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How to stop running out of things to say with the 3X Model of Confident Conversations

If you enjoyed this video, check out more of my work, links, posts and contact details – including my FREE group coaching, here: https://msha.ke/danmunro

 


Full transcript

Welcome back. Today we’re going to talk about how to have effortless endnless confident conversations. I’m going to show you the basic outline of the 3X Model, and how you can apply that to interacting with other people in order to create deep and meaningful connections while remaining honest, and also while polarizing people to make sure that those who are bad for you don’t stay, and those who are good fit for you want more.

 

The 3X Model ensures that every conversation you have is unique, it’s never going to be boring, unless it’s with somebody you don’t like. And you’re going to always be able to speak without anxiety, without having to think of what to say next, it’ll allow you to be really present and allow you to drop all those kind of manipulative techniques that you’ve been conditioned and programmed into using that prevents you from having real connections and friendships with people, and relationships, of course.

 

So I’m gonna start with a quick overview of what the 3x model is, in case you haven’t heard of it or in case it’s been a while since you reviewed it. It started many years ago, as an exploration that I was doing into how best friends and good partners communicate with each other. So I did a lot of observation and recording of people who have a really great connection, and just watching them speak with each other and how that happened. And then I’d investigate with these people, dive deep through coaching techniques to find out what’s going on in their mind and in the background behind what I’m seeing, and clear patterns emerged that eventually became the 3x model.

 

So the 3x model is essentially the blueprint of how people with a great connection interact with each other. And it excludes all the extra stuff that people with a poor connection or with social anxiety or using manipulation, you know, it excludes all the stuff that they do. So hence the name 3X Model, as I observed there’s three phases that the people go through and they’re cycling through them as they talk to each other, each person’s at a different phase than the other because the phases match up. So there’s three of them.

 

Now, the first one is curiosity. While I say it’s the first one, it depends where you are in the conversation. Now curiosity is about exploring what is going on inside you, and trying to find the most obvious and relevant truth to share. So it’s about a decision making process, where you’re trying to think of what should I say next that is the most truthful thing out of all the shit that’s going on in my mind and my body, and of course, the most relevant thing to what we’re talking about, what’s the thing that meets both of those criteria, whatever that is, I’m sharing it. So that’s the exploration phase.

 

Now, the honesty phase is obviously about expressing that. And you’ve already got the idea of what it is you want to say, that the honesty phase is about putting it as concisely and boldly and vulnerably as you possibly can, following the powerful honesty principles that I talk about often and in the course that I’ll talk about a bit later. So the key to the honesty is being as accurate and bold as possible. Trying to get what you’ve got in your mind as clearly to the other person as you can.

 

Then the respect phase is where you stop talking, you stop expressing, and you hand the torch over to them. It’s now their turn, and you are going to pay attention and listen carefully to what they’re saying and resist the urge to try and think of what you’re going to say next, to pre plan your move, get distracted by other things. You’re going to give you’re entire attention to them and that’s all you’re going to do. You’re going to become the receiving end of the message.

 

Sounds real obvious, right? Like you just talk and listen. Isn’t everybody doing that? Actually really no, they’re really fucking not. See most people are making huge mistakes in the application of this model. Most people, they think that they’re speaking and listening. And they’re kind of doing anything but and I’ll start by covering some of the common mistakes that happen in each phase.

 

So the curiosity phase is usually killed by a kind of knee jerk reaction to whatever you had the biggest emotional response to. So as someone else’s talking, maybe you took something personally or maybe you got excited about a point, or maybe you’ve got your own idea that you’re just desperate to share and you wish they’d shut the fuck up. You know, it’s not curious to absolutely tune out the other person and just be focused in on something that you haven’t actually screened for truthfulness and accuracy. You haven’t tested to see is this really the best, most honest, accurate thing I could say.

