Communicate Powerfully Using These Magic Words w/ Jonah Berger

Communicate Powerfully Using These Magic Words w/ Jonah Berger

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In today’s episode, we cover magic words and the impact of language with Jonah Berger. Jonah is a Wharton School professor, an expert on natural language processing, influence, and consumer behavior, and is the internationally bestselling author of Magic Words, Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst.

Questions are the key to connecting with the people around you, so what kinds of questions should you ask when getting to know someone, what questions should you avoid, and how can you word questions in a way to get people to do what you want them to do?

What to Listen For

  • Introduction – 0:00
  • Why are questions so powerful when talking to people?
  • What kind of question should you ask if you want other people to like you or perceive you better?
  • What should you say if someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer?
  • Questions that Push People Out and Pull People In – 14:53
  • What questions do we ask that put people on the defensive and how do we reword the same questions to get the answers we actually want?
  • What questions can you ask to turn strangers into friends?
  • How many questions can you ask before a conversation gets uncomfortable?
  • Identity and Agency Questions – 26:29 
  • What questions can you ask to motivate people to take the action you want them to take?
  • How do many of us use self-talk the wrong way and how does it sabotage our goals and dreams? 
  • What is hedging and how does hedging make us seem less confident?

When we use questions as tools, they become powerful. They can build bridges or break them; it’s up to us to decide which kind of question we want to use. If you want other people to like you and view you better, the best type of question should be open-ended, positive and interesting. Avoid questions that put people on the defensive and instead choose phrases that invoke thought and curiosity. Asking questions to strangers is a great way to get them interested in knowing more about you and forming new relationships. 

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Resources from this Episode

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