I remember, barely, being a freshman engineering student. My mindset reflected many (most? all?) of my colleagues—“I don’t need no stinkin’ English and speech classes!” Math and science. What else is there?

Then I got a job.

Turns out that communication skills are essential for career success. Want to be an effective engineer? The ability to listen, talk, and write will serve you better than how quickly you can solve differential equations. Eventually I landed a position as a senior editor of an engineering magazine. It is really hard to find an engineer who can write, they told me.

Charles Duhigg has released a new book. His last book, The Power of Habit, was a killer book. It came out about the same time as James Clear’s Atomic Habits. The two books taught us how to form habits to improve our daily lives and professional effectiveness.

His new book, Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection, promised to do the same thing for effective conversations.

Not so much. It’s a disappointing book. Perhaps because it is really hard to teach people how to have deep conversations where you both connect.

He has outlined his three main points and tips for each point. But they lack the potency of how to develop good habits. 

There were too many “Duh!” statements.

On the other hand, the book is packed with good stories. Duhigg is, after all, a journalist trained to write good stories.

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