 

And even more common than this problem in the curiosity phase is that people try to come up with something good to say. In other words, what’s the thing I can say that will manipulate this person into a certain outcome, manipulate them into liking me, manipulate them into feeling in this conversation is comfortable, manipulate them into buying something from me? You know, rather than thinking of what’s the truthful thing to say, they think of what’s the good thing to say, and good and truthful or not the same. Good is about getting a response. Truthful is about an adherence to honesty no matter what the cost.

 

So generally, the mistake people make in the curiosity phase is trying to say something that the other person will like to hear, or just overreacting to sporadic little reactions they had while the other person was talking, kind of clinging to a point that you’re desperate to make rather than thinking, What’s the best thing to say?

 

Now, there are a lot of problems that happen in the honesty phase, I couldn’t possibly cover them all today. But in general, one of the main ones is either over sharing or under sharing. And over sharing is not so much that you give too much depth because there isn’t actually a problem with depth. It’s you give too much information. Usually, it means you’re making more than one point. Okay, so I tell you a story about a friend. And then before you have a chance to respond, I’ll tell you a story about another friend on top of that, and with two side stories that explain points from the other stories. I’ve now told you like six things, right? That’s oversharing, that’s too much information.

 

Under sharing is either done with lack of quantity and quality, or lack of honesty. So under sharing is like, I might just ask you a question rather than making a statement about myself first. So I’m interviewing you, rather than you getting a chance to speak. Or I do tell you stuff, but it’s superficial. It’s not what’s really going on in my head. Or it’s significantly lacking in details and information. I’m not really telling you anything. Like if you ask me, how’s my day going and I just say good, right? That’s under sharing.

 

And alongside under sharing, we have the other problem with being vague and safe. So this is about being superficial. And this is a huge problem. Most people when they’re speaking to new people, or people they haven’t formed a deep connection with, they’re superficial. They talk about things they don’t really care about, they ask questions they’re not really interested in the answer to, and they just keep it nice and safe so nobody gets offended, nothing gets too intimate. And as a result, they basically have empty calories as conversation, like nothing actually comes of the conversation, it was a waste of fucking time.

 

This comes from a belief that you have to build up to intimacy, that you have to kind of creep there, starting with dishonesty and then slowly revealing bits by, you know, over time. But the simple fact is, that’s bullshit. That’s not how connections are formed. That’s how connections are prevented from forming.

 

In the respect phase, I’d say not paying attention in one way or another is the biggest problem. So you get lost in thought, you’re distracted by your own mind, which disconnects you from the other person, or you’re pre planning and strategizing. So as they’re talking, you’re cherry picking bits of information, figuring out how you’re going to use that to come up with something good to say that will make them like you. See how it’s connected to the curiosity phase that comes next?

 

So most of the time, you simply aren’t fucking listening, right? You’re not just putting aside all the ideas that come into your head and just going fuck it, I’m gonna pay attention to this person, wait till they’re finished. And so a lot of people who think talking and listening is really obvious, are actually very poor at it. I’d say 90% of the interactions I witness between other people are superficial, damaging to connections, and unlikely to create any sort of long term satisfaction. So don’t pretend that you’re already doing this, because there’s a really good chance you’re not.

 

The simplest analogy I’ve ever come up with for a 3X conversation is a game of tennis. You serve the ball, anywhere is fine, you’re not trying to ace them, you’re trying to give them something that they can hit back. At the same time, it’s an honest shot. So you’re not trying to manage the response, you’re not trying to hit something that forces them to respond, like how some people might start a conversation with a question, or sort of make a controversial statement, and the other person has to respond to. You’re just lobbing it, and they can hit it back if they want. Or if they don’t, that’s fine.

 

Like making an observation saying, God it smells great in here today, when you’re in a cafe, or going up to someone and saying I love the way you dance. And that’s it. Just make an observation, hite an easy ball to them. They can respond if they want. But they’re also free not to, they can leave, they can stay silent, there’s no pressure, you’re just going to wait for them to hit it back. Because you’ve already hit a ball, your turn’s over dude.

