Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

341. Unlocking Deeper Connections: The Power of Thoughtful Questioning with Meghaan Lurtz

In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, you’ll hear from guest Meghaan Lurtz, a finance and psychology expert, who is dedicated to improving communication skills, particularly in the context of difficult conversations surrounding money. She believes that the challenge lies not in the topic itself, but in what it represents in society and the shame associated with it. Meghaan’s passion lies in helping individuals become skilled communicators who can ask thoughtful questions that support and connect with others. 

Through her work as a professor, she has witnessed the transformative power of asking questions in various settings, including personal relationships and financial planning. Meghaan emphasizes the importance of follow-up questions, which not only enhance understanding but also make individuals more likable. She also highlights the significance of phrasing questions in a way that promotes safety and avoids confrontations. By focusing on effective communication strategies, Meghaan aims to improve relationships and foster deeper connections among individuals.

In this episode:

  • Discover the small changes in communication style that can have a significant impact on your interactions.
  • Enhance relationships and deepen understanding through the power of asking thoughtful questions.
  • Utilize body language and posture to create a positive and receptive atmosphere for effective communication.
  • Deepen connections and understanding by using techniques such as reflection, labeling, and scaling questions.
  • Understand the importance of establishing a strong and safe relationship before offering advice or solutions.
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00:00:00 – Introduction,
In this episode, Melina Palmer introduces Megaan Lurtz, a writer and senior research associate who specializes in the intersection of finance and psychology. Meghaan shares her expertise on communication skills and the challenges of discussing money.

00:04:06 – Why People Hate Talking About Money,
Meghaan explains that money is a difficult topic to discuss due to the various emotions and judgments associated with it. People often feel shame or judgment when talking about their financial situation, making it a taboo subject.

00:06:09 – The Power of Scaling Questions,
Scaling questions are a powerful tool for communication. Meghaan describes how scaling questions can be used to gauge someone’s feelings or experiences on a scale of 1 to 10 and then follow up with why they didn’t choose a lower number. This technique helps shift the focus to positive aspects and improves overall communication.

00:09:40 – The Impact of Follow-Up Questions,
Meghaan shares a study conducted on speed daters, which found that the most significant factor in securing a second date was asking engaging follow-up questions. Follow-up questions that keep the conversation focused on the other person make individuals more likable and improve connections.

00:14:44 – The Importance of Listening,
Active listening is crucial for effective communication. Meghaan emphasizes the importance of genuinely listening to others, without distractions or interruptions.

00:15:13 – The Power of Communication,
The way we communicate can have a significant impact on how others respond to us. Small changes in our communication style can lead to either a positive or contentious response. Nonverbal cues, such as body language and posture, also play a crucial role in effective communication.

00:16:38 – Finding the Right Balance,
Communication styles differ from person to person, and it’s important to find the right balance that works for each individual. Experimenting and testing different approaches can help determine what feels comfortable and yields the best response.

00:18:41 – Asking Interesting Questions,
The way we ask questions can make a significant difference in the depth of communication. Simple changes, like asking follow-up questions that reflect genuine interest, can lead to more meaningful and engaging conversations.

00:22:43 – Getting to the Deeper Meaning,
Rather than sticking to surface-level facts, it’s essential to delve deeper into the meaning and feelings behind people’s responses. By asking reflective questions and exploring emotions, we can create stronger connections and foster better understanding.

00:26:18 – The Importance of Connection,
Building strong connections is crucial in all relationships, whether personal or professional. Without a solid foundation and safe space for communication, advice and recommendations may not be effectively received or acted upon. Communication and connection go hand in hand.

00:30:22 – The Importance of Questions in Communication,
Questions serve a purpose beyond just seeking answers. They can help create a more comfortable and open conversation, leading to deeper connections and understanding between people.

00:31:32 – The Power of Communication in Healing,
Research has shown that individuals with positive relationships heal faster when faced with physical injuries. Good communication, expressing love and care, can make us superhuman and have a significant impact on our well-being.

00:34:00 – The Value of Teaching Communication Skills,
Instead of focusing solely on academic subjects, teaching communication skills such as asking open-ended questions, reflective listening, and labeling can be more useful in improving relationships and changing lives.

00:36:02 – Effective Questioning Techniques,
Mirroring, where you repeat back what the person said, and labeling, where you identify and reflect their emotions, are powerful questioning techniques that show genuine interest and encourage further conversation.

00:38:20 – The Impact of Questions on Energy and Focus,
Questions can influence where people direct their attention and effort. By encouraging others to focus on positive aspects or different perspectives, we can help shift energy and improve relationships and outcomes.

00:45:04 –  Conclusion,
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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