is all about our attention and connection is about the eyes. It's about how we use our hands. Right? All of these different elements. And again, if companies are going virtual, then they need to invest in giving their people the good quality microphone so it sounds right. This is more for recording. So for meetings, you don't need this, right? You can have this. This is for recording, but give them audio. I can't... I have this great visual and I should have sent you a picture of it. But every day, there's a couple of clients that I've run their sales meeting every day. And I show up and I'm there for 20 to 30 minutes. And I ask for five numbers, how many times do you dial the phone? How many times you talk to somebody? How many leads, appointments and apps? That's it, every day. And there's no other conversation. Right?
And now at the end, based on that, I do a little dialogue. But in the first meeting I took a snapshot of the whole grid of people. And you had anywhere from people here to this, to this-

Alec:
Oh, yeah, to [crosstalk 00:32:49] on.

Rene Rodriguez:
... or this one, this is one.

Alec:
Exactly.

Rene Rodriguez:
You ever had this one? Hey yeah, no, I'm listening to you. Yet you do. I have you right here on my camera. I'm just working on my thing right here. And so now I took a picture of that and I sent it to them and I said, "Guys, we are switching to a digital culture for at least in the short while." And I said, I want you guys to recognize you have this little square. How do you want to show up? Pretend you were showing up for a job interview." And they all leaned in and did this. I took another picture and it looked like two different companies. It was incredible. But as leaders, our job is to show people the new reality. Give them, they'll just save you, though they look so engaged. If they have poor lighting, talk about, "I've got a beautiful open window right here and I got an extra light that you told me to put on. Thank you for doing that." And now all of a sudden we're managing all of the perceptual cues that we can manage.

Alec:
Well, and I think of it like this too. When I would go out and prospect real estate agents, when I was 23, I realized that how I showed up when I walked into that house to meet them mattered. And so I would always have a suit that I picked out and I would put on every morning and I would get the tie on and I'd make sure I looked the way I want it to look. And we have the same option now with this digital ecosystem, the digital world we're in, that we get to curate how we show up.

Rene Rodriguez:
So true.

Alec:
And people that are taking it seriously and buying good audio equipment and buying good lighting and trying to learn about it, and just like going out and researching and seeing what's going on, giving constructive feedback, those people are the ones stepping into this world. And I don't know how quickly we're going to leave this digital world, Rene.

Rene Rodriguez:
Exactly.

Alec:
I don't know.

Rene Rodriguez:
[crosstalk 00:34:30]. And we're going to have a... It's going to be an overlap, but we're still going to need this. And here's the funny thing is you could buy all the digital equipment and lighting you need for a night out of drinking. Same cost.

Alec:
Which you can't go out drinking anyway. So you might as well just invest the money.

Rene Rodriguez:
There you go.

Alec:
Yeah. It's hysterical now though, like total first world problems like the mics and cameras, they're all sold out. Like they're hard to get now but that's welcome. [crosstalk 00:35:00]. Okay. We hit really three cool topics and I want to give just a debrief of them real quick again, to see if you have any comments you want to add. Managing stress was a wonderful little mini segment here on breathing techniques, on that stress is a good thing. Stress is not something to be ashamed of. Self-awareness of you're probably stressed was a really wonderful comment, Rene. I think that people are... And especially in the masculine world where like, "No, I don't feel stress. What are you talking about? I'm a man. I just carry it all and just shove it all down [crosstalk 00:35:31]," that was wonderful. What else would you add to the stress conversation, Rene?

Rene Rodriguez:
I'll say this because it's very real. I went out yesterday to Costco and I think there was maybe three or four of us that weren't wearing masks. I was one of them. And then I go, "Oh man, why am I not the only one wearing a mask? And is it mandatory?" And it wasn't because nobody was saying anything, but everything in my soul wanted to resist wearing that mask. And I said, "Hold on a second. I'm not somebody who believes that I do want to be safe for others. And I do understand that this I could be asymptomatic in spreading this. I don't want to be the jerk that does that. And I read this article today, that thought was really fascinating because it was really talking about self awareness.
I had asked myself some tough questions. Why wasn't I wearing it? Because there's this whole psychological study on why. One, it becomes a political divide. If you wear a mask, you believe this. If you don't, you don't, you believe that. And then the other side of it too, was that where I resonated was wearing a mask to some felt like a sign of weakness. Because I personally am not worried personally about this because it's just statistically, I'm not. And there's other things statistically that I should be worried about. There's a great book. And I'll recommend this to everyone called Predictably Irrational. And Dr. Daniel Ariely talks about all of our irrational behaviors, the things that we worry about that we really shouldn't be worried about and the things that we should be worried about that we don't. Right? The foods that we eat are killing us at a much greater pace than anything else right now.
And now in that sense, I've got decades of studying this stuff. And so when I see statistics, I immediately go into my old ways. Yet I have a massive amount of empathy to what's going on. I've got a mother that I moved into my basement the day after this came out. I said, "You're coming out of that nursing home." because I looked at the stats immediately. And I said, "You're not living anymore." Lives in my basement. So I'm not dumb. I know what's going on. But then I'm like, "Shit." I go, "I guess I see it as a sign of weakness and I don't want to be weak." That's a totally masculine macho thing. And I still going, okay, so then I start going, "Well, what mask could I wear that looks cool or at least?" And I'm like, "Oh man, here I go. I'm protecting something so stupid instead of just wearing a darn mask." So I think from a stress perspective, we have to start asking ourselves, we have to start questioning everything that we do. And just being curious about who we are now.

