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How to Make New Habits Stick, Why You Can’t Break Old Habits and The Secret to Great Communication with Charles Duhigg

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  March 20, 2024

My philosophy as a doctor has always been connect first, educate second. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And this goes for all relationships, not just doctor-patient.

Good communication is something we’d all like to master. And today’s guest, Charles Duhigg, author of Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection, is here to help us do it. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Yale College, Charles has won a prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his investigative reporting and he is also the author of international bestselling book, The Power of Habit, which has sold over 10 million copies to date.

We start off our conversation, talking about habits, and why it is that so many of us struggle to make our new desired behaviours stick. The brain wants rewards and it needs cues. The trouble is we tend to let both of those things go, once we think a behaviour is becoming routine. But Charles shares that that’s exactly when we need to double down and take steps to make our new behaviours feel more enjoyable. We also discuss the science of small wins, momentum and the importance of keystone habits.

We then move on to talking about the importance of good communication. Good communication is inherently rewarding. It’s how humans connect, form families, villages, and share information. Charles believes all of us are capable of being supercommunicators and having more meaningful conversations. And during this episode, he explains some of the skills involved, such as mirroring others and asking deeper questions – those that probe feelings not facts.

Finally, we talk about how fear of saying the wrong thing can often stop us from being vulnerable and connecting, why supercommunicators ask 10 to 20 times more questions than the average person and how they often shine in group situations, not by being the ‘ideas person’, but by giving the right people a spotlight.

This was a truly wonderful conversation – full of practical insights to help you build better habits and become a better communicator in all aspects of your life.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of the conversation here:

Connect with Charles:

Website     Instagram     

Facebook     Twitter     

Charles’ books:

Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change

Related Feel Better Live More Episodes:

#145 How to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones with James Clear

#254 How To Read Body Language and Become More Confident with Vanessa Van Edwards

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP