Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection

We all know people who seem capable of connecting with anyone. They are the ones we turn to for advice, who ask the best questions—but who also hear what goes unsaid, what we are really trying to say.

You’ve probably been this person yourself at times. So why, at those moments, are we so good at connecting? And what can they tell us about how communication works?

Supercommunicators understand—some by intuition, some by hard-won experience—that there is a science to how human beings connect. As Pulitzer-prize winning author Charles Duhigg argues, they understand that every time we speak, we’re actually engaging in one of three conversations: What is this really about? How do we feel? And, Who are we?

Most important, Duhigg argues that anyone can become a supercommunicator. All of us can get better at connecting with others, become managers who listen more and empathize better, partners and spouses who know how to disagree without lingering hurt. Through ‘learning conversations’, we can unlock a better life—for ourselves, our families, our co-workers—and talk about what matters most.

By bringing readers into tense medical conversations and CIA recruitments of foreign spies, into Netflix’s company-wide conversations about equity and the writers’ room of The Big Bang Theory, Duhigg shows us why some people are able to make themselves heard—and hear others—so clearly. The book eavesdrops on juries debating a guilty verdict, marriage counselors trying to save couples, and NASA psychologists trying to figure out which astronauts can ‘hear’ emotions.

The findings are surprising: Paying attention to someone’s mood and energy is often more important than what they say. There are certain questions that, when asked, almost automatically make us feel closer. And, most important, there are three kinds of conversations, each requiring different skills.

In the end, Supercommunicators delivers a simple but powerful truth: With the right strategies and tools, anyone can create deeper, more meaningful connections. Anyone can be a supercommunicator, and the right conversation, at the right moment, can change everything.

Praise for Duhigg’s other books

As he did in The Power of Habit, Duhigg melds cutting-edge science, deep reporting, and wide-ranging stories to give us a fuller, more human way of thinking about how productivity actually happens. —Susan Cain, bestselling author of Quiet

Duhigg uses engaging storytelling to highlight fascinating research and core principles that we can all learn and use in our daily lives. A masterful must-read for anyone who wants to get more (and more creative) stuff done. —David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Duhigg has a gift for asking just the right question, and then igniting the same curiosity in the rest of us. In Smarter Faster Better he finds provocative answers to a riddle of our age. —Jim Collins, #1 bestselling author of Good to Great and Built to Last

Charles Duhigg masterfully combines cutting-edge research and captivating stories to reveal how habits shape our lives and how we can shape our habits. Once you read this book, you’ll never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way. —Daniel H. Pink, author of #1 New York Times bestselling Drive and A Whole New Mind

Charles Duhigg’s thesis is powerful in its elegant simplicity: confront the root drivers of our behavior, accept them as intractable, and then channel those same cravings into productive patterns. His core insight is sharp, provocative, and useful. —Jim Collins, #1 bestselling author of Good to Great and Built to Last

The Power of Habit is not a magic pill but a thoroughly intriguing exploration of how habits function. Charles Duhigg expertly weaves fascinating new research and rich case studies into an intelligent model that is understandable, useful in a wide variety of contexts, and a flat-out great read. His chapter on ‘keystone habits’ alone would justify the book. —David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity