Capital Investment Advisors

#109 – Improving Your Communication with Celeste Headlee

As human beings, communication is our superpower. Having a conversation can lead to stress relief, the absorption of new information, and personal connection. Celeste Headlee, author, radio journalist, public speaker, and co-host of the weekly series Retro Report on PBS, joins this episode to share how to stop hiding behind emails, text messages, data, and statistics and start having more impactful conversations with one another.

Celeste explains how your brain cannot do two impactful things at once, the two ways conversations can be negative and why we should stop pontification during our interactions. She also shares how living your best life is the most powerful way to influence someone else, why follow-up questions are powerful and an important communication tactic. Later in the episode, Celeste reveals why one of the worst things you can say is “I know how you feel,” and how you can work on improving your listening skills.

Read Show Notes From This Episode (click to expand and read notes from the full interview)
    • Wes says hello. They talk about where Wes knows her from. Hearing her and seeing her on the air. Celeste’s Ted Talk about conversations is one of the top 10 watched of all time.They talk about their favorite songs to sing.They talk about which parties Celeste throws.

      Wes does some rapid fire questions about favorite athletes (Barry Sanders), songs to sing, and places to go (favorite city is Detroit).

      They talk all about Michigan. Passionate!

      Celeste’s Ted Talk about conversations is one of the Top 10 most watched of all time. 27 million.

      Multitasking doesn’t really work. You can do something mindless like the dishes and listen to a podcast, that’s fine. But your brain can’t really do two impactful things at once. The human brain literally can’t do that. When you try it drops your IQ down to a 9 or 10 year old. Much more prone to errors. And your cortisol (stress) hormone goes up. And science seems to indicate that you’re doing damage to your brain if you do it a lot. Your brain shrinks.

      Don’t pontificate. Stop lecturing people. Stop telling people what you know.

      Conversations are positive except for in 2 ways
      If it’s hostile
      If the other person is trying to help you, even if you’ve asked for help. (so you have to find another way to do it)

      People change over time. Not through one mind-blowing conversation. We underestimate the power of modeling. Living your best life is one of the most powerful ways to influence someone else. They see your behavior and model theirs.

      The most powerful question you can ask is a follow up question.

      If you don’t know the answer to something, say you don’t know.

      They laugh because Wes says he always tracks milk and cookies inflation.

      The way you grow trust is by being honest. One of the first principles of rhetoric.

      Wes brings up “not equating your experience with theirs.” The worst thing you can say is “I know how you feel” because you don’t. When you feel pain, your brain immediately starts softening that pain. So, a couple of years after you’ve lost your dog, you don’t remember exactly how painful it was.


Call in with your financial questions for Wes to answer: 800-805-6301

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This information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only and is not to be viewed as investment advice or recommendations.  This information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax, or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.

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