Charles Duhigg: Author of Supercommunicators

Episode 501

In this episode, Kara Goldin interviews Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer-prize winning reporter and Author of the book, Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection. They discuss the importance of effective communication and how to become a super communicator. Duhigg shares insights from his book, including the matching principle, asking questions, reflecting emotions, storytelling, and reciprocation. He also addresses common mistakes in communication and provides strategies for adapting to different communication styles. Duhigg emphasizes the value of emotional intelligence and deep questions in building connections. The episode concludes with a reminder that anyone can become a super communicator with practice and attention to listening and understanding others.This episode will have you intrigued to learn more about this ever so important topic. On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, it’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I’m so excited to have my next guest here, I just finished this incredible book called Super communicators. And we have the author here, Charles Duhigg, who is the author of super communicators, it’s actually called Super communicators, how to unlock the secret language of connection, the full version of that title. But Charles is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and the author of two other incredible books that you may have read as well called smarter, faster, better. And another one called The Power of Habit. But now his third book is sure to be an instant success. It’s really, really great and fascinating. And I’m thrilled to have him here to talk a little bit more about it. So welcome, Charles,

Charles Duhigg 1:38
thank you for having me on. Thanks so much.

Kara Goldin 1:41
Absolutely. So we’ll jump in here. As I mentioned, in my intro, you wrote this incredible book on Super communicators, and about this secret language that exists out there. Can you give us a brief overview of the book? And yeah, why did you decide to write it? Well,

Charles Duhigg 2:01
in a lot of ways, it had to do with problems I was having communicating, you know, I’m a journalist. And so I feel like I should be good at communication. But I kept on finding myself in these situations, like I was made a manager at work, and I was really good at the logistics part of the job. But then people would come to me with problems and, and I thought I was hearing what they were saying, but but they would walk away frustrated, and I would be frustrated, or, or I’d come home from work after a tough day. And I’d be talking to my wife, and I’d say, you know, like, my boss is a jerk, and my colleagues don’t appreciate me. And she would give me this really good advice, which is like, why don’t you just like, take your boss to lunch and get to know each other? And instead of hearing what she was saying, I would get even more upset and say, like, why don’t why aren’t you taking my side, I want you to feel outraged on my behalf. And then she would get frustrated. And, and so this kept on happening. I found that with my kids, with my colleagues with my with my spouse. And so I thought, Well, let’s find out what the experts say. And so I started calling up neurologists and psychologists and asking them, and they said, We’re so glad you called because we’re actually living through this golden age of understanding the science of communication. And we think we can help you with your problem. And the big the first big insight that they had was, they said, Look, most people think a discussion is about one thing, right? It’s about Jimmy’s grades or where we should go on vacation. But actually, every discussion is made up of multiple different kinds of conversations. And most of those conversations fall into one of three buckets. There’s these practical conversations where we’re talking about plans and fixing problems. There’s emotional conversations where our goal is not to fix a problem just to explain how we feel. And then there’s social conversations, which is about how we relate to each other, both interpersonally and, you know, through society. And they said, This is what’s happening with your wife, you’re coming home, and you’re having an emotional conversation, you’re upset. And she’s replying with a practical conversation. And both of those are totally valid conversations. But because you’re not having the same kind of conversation at the same time, you guys can’t hear each other. And out of this has become this thing that’s known as the matching principle that says, the way you communicate is by matching the kind of conversation other people are having and inviting them to match you.

Kara Goldin 4:23
So interesting. Yeah, I loved that part of the book, by the way, I I’m familiar with the concept of matching and I loved how you explained it because it it makes it that much easier. So how do you Okay, so you come home to your wise wife, by the way you you must tell her that I said that. And she just gets it right. I would guess in in her life of dealing with maybe something that you’re emotional about it that it’s sometimes it’s hard, right? You’re just in it and you can’t really see clear Really? Yeah, you go and you talk to a colleague or your or your wise wife, and and she’s, you know, they’re able to just like, lay it down, right? Maybe you react in some way thinking, you know, get it right, this is what it is. But you know, at the end of the day, me maybe there’s some lessons there too, and stepping away from things and taking time. And you know, I don’t know, but I’d love to hear sort of what you think about those shirts.