 

This is tennis, you’re not gonna hit multiple balls, not gonna keep firing stuff at them to try and make them respond. If I go through your text messages, this should never be two in a row from you. And more importantly, you shouldn’t be texting, get into conversation with these people in real life. But always just hit one ball and allow them to choose how they respond. You just wait. Once it comes back, only once it’s bounced into your court, do you decide how you’re going to respond. You don’t pre plan your move while they’re still swinging. Okay, you watch the ball come all the way over from them and land in your court. And then you decide how you’re going to hit it back.

 

And you’re hitting it back not to win but just to volley, just to keep the game going. But I don’t mean in a superficial way. You’re not just gonna say something that encourages them to keep speaking, makes the game nice and easy to play. But you’re also not trying to get an outcome. You’re not trying to win a game here. You’re just sharing so they can share back. Back and forth you go, like to friends playing tennis to warm up.

 

So in more practical realistic terms you initiate with an honest observation of some kind. Such as you know what you like about them, what you noticed about them, what do you notice about the environment that you’re sharing with them? You can even be honest about why you’re having a conversation with them, you might tell them something like, I came to talk to you because I wanted to work on my initiating conversation skills, or words to that effect. You never have to lie. You never have to start with a false start. You never have to make superficial glib statements. You never had to ask tricky questions that rope someone in. Just make an honest observation.

 

It doesn’t have to be your deepest, darkest truth right out of the gate, but it should be truthful. And it should only be one truth. You’re not going to smash heaps of balls at them. Just say one thing, go fucking quiet. Wait for them to have their turn, if they so choose. If they do respond, even if it’s just a bit of body language, or it’s a short sentence, make sure you give them plenty of time and space to respond, your full attention, and only start to think about how you react to that after they’re done. We only interrupt people if they’re oversharing, which is an advanced skill that I’m not going to cover in this video, but if you do want to know about more advanced communication skills, you can check out my powerful honesty course. If you email me dan@brojo.org, I’ll just give it to you for free.

 

Now, while they are sharing, while they are expressing themselves, you’re gonna be plagued by thoughts and ideas and urges, plans, ideas about how to manipulate them into liking you. You’ve just got to practice dropping those things and giving the person your attention again. What I call attending. So you’re gonna get distracted, you go Fuck, I’m distracted. Stop it, attend. Not like Oh, that’s a good idea, I’ll hold on to that and wait for them to shut the fuck up so I can have a turn. No you just keep… even if it’s a great idea, goodbye. Even if it’s an awesome thing to say, well they’re not done yet, goodbye.

 

Trust that when they’re finished and you just pause, something will occur to you to say. You don’t need to pre plan. In fact, pre planning, it just puts you under pressure, it makes it less likely that you’re gonna have something good to say, ironically. And when they do finally finish, pause and allow yourself to notice, What’s the most obvious reaction? What’s the thing, out of everything he said, what stood out to me the most? What am I feeling right now? What’s the most relevant response that I can share with them that shows them my true reaction to what they said?

 

Even if it’s only like, I got distracted and missed what you were saying. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s the most obviously truthful thing inside your mind. But pause and allow yourself to sift through what came up for you a little bit, just to make sure you don’t do a knee jerk reaction to something that you misunderstood early, or some sort of judgment, or something you got too excited about but it’s not actually relevant. You know, anything where you’re just like, Oh, I could say that to make them like me, like, let that go and go, Now what’s the real thing to say? I want a real connection with this person. Not tomorrow, not in 10 years, right fucking now. So I’m going to be real right now. Even if it costs me this person. Right? That kind of decision making about what you’re going to say next.

 

And then of course, you express that and we go around the model again. So the way you initiate a conversation is the way you continue it, the way you continue conversations is the way you build a relationship. It’s all the same thing. You just 3X your way through it. I’m still 3X-ing my way through my marriage, I 3X my conversations with my kid. I’m not always consciously thinking about it, because you do build up a skill set and a momentum with this thing. But it’s good to keep checking in. Am I oversharing? Did I really listen to them? Is what I just said the most truthful thing I could have said? And constantly bringing it back.

