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Interview with JJ Brun

JJ Brun is a Retired Spy. Using his ample experience and training from the Canadian Forces, including a long career in the Intelligence Branch, he teaches audiences how to read people. In this interview with A-Speakers, he gives his best tips for getting your ideas heard, and almost reveals some of his unique spying experiences.

What is the main message that you hope people take away from your talks on effective communication?

If I can just get my audience to remember that people do not all absorb, or provide, information in the same manner, that is a breakthrough. Then it is easy for them to take the next step to ask themselves, “How does this person process information?” Once they discern that, they are on their way to successful communication. It is simple, it is just not easy.


Why do clients typically hire you to speak?

Simply they want to learn to understand people so that they can get buy-in for their ideas, or to achieve better working or personal relationships. I speak a lot to law enforcement to show them how to question people to elicit the best information; and to HR people to enable to interview people effectively and to read the candidates. I receive invitations to speak to groups of elected officials, who want to learn how to get support from other officials. They become so much more effective when they understand the people with whom they are communicating. It is most amusing when I speak to groups where there are spouses together in the audience. I see the men shaking their heads and the women rolling their eyes as they each suddenly start understanding what she/he says when he/she says “that”. For many people it is transformative.


There are movies and television shows where the main character can tell if the person he is talking with is telling a lie. Can you do that?



What is the most unique experience you have had as a result of your profession as a spy?

There was a time in Croatia… Wait a minute, I can’t tell you that. Most of my unique experiences are classified, and what isn’t classified isn’t unique. So let’s move to the next question.


Can you give three tips for individuals struggling to get their ideas heard?

1) Start by learning about the people you are talking to and what is important to them?

2) Share your ideas with them in terms of what you have learned

3) If you were unsuccessful, go back to #1


It is simple, it is just not easy.


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