The power of super communication with Charles Duhigg | E1938

The power of super communication with Charles Duhigg | E1938

Charles Duhigg joins Jason to break down his latest publishing, Supercommunicators (00:00:00)

  • Charles Duhigg, a writer at The New Yorker, joins Jason Calacanis to discuss his latest book, "Supercommunicators."
  • Duhigg's previous book, "The Power of Habit," sold over 12 million copies worldwide.
  • "Supercommunicators" focuses on the importance of communication in the workplace, particularly in the startup community.
  • Technical skills are no longer as valuable as the ability to communicate and manage others.
  • Communication is essential for success in the startup community.

The importance of communication in startups and lessons from "The Power of Habit” (00:04:01)

  • The core takeaway from "The Power of Habit" is that the systems and processes you set up are more important than your goals, hopes, and dreams.
  • Focusing on cues and rewards in your environment can help change habits almost automatically.
  • Creating systems and processes makes it easier to do the right thing, such as eating healthier or meeting with more qualified startups.
  • Soft skills, such as conversation, can be systematized, even though it's harder to assign metrics to them.
  • Relying on impressions alone can be misleading, so it's important to train your intuition against something objective.

LinkedIn Jobs - Post your first job for free (00:08:06)

  • LinkedIn Jobs is a free tool that helps small businesses find qualified professionals.
  • LinkedIn has over a billion members in more than 200 countries, making it a great place to reach potential candidates.
  • LinkedIn's AI and machine learning algorithms help match job seekers with relevant job postings, even if they're not actively searching.
  • 70% of LinkedIn users don't visit other leading job sites, so if you're not posting jobs on LinkedIn, you're missing out on a large pool of potential candidates.
  • 86% of small businesses using LinkedIn Jobs get a qualified candidate within 24 hours.
  • Communication is a skill that can be learned and improved.
  • The key to effective communication is understanding your audience and tailoring your message to their needs.
  • When communicating, it's important to be clear, concise, and persuasive.
  • Active listening is an important part of communication, as it allows you to understand the other person's perspective and respond thoughtfully.
  • Empathy is also important in communication, as it allows you to put yourself in the other person's shoes and see things from their perspective.
  • By following these tips, you can improve your communication skills and become a more effective communicator.

The role of communication in organizations and the different types of conversations (00:09:29)

  • Charles Duhigg's book, "The Power of Habit," emphasizes the importance of effective communication and highlights the challenges faced by CIA officer Jim Lawler due to his poor communication skills.
  • Despite his initial struggles, Lawler managed to connect with and gain the trust of Yasmine, a woman from a Middle Eastern nation, through honesty and openness.
  • Super communicators develop their skills through practice and habit formation, and they excel in building trust and empathy by matching the emotional state of the other person, creating a connection, and allowing for better understanding.
  • Conversations can be categorized into three types: practical (problem-solving), emotional (expressing feelings), and social (relating to each other). Matching the type of conversation and mirroring the other person's emotional state deepens the connection and fosters trust.
  • The goal of communication is to achieve neural entrainment, which occurs when people's brain activity becomes more similar as they connect and understand each other, leading to feelings of closeness, trust, and happiness.
  • Social conversations involve how people relate to each other in society and often have both practical and emotional aspects.
  • The aim of a good conversation is not to convince the other person of your观点, but to understand their perspective and share your own, while actively listening, asking follow-up questions, and repeating back what they said to ensure understanding.

Mantle - Get your first 12 months free (00:21:30)

  • Mantle is an AI-powered equity management platform designed for modern founders and operators.
  • It simplifies equity management and saves time by automating tasks such as modeling price rounds, updating equity documents, and understanding dilution.
  • Mantle is easy to use and designed for all stakeholders.
  • With Mantle's AI assistant, users can generate a pro forma cap table in seconds by simply dropping in their term sheet.
  • Founders can focus on their business and not worry about their cap table.
  • Visit to get the first 12 months free.
  • Lock in an exclusive rate of $100 per month after the first 12 months.
  • Hundreds of founders are switching to Mantle.

Exploring the role of humor, laughter, and vulnerability in conversations (00:22:48)

  • Humor and genuine laughter signal a desire for connection and create a sense of neural entrainment, fostering a sense of connection.
  • Effective communicators ask 10-20 times more questions than the average person, focusing on deep questions that explore values, beliefs, and experiences.
  • Charles Duhigg discusses "super communication" and its importance, highlighting differences in communication styles between individuals with fast-paced, problem-solving backgrounds and those who prefer a more deliberate approach.
  • Duhigg suggests adapting one's communication style to the recipient's preferences, emphasizing the need for understanding and flexibility in communication.

