HOW You Speak to Your Kids Matters More Than You Think with Krister Ungerböck

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Krister UngerböckWhen you think back to your own childhood, was there anything your Dad ever said to you (good or bad) that stayed with you forever? 

I can still vividly recall moments from my upbringing when Dad said something (unintentionally) that really hurt me. 

And despite having always believed I would never act the same way with my own kids, I’ve certainly had moments I’m not proud of.  

HOW you speak to your kids matters more than you think… 

It could be criticism, a sarcastic comment, blowing your fuse, or maybe not even saying anything at all…   

I’ve heard lots of stories of men who just wished their Dad would have told them how proud they were—and sadly, not hearing those words affected everything. 

So, what’s going on here? And how do we show up and be better leaders for our own kids? That’s what today’s episode with Krister Ungerböck is all about.

Krister is a leadership communication expert, keynote speaker, and former CEO of a global tech company. In fact, he sold that company for over $200 million—and it was worth less than $1 million when he joined.

During his time there, he learned a lot of lessons about what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to communicating effectively as an employee, an entrepreneur, a husband, and a father—and he’s documented all of this wisdom in his bestselling book, 22 Talk SHIFTs: Tools to Transform Leadership in Business, in Partnership, and in Life

Before Krister released his book, he actually sat down and read the manuscript to his father, and this was his response…

I had no idea how my words hurt you.” 

I really loved speaking with Krister about this stuff. We talked about how most problems that families experience can be resolved, simply by changing the words that they use. He outlines some pretty simple (yet highly effective) tools you can immediately start using to improve how you communicate at home with your wife and kids. 

These practical tools include fill-in-the-blank phrases, powerful questions, and provocative exercises that can break the cycle of strained communication and strained relationships.

We also discussed why it’s so important for your kids to see you show emotions. SPOILER ALERT: Men who lead, aren’t afraid to cry!  

And don’t miss the end of our conversation. Krister shares the one question he asked his Dad at the age of 47 that changed their relationship forever. 

BTW, as a thank you for listening, I want to gift you a copy of Krister’s book! All I ask is that you write an honest review of the podcast on Apple. Be sure to mention the Krister Ungerböck episode in your review, take a screenshot, and email it to and I’ll mail you a copy of the book.

Some of the topics I discuss with Krister Ungerböck

  • Why Krister got no emotional validation from leading a hugely successful business–and the one thing he always wanted to hear from his father.
  • Why is it almost impossible to be a great father without being a great husband?
  • Why saying “That’s great” or “good job” meant so much less to Krister than hearing “I’m proud of you.”
  • How can we simply change our words to resolve some of our toughest conflicts?
  • What are the most damaging words we accidentally use daily?
  • Why Krister is trying not to use the word “you” in tense conversations at all.
  • Why do our spouses often take coaching from us so poorly?
  • When should we choose not to coach people?
  • The importance of teaching our children to cry like men (and what that means). 
  • Why Krister never really hung out with his Dad as friends until he was 47 years old. 
  • How can we heal from our relationships with overly critical parents?
“I see how the positive encouragement just inspires us to do better, so much more so than we did wrong.” - Krister Ungerböck Share on X “One of the biggest things that we can do as a father to our children is to be a great husband.” - Krister Ungerböck Share on X

Krister Ungerböck Links & Other Resources

Krister Ungerböck’s Bio

Krister UngerböckKrister Ungerböck is the former CEO of a global tech company, bestselling author, keynote speaker, and leadership language expert. He’s knowledge has appeared in numerous national and international publications, including NPR, Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur. Prior to exiting corporate life at age 42, Krister was CEO of one of the largest family-owned software companies in the world.

While leading the company to over 3,000% growth, his team created $100M in shareholder value, won five consecutive Top Workplace Awards, achieved remarkable employee engagement levels of 99.3%, and became a dominant player in its market niche — event management software.

Krister later founded The Talk SHIFT™ Movement, which is all about little language changes that can make a BIG difference, not only in business, but at home with your wife and kids.

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Disclaimer: The transcription you’re about to read was produced digitally. It’s 95% accurate, however at times, the system interprets words incorrectly. [/read]

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