Charles Duhigg 5:31
So I think one of the things that’s really important is to get ourselves into a place where we can ask questions about what, what the other person is seeking from this conversation. There’s a story in the book and super communicators about a jury. And it’s a jury that’s kind of divided on whether this guy is guilty or innocent, until one guy who turns out to be a super communicator kind of steps forward. And he just starts asking people questions like, like, you know, like, Is this about fairness for you? Or is it about justice? Or is it about keeping our streets safe? And what he hears is that some people want to talk have a practical conversation, some people want to talk about, how do we keep our streets safe? What does the law say? Does this guy violate the law? Other people want to have a more emotional conversation or a social conversation and talk about justice? What’s just in our society? Is it fair to put this guy in jail, even if he broke the law, and they teach teachers how to do this in schools, oftentimes by telling them, okay, if someone if a student comes to you, and they’re having a problem, or a question, or they’re upset about something, instead of just launching into the conversation, ask them? Do you want me to help you? Do you want me to hear you? Or you want me? Or do you want me to hug you. And the reason why that’s powerful is because those are the three different kinds of conversations, right? The social, the emotional, and the, in the practical. And oftentimes, students will say, I want you to help me, which means let’s have a practical conversation, let’s figure out a fix. Or they say, I want you to, I want you to hug me, in which case, they’re saying, I need an emotional conversation, I want you to tell me, it’s going to be okay. And just understand that I’m upset. I think what me and my wife started doing that’s been really powerful is that oftentimes when I start complaining about something, she’ll say, look, are you talking to me about to fix this problem? Or do you want me just to listen to the problem and understand where you’re coming from? And sometimes something as simple as that is all that it takes for us to get on the same page. And the more that becomes automatic, the more that becomes a habit, the more we learn to communicate with each other.

Kara Goldin 7:39
Yeah, you know, it’s, it’s interesting, I was having a conversation with somebody last night that very, very similar, and I texted her afterwards. And I said, you know, you actually said something to me, that actually made me think for a minute at first, I was sort of annoyed that you said it, but you said, What do you want to gain out of this? And you know, what, and I think it’s, it’s interesting, because sometimes if you just, maybe she’s a super communicator, and I think she really is, but to ask those type of questions when people are sharing, right in some way. And I think that it’s, it’s a really powerful thing yet most people don’t do that. They’re, they’ll say, Oh, that’s too bad. Or, or, you know, I believe you or, or whatever it is. And I think instead it’s like, what do you want to gain? And, or whatever, however, you ask that question. Yeah. And

Charles Duhigg 8:39
it’s interesting. So there’s this phrase super communicators. We are all super communicators at various points, right? There is that sometimes we know a friend is having a problem, we know exactly the right thing to say to make them feel better. We we know exactly what to say in a meeting, to win our colleagues over to share our enthusiasm for an idea. And then there’s other times when we want to be super communicators, and it’s, we just can’t do it. For some reason, we have trouble connecting with another person. Now there are some people who are more consistently better at this sounds like your friend is one of those, my guess is you’re one of these folks, that that are able to connect more consistently. And usually it’s because of two things. Number one, they’ve thought a little bit more about communication, right? We all have these instincts to communicate that have evolved. That’s what sets humans apart. And they’ve learned how to let those instincts come out. But then the second thing is they’ve learned a couple of habits and one of those habits is simply asking questions. Super communicators tend to ask 10 to 20 times as many questions as the average person, but a lot of them are things like hey, what do you think about that? Or like, what are you hoping to get out of this or, or what do you do next? We don’t even register them as questions. But what they’re doing is they’re inviting us to tell them what kind of conversation we’re having. What what what We need and what we’re feeling. And it’s an opportunity for them to share with us and invite us to match them. Another thing that super communicators tend to do is they tend to reflect back emotions. So if you think about it, if the person you call if you’ve had a bad day, they’re probably someone who laughs more than other people. And what’s interesting is if you pay attention, they’re not laughing in response to anything funny, right? They’re like, they’re literally just laughing, because that laughter shows you that they want to connect with you. And then it inspires us in us an instinct to laugh back. And that shows we want to connect with them. And suddenly, we feel closer to each other. And there’s a lot of these little skills. Communication is not an inborn trait. It’s not that some people are better communicators, and others because they’re born that way. It’s literally just a set of skills, some people learn. And once they learn them, they can kind of use them for these magical ends.

