CIA Tactics for the boardroom?
Michele Rigby Assad, former CIA undercover operative and author of Breaking Cover, My Secret Life in the CIA shares why human connection is so important and what being a CIA operative has taught her about communication.
Learning how to make connections with others is really fundamental to being successful.
-Michele Rigby Assad
Takeaways + Tactics
- Be prepared! The more we know about the person on the other side of the table, the more confidently we can engage.
- DO NOT underestimate the value of finding common ground. The more you have, the better the communication.
- Respect is critical. Treat everyone with respect and train your teams to do the same.
At the start of the episode, Michele explained that the CIA tactics of connecting with people are completely applicable in every business. We also discussed that every meeting is a negotiation we need to be prepared for.
We also spoke about:
- The importance of body language
- Why we should always aim to be the smartest person in the room
- How telling our stories can help us build connections more easily
Regardless of the industry we’re in, if we want to be successful, we have to make connections with people. To build connections with better results, we have to go into meetings armed with information, and know what we have in common with the people we’re meeting. Throughout the process, remember to be respectful; when we’re dealing with human beings, it’s easy to draw conclusions prematurely. But if we can train ourselves and our teams to treat everyone respectfully, we’ll be well on our way to building stronger, more effective connections.
Michele Rigby Assad is a former undercover officer in the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Operations. Trained as a counterterrorism specialist, Michele served her country for ten years, working in Iraq and other secret Middle Eastern locations.
Upon retirement from active service, Michele and her husband Joseph (also a former agent) joined a group of Americans who wished to aid persecuted Christians. Their efforts resulted in the evacuation of a group from northern Iraq that was featured on ABC’s 20/20 in December 2015.
Michele holds a master’s degree in Contemporary Arab Studies from Georgetown University. Today, she serves as an international security consultant. She is also the author of Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What's Worth Fighting For.
To find out more about Michele, visit:
And find Breaking Cover online at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N79ILGD/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
Learn More About Your Host:
Co-founder and Managing Partner for Northstar Group, Craig is focused on recruiting senior level leadership, sales and operations executives for some of the most prominent companies in the aviation and aerospace industry. Clients include well known aircraft OEM’s, aircraft operators, leasing / financial organizations, and Maintenance / Repair / Overhaul (MRO) providers.
Since 2009 Craig has personally concluded more than 150 executive searches in a variety of disciplines. As the only executive recruiter who has flown airplanes, sold airplanes AND run a business, Craig is uniquely positioned to build deep, lasting relationships with both executives and the boards and stakeholders they serve. This allows him to use a detailed, disciplined process that does more than pair the ideal candidate with the perfect opportunity, and hit the business goals of the companies he serves.