Understanding gender and cultural differences in communication (00:30:06)

  • Despite cultural beliefs, there are few actual differences in communication styles between genders.
  • Cultural norms and expectations may influence men and women's comfort levels in different types of conversations.
  • Recognizing and understanding cultural norms is crucial for effective communication.
  • Emotional conversations aim to provide empathy and a sense of being heard, while practical conversations focus on problem-solving and progress.
  • The duration of conversations varies, with practical conversations often being longer and emotional conversations being shorter.
  • Our brains are highly adaptable and can quickly recognize and adjust to different types of conversations.
  • Effective communication is key to human success, and our brains excel at it when given the right inputs.
  • Super communicators create connections by asking deep questions, matching the mindset of the person they're talking to, and making practical conversations easier.
  • Anecdotes package different kinds of conversations into a clear and memorable format.
  • We remember the emotional journey of a conversation more than the specific words used.
  • Self-deprecation can be humorous but should be used in moderation.
  • We remember how others make us feel, not necessarily what they say.
  • Stories are a powerful way to convey ideas and make them memorable by embedding them in emotions.

HubSpot - Be sure to check out Hubspot for Startups & HubSpot Ventures for their Million Dollar pitch competition. Apply now (00:39:23)

  • HubSpot Ventures is hosting a Million Dollar Pitch Competition.
  • Applications are open until midnight Eastern Time on May 17th, 2024.
  • Six founders will be flown to HubSpot's Flagship Inbound Conference in Boston in September.
  • Founders will pitch their businesses on stage in front of 1,000 people and a panel of VCs and executives.
  • Founders will receive invaluable feedback to help their businesses grow.
  • Founders will be considered for an investment of up to $1 million.

The role anecdotes have in conversation (00:40:34)

  • Charles Duhigg mistakenly called a fellow dad "Jim" for five games before realizing his name was "Steve."
  • After selling his second company for $30 million, Duhigg opted to take a Southwest flight instead of a private jet to Sundance due to a lack of available seats.
  • During the early morning flight, Duhigg accidentally sat in a seat with a giant Starbucks cup filled with hot coffee, resulting in severe burns on his buttocks.
  • Despite the excruciating pain, Duhigg endured the flight until he could seek medical attention.
  • Duhigg reflects on the humbling nature of the experience, emphasizing that wealth and success do not exempt one from life's challenges and limitations.
  • He highlights the importance of self-deprecating humor as a means of conveying authenticity and building trust with others.

How the dynamic of the conversation shifts when someone has an ask (00:49:30)

  • Effective communication involves understanding the other person's perspective and needs, rather than solely focusing on impressing them.
  • Asking questions and engaging in genuine conversations builds rapport and mutual understanding.
  • Venture capitalists vary in their approach, with some being thoughtful and inquisitive, while others may be arrogant and impulsive in their decision-making.
  • Entrepreneurs should ask questions to better understand the needs and concerns of potential investors.
  • Disagreeable and competent people are more likely to be successful outliers than agreeable people.
  • Super communicators use "looping for understanding" to confirm their understanding of what the other person said.
  • Venture capitalists' returns depend on investing in outlier companies that follow a power law distribution.
  • Effective communication involves a vibrant discussion and debate, where both parties actively engage and contribute to the conversation.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development (01:01:35)

  • Authenticity and close relationships are key to happiness and success, as revealed by the Harvard study of adult development.
  • Super communicators create connections by being genuine, open, and present in conversations, rather than trying to impress others.
  • Super communicators show genuine care and interest in others, making them feel valued and connected.
  • Super communicators prioritize connection over charisma or extroversion, and their conversations leave a lasting positive impact on others.
  • Charles Duhigg, a super communicator and "super mench," was known for his exceptional communication skills and genuine interest in the well-being of those around him.

Closing remarks (01:06:36)

  • Charles Duhigg and Lex Fridman discuss the significance of engaging in personally fulfilling and enjoyable activities for mental well-being.
  • Duhigg shares his experience of taking up surfing at 40 and the positive impact it had on his mental health, describing the concept of "flow" experienced during activities like surfing and skiing.
  • He emphasizes the need for individuals, especially men, to prioritize self-care and activities that bring joy, rather than solely focusing on work and responsibilities.
  • Connecting with nature through activities like surfing and skiing can profoundly impact happiness and brain chemistry.
  • Super communication requires complete focus and presence in the moment.
  • Surfing and writing sessions can provide profound moments and inspiration.
  • Steve Martin's versatility and passion for various art forms, including banjo, plays, writing, and art collecting, are highlighted.
  • Malcolm Gladwell's concept of "10,000 hours" emphasizes the importance of loving and being obsessed with an activity to achieve greatness, rather than pursuing it solely for financial gain.
  • Balancing personal fulfillment, intellectual engagement, and financial considerations is crucial when making decisions about opportunities.
  • Having criteria beyond financial incentives, such as personal interest, audience engagement, and mission-driven initiatives, is essential when choosing opportunities.

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