Alec:
Well, and that pivots nicely into the being curious part into how we were unpacking group think. And so group think is normal, we group all the time, humans like groups, they're protective, they're a protection mechanism. And yet at the same time they can stunt your views. They can turn you into toxic, the toxicity can come in.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yes.

Alec:
How would you put a bow on group think?

Rene Rodriguez:
Again, the enemy to group think is awareness and just asking questions, be conscious, question things and be open to the dialogue because you may be wrong or you could trigger a thought. But if you attack people, you're just going to trigger the system 1, the stress response, and they're going to shut you out. Stop the crazy Facebook posts that make people look stupid. If your posts requires someone to say, Yeah, I guess I am dumb," for them to agree with you., your post sucks and it sucks [crosstalk 00:38:43].

Alec:
Got it.

Rene Rodriguez:
Yeah, but it just does.

Alec:
I'm there.

Rene Rodriguez:
So if you're going to post things to create questions and thoughts and dialogue and lead by example, be willing to say, "Hey, I thought this. And I thought that I made the mistake." Show that you can change your opinion, that you can change what you think. Lead by example.

Alec:
Wonderful comment. And then let's wrap it up with digital body language. I think it is a new normal, I think this and this little box of influence or our box of space... I was talking to a friend of mine earlier and I said, "Do a favor. Not many people think about this, make sure your background tells a story." Because as humans, we don't just stare into the face of whoever we're talking to. We look around and then we look back at the person and we look around and the same is true when you're looking at your camera. Looking at it, make eye contact, but then be okay. You can look at the screen. I'm looking at comments people are typing. Like it's fine. Humans do that naturally. You can do that naturally again. But now I'm going to change my comment from make your background tell a story to, "Here's your little box. Let's have it tell a story. And what story is it telling?"

Rene Rodriguez:
So good. I'm so glad you said that because people ask me why do I not use one of those digital backgrounds? I say, "Well, I get to show off right there a few of my favorite books, I get to show off my TED Talk, I get to show off the six moneymaking activities, all of the sales math, and then over here with a wider screen, you see my calendar. And that's part of my presentation to show that it went completely empty." And then it became even more busy doing virtual events, which is completely wild, but you're right. Everything tells a story whether you want it to or not.

Alec:
So, Rene, how can people connect to you and how can people who have been a little inspired or helped by your comment today help you?

Rene Rodriguez:
Well, great question. My website's very easy. SeeReneSpeak.com.

Alec:
Well, Mike, put that link back up for the Lighthouse Series too because I want people to really see that.

Rene Rodriguez:
And yeah, the Lighthouse, you can go to Lighthouse Series. The videos that are free there. You can see them on YouTube. You can find them in the Mortgage Coach Community. Really, this was something I really just wanted to get out as much as possible. Follow me on Instagram. I am trying to grow that. My sister would be very happy follow @SeeReneSpeak and that'd be good. But yeah, just connect. If you got a live event coming up, of course I'd love to speak. Keep me in mind for those types of things. But until then let's continue to ask questions. Let's continue to share what we're learning. This is all a learning process. Somebody asked me, why did I do so many of these in the last 45 days, I said, "Because I wanted 45 days from then to be able to say, "Well, I've done these many and this is what I've learned."

Alec:
That's incredibly cool. Brother, thank you. And, guys, there's a link right here. There's so much resource in this link right here. And I would encourage all of you to copy it down, cut and paste it and jump over into the Lighthouse Series and see what Rene put out. Rene, you've inspired me. You've helped me to unpack what I've think and challenge my assumptions and lean into new stuff. I know you're helping everybody. I know you're seeing the comments over here. There are people that are just like, "This is so good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." And I just really appreciate you, man. I appreciate your leadership in this space.

Rene Rodriguez:
Thanks for having me on, man. And Bravo, I'm learning by, I love it using stream yard. I got to get myself into that. I love that you forced me to put through this because I want to see the quality of this. And so I'm going to be picking your brain afterwards and I just I'm impressed that you dove in to understand the quality because quality is going to matter-

Alec:
I know.

Rene Rodriguez:
... during this.

Alec:
For anybody that cares and I'll just unpack it with vibe right now. These kinds of mics in this setup and the reason that I want the headphones on to avoid the feedback is because a lot of people that are going to listen to this, Rene, later, like first of all, this audio is going to come out as a podcast next week. So people will actually consume the audio portion of it alone and they won't see our cool little digital boxes. And the other reality is a lot of people watching this, I guarantee, moved it over, kept it up as a separate tab and sort of doing other stuff while we were chatting. Because that's normal human behavior. They're not going to sit for 45 minutes and stare at us. They might, but they had ADD like me, I would have had this up over here listening while I'm doing emails.

Rene Rodriguez:
Right.

Alec:
This is the truth of this whole thing is, we always think we're the center of the universe, but so does everybody else.

Rene Rodriguez:
I wish that I was the center.

Alec:
[crosstalk 00:42:54] the center of their universe. And so, I'm just glad that you were here to share a little bit of your universal there, so thank you, buddy.

Rene Rodriguez:
No, and thank you for the invitation. Truly an honor. Let me know anytime you want to do this, I'll be back anytime.

Alec:
Alright. Mikey, send us out. Have fun, everybody. Have a great day.

Rene Rodriguez:
See you guys.
(silence).


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