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Surprising Adds that Could Make You a Super Communicator

by | Apr 9, 2024 | 2 comments

Ever been to a business event, power breakfast or strategy session dominated by one person? How about a dinner party or book club? You know the one!

The best communicators aren’t always the ones who talk the most in these various settings.

Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, shares three ways we can be “super communicators” and really connect with almost everyone.

How to be a super communicator on a consistent basis

Ask questions

  • Super communicators ask a lot more questions. In fact, 10 to 20 times more questions.
  • Some questions invite you in. “Tell me more about your xxx.”
  • Some are deep questions – getting others to talk about beliefs, experiences. “How do you feel about being on the board of xxx?” Or, “Can you tell me a memory that is really important to you?”
  • Super communicators ask not just about facts but how you feel about what you are doing – all in hopes of creating reciprocal authenticity.

Be a humble conversationalist

Most super communicators were once crummy communicators. Duhigg’s research points out that these struggling communicators had to become keenly aware of having to listen intently to understand what the other person was saying. This heightened awareness propelled them to become super communicators with these attributes:  being honest, authentic,  vulnerable and nonjudgmental.

Looping for Understanding (great for conflict management):

  1. Ask a question … a deeper one. (see my first point above)
  2. Repeat back what they said.
  3. Ask if you got it right.

You don’t have to agree or disagree. “I understand where you are coming from. I think I’ve heard what you are trying to say. I have a different point of view…”

7 Super Communicator Goals

  • To listen for understanding.
  • To lower the burden of the conversation. You are not trying to get them to agree with you.
  • To find a connection.
  • To get others in the group to speak.
  • To be generally interested in what others are thinking.
  • To give credit to others when context permits.
  • To better navigate tough conversations.

Don’t dominate a conversation. Be the super communicator that makes the conversation of interest to all.

Thank you to Judy Dedmon Coyle for sharing this podcast with me.

Source: Krys Boyd’s NPR “Think” Podcast with Charles Duhigg, author of “Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection

© 2024 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved 

2 Comments

  1. Val Cronin

    Super advice, Karen. Even us naturally quiet people can become effective communicators following this advice.

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      Val – You are right! You have a better chance than others to be a super communicator because you don’t want or have the need to dominate conversations and meetings. In fact, I have a lot to learn about becoming better at being a super communicator. As a raging extrovert with a story always ready to tell… it is time for me to rethink telling all of those stories at the expense of hearing / including other voices in the room.

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