Kara Goldin 10:56
It’s fascinating. I’m part of this group called YPO. And over the years, in my forum, we were taught that you can’t solve problems. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard anybody in YPO talk about this, but you’re not supposed to solve problems for your forum mates, they’ve got an issue. You know, their boss is being a jerk or investor or whatever it is, like, you’re not supposed to say, here’s what you should do, because you’ve got to face this forum mate, in the next meeting, and if you didn’t do what he said, that could cause a conflict. And so instead, you’re supposed to storytel about like, I remember when I had an issue with my boss, and a little bit different, but this, and because it sort of goes along with what I think, the best super communicators do, you didn’t actually get out of them, here’s what you should do. But instead, it helps you think for yourself. Right? That’s exactly right. And I think like, that’s what I grabbed out of your book to that, I think is such a powerful thing that you know, top leaders, top communicators all do. But I’d love to hear you chat a little bit more about that. Well,

Charles Duhigg 12:18
and I think one of the things that’s really important is to talk about what’s the point of a conversation, how do we determine if a conversation has been a success or not? And the answer, the wrong answer is, oh, this was a successful conversation, because I convinced them that I’m right. Or this was a successful conversation. Because we, we, we both agreed to like compromise on something. If that happens, that’s okay. But the point of a conversation is not to win, or to come to an accord, the point of a conversation is to understand the other person, right to have what’s known as a learning conversation, where my goal is simply to understand what you’re trying to tell me and to see the world through your own eyes. Now I might, I might disagree with you, I might walk away from that conversation being like, I understood that person, and I think they’re wrong. But simply, if I understand you, and you understand me, then something special and important has happened there, the conversation has been a success. And there’s actually a couple of things that make this more likely one of them is this thing, this technique called looping for understanding, which is particularly useful if you’re in a conflict if you’re having conversation, where you disagree with someone or there’s some tension. And there’s three steps to looping for understanding. There’s, first of all, you ask someone a question, right? Because those questions are important. They answer the question. And then what you do is you repeat back what you heard them say, in your own words, right? You prove to them that you are listening by what you say. And then the third step, and this is the step most people forget, is you ask them if you got it, right. And the reason why that’s powerful is because oftentimes, particularly if we have some conflict between us, and I say something, I don’t know whether you heard me or not, like you were staring at me, but maybe you were just preparing your rebuttal in your head or just waiting your turn to say whatever you wanted to say, maybe you were you were listening, but like arguing with me inside your own head. It’s gonna be hard for me to listen to you unless I believe you’re listening to me. But if that other person says, look, here’s what I heard you say, I heard you say, X and Y, and Z, and they rephrase what I just said, in my own words, and then they say, Did I get that right? Am I understanding you? It creates this sense of trust. In fact, it’s hardwired into our brains that when that happens, this is again, but through evolution. It’s hardwired into our brains that when someone does that, we can’t help but feel a little bit closer to them. And more importantly, we can’t help but listen to them in return because we believe they’ve listened to us. So that’s the goal of a conversation is understanding not and more well,

Kara Goldin 15:00
and they’ll probably respond in a way like no, you don’t get it at all right? And then they’ll which is great. Right? Exactly.

Charles Duhigg 15:08
Which is great, because because then you find out what you got wrong. Or more often they say, like, I actually you got 95% of what I’m trying to say. And here’s 5%, that maybe I didn’t speak, say clearly enough. And, and that’s really useful. Because sometimes on the other side, the person who’s speaking, they listen to themselves, they start trying to figure out like, why didn’t he understand that? 5%? What, how do I really feel about this? Again, we’re, we’re having a conversation for understanding, we’re listening. We’re having a listening conversation, a learning conversation, where we’re trying to really understand what the other person is trying to tell us. And we’re trying to share with them help them understand what we’re thinking and feeling to. So

Kara Goldin 15:50
what are the most common mistakes people make when talking with each other?

