Ep 246: What to Say to Get Your Way

Jonah Berger, author of Magic Words, teaches us techniques for what to say to get our way. An expert on influencing techniques, Dr Berger clues us in on the six types of language and which to use to get through to stubborn teens.

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Full Show Notes

Raising teens is no small feat, especially when it comes to communication. How often do parents find themselves at a loss for words, trying to guide, persuade, or connect with their ever-changing teenagers? Yet, what if the solution to improving these conversations was hidden in the very words we select? Today, we're exploring the potent impact of language on influencing and understanding your teenager.

In this enlightening episode, we're joined by Dr. Jonah Berger, a renowned expert in language and social influence. Jonah's research and his latest book, "Magic Words: What to Say to Get Your Way," shed light on how subtle changes in the words we choose can dramatically shift the outcomes of our interactions. His insights are particularly compelling for parents navigating the complex dynamics of teenage communication.

The Science of "Speak": Understanding Teenage Brains

Teenagers are complex. Their brains are rapidly developing, leading to unique patterns of thinking and communication. Jonah's framework, the “Speak” model, identifies key strategies grounded in this developmental understanding, helping parents harness the power of language effectively.

One powerful takeaway from our conversation is the transformation of actions into identities. Learn how framing requests or expectations in terms of identity ("be a helper" instead of "help") can motivate teens more effectively and shape their self-perception positively.

"Could" Versus "Should": Empowering Teen Decision-Making

The dilemma of "could" versus "should" in language illustrates how empowering teens to consider a range of possibilities, rather than imposing singular shoulds, can lead to more creative and autonomous decision-making. This approach fosters critical thinking and encourages resilience in facing challenges.

Jonah delves into the intriguing effects of verb tense and perspective on motivation and confidence, revealing that how we talk about the past, present, and future can inspire action and reduce anxiety in teenagers, paving the way for greater self-assurance and achievement.

Navigating Accusations and Responsibility with Care

The discussion also highlights the need for caution in using words like "you," which can inadvertently place blame or create resistance. Understanding this nuance is crucial for maintaining open lines of communication and avoiding unnecessary conflict.

Finally, Jonah discusses the balance between expressing certainty to convey confidence and showing uncertainty to foster connection and empathy. Parents can learn when and how to use each approach to strengthen their relationships with their teens.

In the Episode…

Don't miss these additional insights covered in our conversation with Jonah:

   - Strategies for using language to build teen self-esteem
   - The role of language in conflict resolution with teens
   - How parents can model effective communication for their teens
   - Tips for making routine conversations with teenagers more impactful

This episode is a treasure trove of wisdom for anyone looking to improve their communication with teenagers. Jonah Berger's research offers a new lens through which to view our everyday exchanges, making this a must-listen for parents, educators, and anyone who interacts with teens regularly.

Don't forget to share this episode and subscribe to "Talking to Teens." Join us next week for more insights on navigating the challenges and joys of raising teenagers.

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Creators and Guests

Andy Earle
Andy Earle
Host of the Talking to Teens Podcast and founder of Write It Great
jonah berger
jonah berger
Author MAGIC WORDS https://t.co/j8MU88Pp5H THE CATALYST, CONTAGIOUS, INVISIBLE INFLUENCE, Wharton Professor. Speaker. Consultant. Always be Curious.
Ep 246: What to Say to Get Your Way
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