 

And of course, when conversations get rough, you know, if you get into a confrontation that’s getting ugly, or you get into an awkward silence. This is when you can crank the model up again. You’re in the respect phase, observing something silently, you can go okay, well, let’s talk about what I’ve observed. Right? This is an awkward silence, you might say, or like, I’ve noticed that this argument’s getting out of hand, we’re being mean to each other, I don’t want to do that. You can actually start to talk about how this thing has gotten off track, how it’s derailed. And now you’re back in the 3X Model again.

 

And I found this a very powerful way to lead a conversation because if you stay 3X, it’s almost impossible for them not to. So even if say they’re badgering you with questions and interviewing you, if you’re honest about how you feel about those questions, instead of answering them, you’re actually going to put them into the 3X phase. So if they ask you two questions in a row, you can say, Man, you’re asking me too many questions, feels like an interview. And then you go silent, you’ve finished speaking now, that was your one truth. The reaction to that is going to break them out of that interview mode. And now they’re 3X-ing with you as well.

 

So remember, you don’t have to answer questions, you can just talk about how you feel about the question to encourage the other person to make statements instead. And I recommend you avoid asking questions yourself as much as you possibly can. Try to express curiosity instead. If there’s something you’re intrigued by you can say, I’m really curious about why you said that. Or you know, it’s a mystery to me why you do these things. Rather than asking a question, just make a statement and let it sit. Because questions are very manipulative, they force a certain narrow range of answers to be available to the other person, which means they can’t be spontaneous and honest. But if you just make a statement, they can go anywhere with that, which means you’re gonna get the most genuine response.

 

Quick, practical tip: full eye contact while they’re speaking. While you’re speaking, you can shift around back and forth a bit, but full eye contact while they’re speaking will not only show them that you’re listening, it’s very hard for you to think of stuff to say if your eyes aren’t allowed to roam. There’s a kind of neurological connection between eye movement and thought. So if you’re focused on one point, and you’re not looking up and down, left and right, and all that, it’s actually hard for you to like, interrupt and get distracted by your thoughts while you’re listening. You just have to listen. And it’s, the information is going to go in a lot easier.

 

The reason the 3X Model works, so that you will never ever run out of things to say, is because the obstacle is the way. And what I mean by that is, when it comes to the reflective exploring phases, when you’re trying to think of what to say now, it doesn’t matter how hard it is to think of something to say, because you can speak about that.

 

Right let’s say, you’ve got a blank mind, or you’re very nervous, or you’re worried about how they’re going to react to what you say, speak about those things. Say my mind has gone blank. Say I’m pretty nervous talking to you. Say I want to tell you something, but I’m scared of how you react to it. And then just stop talking. That’s your bit. You’ve shared. You can see that no matter how they respond, you’ve always got a reaction to it that you can share with them. I once scared someone and their response was just a horrified look. So my reaction, my response to that was, whoa, I can see I scared you. I didn’t mean to do that. There’s always something to say.

 

When it comes to the end of the conversation, all you need to do is express how you feel about talking to them again later. You don’t have to ask for a phone number, or invite them on a date, or say Can we be mates? like some desperate little kid. You just say Fuck, I loved that conversation dude, I’d love to see you again. You can say you’re really interesting, I’d love to have a coffee with you sometime. Well it’s a shame we had to finish here, maybe we can hang out again another day. You can just talk like, show interest in them. That’s it.

 

Or don’t,  if you don’t feel it. So the conversation’s come to a conclusion and you’re like, I’m happy with that being the last time I ever see that person. You don’t necessarily have to hit them with that feedback. They didn’t ask for it. But you just say Thanks for the conversation, catchya, and off you go. So you don’t even need to use any kind of sort of seduction or manipulation to bring someone into your life. Just be honest and express it. Just follow the 3X Model all the way around. Like I said, if you want to get the advanced stuff, you can check out my course by emailing me (dan@brojo.org) or you can get in touch with me for one to one coaching and become a master of communication. Your call. See you next time

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