Charles Duhigg 15:55
Yeah. So that there’s, there’s a couple of them, the first is not paying attention to what kind of conversations happened, right? That’s exactly what happened with my wife and me. I was clearly sort of emotional, I was talking about how my boss is a jerk, and nobody understands me. And, and she was practical. And what would have been better is if is if she had sort of joined me on the emotional plane, and then helped us move to being practical. Or if she had invited me to be on the practical plane with her and say, like, I understand you’re upset about this? Do you want to talk through solutions, and helped me become practical alongside her? So the first thing is just noticing? Is this a social conversation? Is this an emotional conversation? Is this a practical conversation, and then trying to match the other person and inviting them to match you? The second big mistake that people make is not asking enough questions. Oftentimes hearing what someone said, and then just saying, their own piece instead of asking questions, because questions, do two things. First of all, they show the other person that we’re interested in them. But second of all, oftentimes that question gets to something deeper than in fact, there’s a certain kind of question that’s known as a deep question, which is a question that asks us about our values, or our beliefs or experiences that help draw out how someone sees the world.

Kara Goldin 17:15
Yeah. What’s an example of that? So,

Charles Duhigg 17:18
so deep question doesn’t necessarily seem deep. You know, if you meet someone, and you say, Yeah, what do you do for a living? And they say, I’m a lawyer. And then you ask, Oh, did you always want to be a lawyer? Like, what made you decide to go to law school? Do you love practicing law? Like, is this your dream job? Those three questions, those are easy questions, right? They’re not overly intimate, they don’t seem weird. Those all three are deep questions, because they invite the other person to share something meaningful about themselves. They invite them to share their experiences, their values, their beliefs. And when they do that, that’s when we start to have a real dialogue. And then that brings me to the third mistake that people often make, which is that when someone does say something real, we need to reciprocate. So if someone says, you know, I decided to go to law school, because I saw my father get arrested. And I decided that there needed to be people fighting for the for the little guy. Sometimes that can feel like too much. And we just say, Oh, that’s interesting. Oh, that’s, that’s great. You know, what law school did you go to? We don’t ask any questions about what they just said. But they just shared something meaningful with us. And it’s our job to say thank you, this is a gift and to reciprocate and say, Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that about your dad. Like, that must have been really, really hard. And, you know, I’ve, I’ve seen my dad deal with kind of these unfair things like, how do you reflect on that now? Like, what do you think about how does your work now help other dads avoid that? By leaning in to their vulnerability by leaning into what they’ve shared with you and sharing something about yourself? Mm hmm. That’s how we make a connection. Yeah, it feels feels natural.

Kara Goldin 19:02
Yeah, no, I can see how that it does. It feels really natural. And in some ways, very similar to what I was talking about in the YPO example. I mean, it’s sort of similar. It’s you’re not making a judgment, right. Or, or telling that person Oh, you shouldn’t have gone to law school or, or whatever. You’re just saying, Oh, that’s interesting. I, you know, my dad didn’t go to jail. But but the reason why I decided to become an entrepreneur was that my dad always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I don’t know. I’m, I’m, I think like there’s some some sort of association there. That is that is really powerful. I

Charles Duhigg 19:44
absolutely agree. I absolutely agree. And, and you don’t want to steal the spotlight from that person. If they say, you know, my, my wife passed away last week. You don’t want to say Oh, I understand my aunt. I had an aunt who died, you know, 20 years ago. That feels like you’re stealing this spot. Light. So sometimes reciprocation is just reflecting back how their words make you feel, showing them that you’re listening. But sometimes, as you pointed out, it’s this back and forth where they say, this is how my father influenced me. And in saying, Oh, that’s really interesting, like, this is how my father influenced me, that allows us to figure out how we approach the world similarly, and how we approach the world differently. And those similarities and differences are often the building blocks for connection.

