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Are We There Yet?  vol. 213 Thumbnail

Are We There Yet? vol. 213

Have you ever had the situation where, after talking to someone, you felt like you were each having different conversations? The reason for that feeling is that you probably were having different kinds of conversations.

In a recent episode of the podcast, On Point, Charles Duhigg, the author of Supercommunicators, noted that the motivation for his book was that he kept falling into the same pattern of conversation with his wife. “I would come home from work after a long day, and I would start complaining about my day. And my wife would offer this very practical advice. She would say something like, ‘Why don't you take your boss out to lunch? And you guys can get to know each other,’ which was good advice. But instead of being able to hear her advice, I would get even more upset. I would say something like, ‘Why aren't you supporting me? You're supposed to be outraged on my behalf.’ And then she would get upset because I was attacking her for giving me perfectly good advice.” Sound familiar?

He decided to research why this pattern kept repeating. He found that conversations fall into three buckets. There is a social mindset where we are discussing who we are, our relationships with others, and common interests. There is the decision-making mindset, where we focus on problem solving, and there is the emotional mindset, where the focus is on connection and empathy. Duhigg noted that “most miscommunication occurs because people are having different kinds of conversations.” The key to a successful conversation is having the same kind of conversation at the same moment as the other person. If one party is in the emotional mindset while the other is in the decision-making mindset, the person looking for empathy won’t even hear your solutions.

So, do we even care if we always communicate effectively? We should. “There was this study that was done by Harvard that's still going on. It started almost 100 years ago, where their goal was to try and figure out what makes people live longer and happier and be more successful in life. . . what they found is that the best predictor of whether you're happy, healthy, and successful, however you define success, at age 65 is having at least a small handful of close relationships at age 45. It didn't matter if you had more or less money. It didn't matter if you had more or less education. Having close relationships is the thing that makes us happy.”

I think that the takeaway is that being a good communicator is a win-win situation. It’s good for those with whom you are connected and may make you happier and healthier.

Take care and stay safe.


The Deep Sky by Yume Kitasei

It is the eve of Earth’s environmental collapse. A single ship carries humanity’s last hope: eighty elite graduates of a competitive program, who will give birth to a generation of children in deep space. But halfway to a distant but livable planet, a lethal bomb kills three of the crew and knocks The Phoenix off course. Asuka, the only surviving witness, is an immediate suspect.  As the mystery unfolds on the ship, poignant flashbacks reveal how Asuka came to be picked for the mission. Despite struggling through training back on Earth, she was chosen to represent Japan, a country she only partly knows as a half-Japanese girl raised in America. But estranged from her mother back home, The Phoenix is all she has left.  With the crew turning on each other, Asuka is determined to find the culprit before they all lose faith in the mission―or worse, the bomber strikes again.