Combined Arms Consulting


Review by - Dr Leon Levin

Reviewed: 11 May 2024


By Charles Duhigg

Rating: 5/5

Message Creation,






Unfortunately, today the world does not communicate with one another it screams at each other. Now more than ever, the ability to properly communicate is an essential and crucial skill.

Certain people seem to have a gift for conversation, for understanding others, and for making themselves understood. Whether their ability is intuitive or deeply considered, they have much to teach the rest of us, especially when our society seems to be increasingly polarized and confrontational. Duhigg, a New York Times reporter and author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better, says he wrote this book because he recognized that his own verbal skills were poor. He delves deeply into the nature and structure of conversations, combining his own careful observations of “supercommunicators” with relevant research. He eventually defines three types of conversation and their inner meaning. Practical conversations ask, what is this really about? Emotional conversations deal with a different question: How do we feel? Social conversations involve questions of who we are. Being able to identify the type of conversation is a crucial step toward becoming a better communicator, and studies show that people’s brainwaves start to move in sync when they are in the same category. Duhigg breaks down each type to develop a set of useful rules, noting that empathetic listening is an essential starting point.
In many cases, the listener has to be able to share some of their own experiences without making it about themselves. The author provides illustrative anecdotes, ranging from a CIA agent recruiting sources to jurors discussing a tricky case. He admits that all this takes effort and concentration, although it gets easier with practice, and the rewards of good interaction are worth the work. “Connecting with others can make us healthier, happier, and more content,” he writes. “Conversations can change our brains, bodies, and how we experience the world.”

As leaders in any field, politics management sport, or in life the ability to understand and be heard is an essential building block for connection, and it is only through connection that we can survive as a species.

Do you agree with this review? Leave a comment below!

Join the CombinedArms Inner Circle!

Unlock Exclusive Insights & Innovations in Leadership, Management, Strategy & More.

Newsletter Signup!