Kara Goldin 20:30
So one of the things that I, one of the areas that I loved in your book was talking about, like, let’s say, You’re a shy person. And I think it’s like both ways. Maybe the person that you’re talking to, is extremely shy, and you maybe it’s your boss, right, and you know that they’re a very shy person, a big introvert, you’re not? Like, how do you improve the odds of connecting with a person? Like, who is obviously a different communicator than you are? That’s,

Charles Duhigg 21:02
that’s a great question. And in fact, one of the stories in the book is about the guys who created the TV show The Big Bang Theory, because they had a very, very similar problem. That problem for them was they wanted to create the show about these like, awkward, shy geniuses, right? But but a TV show can’t work. If the person on the screen like is just awkward and shy, you need to somehow figure out how to draw them out. And, but but the awkwardness was part of the comedy of it, they couldn’t make these people like these characters, really savvy communicators. And so what they figured out and science backs us up is that when I’m talking to someone, if I match their energy, and their aspect, oftentimes, we’ll feel closer to each other. So if you meet someone who’s shy, and they’re sort of low volume, but they seem happy, and you match that you’re also low volume, low energy, but happy showing them that you’re happy, they’re going to feel more comfortable communicating with you, if you meet someone else who’s an extrovert, and they’re big and boisterous, and they fill up the space really easily, and they’re happy, then you should feel okay to be big and boisterous and fill up the space, they’re going to feel a connection with you. Now, that doesn’t mean that I have to feel the same things that they’re feeling, maybe I’m talking to them, and they’re big, and they’re boisterous. And they, they love a political candidate, I can’t stand, that doesn’t mean that we have to agree, I, we can still argue with each other, we can still disagree. But if we have the same basic energy, and we have the same basic aspect, then we will feel close to each other and will feel like we’re communicating. And that’s what they did on the Big Bang Theory. They taught the actors to just mirror other people’s effect and energy to show when they were in sync, or to show when they weren’t.

Kara Goldin 22:59
One of the best shows by the way, it’s such a great show. So I did not know that backstory until I read it in your book. And so, so interesting. So one of the things that we have a lot of people listening, who are very interested in business and entrepreneurship, there’s the struggle that’s going on right now with getting people back into the office versus, you know, living on a zoom communication, obviously, is sort of at the core of that. Yeah. And I think definitely, it’s, it’s less than perfect for many people. But how do you think being a super communicator in a world that is not getting together in person? Like, it seems like there’s a lot of challenges with that? How do you break through in some way, especially if you’re living on online, in some sort of the Zoom Room? One

Charles Duhigg 23:55
of the things that’s really important, and we know this from a bunch of studies is just recognizing that different channels require different different modes of communication and require different skills, right. So what’s interesting is when telephones first became popular in the United States, there were a bunch of articles of people saying, We will never be able to have personal conversations on a telephone, right? It’s just, it’s too foreign. It’s too hard. You can’t see the other person if you can’t see their expressions, how do you know how they’re reacting? And of course, by the time our generation was teenagers, we could talk on the phone for hours and hours and hours. Now, what’s interesting is that oftentimes, when we’re talking on the phone, we behave a little bit differently than when we’re talking face to face. For instance, if you’ll notice people who are talking on the phone, they’ll over enunciate their words, because they know that the other person can’t see them. And so they have to convey more emotion through their words. people when they’re talking on a phone versus face to face will interrupt each other a little bit less. Because again, it’s kind of hard to know when someone wants to break in if you can’t see them. Now, we don’t even think about that. We’ve just learned how to do that almost instinctually. Now that the issue for online communication is, you know, we’ve been talking on the phone for over 100 years we’ve been talking face to face for millennia, the first email was sent in 1982. Right? Nobody knew what zoom was until four years ago. And so these are all new forms of communication. And we kind of have to learn those same rules until they become instinctual. But the key is, the way that we learn them is just to realize, if I’m talking to you over email versus zoom versus face to face versus the phone, I’m gonna need slightly different rules to shape how I communicate with you for each thing. Maybe sarcasm, sarcasm definitely works face to face, maybe sarcasm works on the phone. But if I’m sarcastic in this email, even though that’s the most natural thing for me to do, they might not know that it’s sarcasm, they might not be able to pick up that, that I’m trying to make a joke here. And so oftentimes, what I find myself doing is, before I send an email, or send a text, or make a phone calls, just reminding myself like, there are, there are certain things that I can do on email, that, that I don’t have to do on the telephone. And there’s certain things that I can do on the telephone that are totally, totally won’t work in texting. And as long as we’re paying a little bit of attention to it, we tend to get much much better.

Kara Goldin 26:28
Huh? Yeah, no, that’s, that’s so yeah, it’s so so interesting. And I think it’s, it’s, um, it’s like, does it vary by generation to? I don’t, I mean, that’s, that’s another thing, the

Charles Duhigg 26:41
more you grow up with it, the more natural it is, yeah. We’ve always been talking on telephones. And so as a result, telephones feel very instinctual to us and for our kids, texting feels very instinctual, right? Communicating with emojis feels very instinctual. And, and so when the younger you get introduced to it, the more it becomes like, like an something you don’t even have to think about. But what’s important is that, even if you’re older, and this is a new technology, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it really, really well that those instincts don’t come out. It’s just a matter of thinking to myself, I need to develop my instincts about email versus text versus telephone calls, instead of treating them like they’re all the same. Yeah,

Kara Goldin 27:24
I always hear this label EQ. Right. And I kept thinking of that when I was reading your your book as well. How do you think individuals and organizations can navigate this? Maybe, maybe you’re not naturally, you don’t consider yourself to be able to read the other side of the table as well. But I think it’s it’s such an important piece that the most successful individuals, most successful companies really understanding who your consumer is, it sort of applies there, too. But I feel like super communicators really falls into being able to help. And in many ways with that, yeah.

Charles Duhigg 28:09
No, EQ is really emotional IQ is really important in communication, right. And we know that we know that again, this is this is a skill that people can learn. It’s not something you’re born with, it’s something you learn to pick up on. And as you know, there’s a story in the book about NASA and how NASA started looking for astronauts who had a cue by paying attention to how they laughed. They found that when, when astronaut applicants would laugh with the similar similarly to the interviewer, that it was a sign that they had more EQ that they were someone who wanted to match that person they wanted to connect, they wanted to relate. Whereas other people, you know, I might laugh uproariously as the interviewer. And they might just chuckle and it’s a sign that that EQ isn’t something that they’re necessarily strong at or assign a lot of importance to. And oftentimes the way that we particularly if we’re not, if we’re not practiced at reading someone’s emotions, a great habit to get into, is to first of all force ourselves just to pay attention. And listen for when someone says something that seems emotional. That’s that, that comes out of nowhere, right? If you’re talking to a colleague, and you’re like, what do you do, you know, how are things going? And they’re like, oh, man, it was a great weekend, my kid graduated this weekend. Like, there’s obviously a lot of pride in that and it’d be super easy just to be like, Oh, that’s great. I’m glad to hear that. Okay. So let’s talk about next year’s budget. Right. But that person, they just signaled to you that like, there’s something that they’re proud of, there’s something that was meaningful to them, and just taking 10 seconds and saying, Ah, that is wonderful. i You must feel so good about that. I know that like when my son graduated, it was one of the best days of my life. Like tell me what it was like like what was the graduation like? You’re connecting with that person, and you might not be great at emotions, and you might, but just listening to those emotions, training ourselves to notice them is going to help a lot. And then the other thing we can do is I mentioned those deep questions, deep questions often invite someone to share their emotions with us. So even if we’re not good on picking up on their emotions, if you ask them a deep question, they’ll tell you what they’re feeling. And that’s really important.

Kara Goldin 30:25
A couple of other examples of those deep questions, somebody’s walking into a situation where, you know, they they need to become the super communicator, or they’re gonna go out and buy your book, for sure. But are there is there a cheat sheet for, you know, getting there now

Charles Duhigg 30:44
really easy once you start looking for that? Like, it’s sometimes it’s just as simple as saying, Oh, that’s interesting. What did that mean to you? Or like, why was that important? Right. And so let me ask you, it’s so so um, Kara, I know that I know that you do this podcast, I’m just wondering, like, why do you do this podcast? Like, what do you what do you enjoy about it?

Kara Goldin 31:02
I love hearing people’s why. And their stories. And, and I also love the similarities amongst, you know, founders in all different industries. And that it, it starts to I’ve done over 500 Now, and small companies, big companies, public companies, private companies, and what I’m fascinated about is, you know, two different genders, right? Like, it’s just, but everybody kind of comes back to having this passion, and this understanding for their business that is, you know, real and authentic. And

Charles Duhigg 31:45
think about how much you just told me, yeah, that answer, right? You told me that you’re someone who values curiosity, that you value, passion, you told me that you’re proud of the fact that you’ve done 500 episodes, right. Like you mentioned, the fact that you mentioned that means that like, that’s an accomplishment for you, you like you see that as a sign of success. And something to be proud of? You told me that, that the kinds of people that you really are attracted to are the people who are founders who are makers, who who create something, but that also you don’t mind, you don’t shy away from differences, right? That you’re, you’re intrigued by how conversations are different between two women or two men or a man or a woman? Like you only, you only responded for 25 seconds to my question, but because I was listening for what you were saying, you told me so much about who you were. And that’s, that’s what a deep question Does any, any question can be come a deep question. If you just ask someone, why, or what do you make of that? Or how did you think about that? You’re giving them an opportunity to tell you who they are?

Kara Goldin 32:53
And I think it’s what’s the the saying that it’s not what you say? Or maybe what you asked how you made them feel? Right? And so that, yeah, that creates a conversation and a feeling in there where, you know, they’re gonna want to reciprocate, maybe not even right immediately. But I bet they’re gonna go back to you at the office. And you know, that the next time they see you ask something about how was your weekend? Right, or, and do so you’ve formed that bond? Yeah,

Charles Duhigg 33:31
yeah. And it feels we feel closer to them, right, we feel closer. Again, there’s this this principle, within psychology known as emotional reciprocity, which is that the way that our brains are hardwired, again, by evolution, and this has been really beneficial in building societies and families, is that when we express emotion, and someone else reciprocates, by sharing something emotional about themselves, we immediately feel closer to them. Now, this might be we might disagree with them violently, right? Like we might, I might be pro gun control and your your anti gun control. But if we both if you tell me something about your relationship with your kids, and I tell you something about my relationship with my parents, the fact that we’re divided by this gun issue, it’s still going to be there. We’re not going to agree with each other. But we are going to feel a little bit closer like we understand each other a little bit better.

Kara Goldin 34:26
I think that’s that’s a beautiful way to say it for sure. Because I think it’s it’s so true. So, so valuable, and I couldn’t say it more. Everybody needs to read this book for sure. Final thought and making better connections. What would you say?

Charles Duhigg 34:44
What I would say is to remember this that that we all can be super communicators right? There are times that a friend has called us and we have made them feel wonderful after a terrible day. All of us know in the back of our head If I had a bad day, who I would call that would make me feel feel better. The key is that oftentimes, we shy away from these conversations because we’re uncertain because because sometimes conversations can be scary or even terrifying. Sometimes it can feel like it’s going to be awkward or it’s going to be hard. And yet every single time that we just pay a little bit of attention to what the other person is trying to tell us what kind of conversation they’re having. And we reach across across that gap, and we say, I hear you, let me prove to you that I hear what you’re telling me. That makes all the awkwardness and this fearfulness disappear. That’s when we become a super communicator. And all of us can be super communicators all the time. If we just spend a little bit of time thinking about what, what we want to say, and spend a little bit of time thinking about how we learn to listen.

Kara Goldin 35:53
So on that note, Charles Duhigg, author of super communicators, so it was awesome having you on and very, very excited to meet you. And also to have everybody grab a copy of, of the book for sure. So we’ll have all the info in the show notes. And but thank you again,

Charles Duhigg 36:11
thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Kara Goldin 36:13
Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. If you would, please give us a review and feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode of our podcast. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin. I would love to hear from you too, so feel free to DM me. And if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen or pick up a copy of my Wall Street Journal, best selling book undaunted, where I share more about my journey including founding and building hint. We are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Thanks for listening and goodbye for now.