When I first saw C-IQ, Conversational Intelligence, I thought, “What in the world is this!? Don’t we already have enough with IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient)?!”
Turns out we didn’t. And that’s a good thing.
Judith E. Glaser, a pioneer forging new roads via the intersection of neuroscience and conversations, calls herself an organizational anthropologist. She’s spent 40-some years studying organizations and what makes the successful ones successful and the others, well, not.
As a coach, her work appeals to me because it offers me a way to talk to my clients in a more scientific, proof based way that is less “woo woo”, which sometimes stereotypes the coaching profession. And I was beyond thrilled to be accepted into their most recent coach training cadre as a scholarship recipient.
Judith’s book, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, will walk you through all the details and the neuroscience should you want to drink from the fire hose, and in the meantime, I’ll summarize a few parts that stood out to me.
A problem many teams experience today is that they don’t realize the conversations they’re having affect us on a chemical and energetic level.
This is problematic because we think we’re having one conversation with an employee, for example, and the employee is hearing a completely different conversation in their head. An important tip that I’ve learned from the Conversational Intelligence coaching course is that meaning resides with the listener.
You can say whatever you want all day long and unless you take into consideration the chemical and energetic forces at work behind your words, you can and will be misunderstood. And in a worst case scenario, you just might be creating problems that are challenging and time-consuming to overcome later.
And no one likes that.
Conversational Intelligence’s core lies in trust.
I was working with my mentor coach several months back and he asked me a curious question, “How is trust built?” At the time, I quickly moved on from the question because it didn’t make sense to me. I thought that trust was just there. I mean, it existed because I did “the right things” and I “treated people well”. Both of which are incredibly vague.
Conversational Intelligence has helped me to better answer and understand that question because trust can actually be mapped in our brain and we can know what actions build trust and which ones break down trust.
And to reinforce what you probably already know: trust is really really hard to get back once it’s lost. Want to know why? It’s because our brain is flooded with chemicals that shut down the higher functions that allow us to feel empathy and to forgive. It as if a physical switch has been flipped. We physiologically cannot move into different parts of our brain (which correspond with different types of actions, feelings, ways of being) until we understand the chemical and energetic triggers and learn to self-regulate.
“To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of relationships, which depends on the quality of conversations. Everything happens through conversations.” – Judith E. Glaser
Of course, it would be VERY difficult to summarize all my learning in one little blog post and so I won’t even attempt. To learn more, I recommend you pick up a copy of Judith’s book or even seek out a C-IQ Coach to help you implement these new tools into your personal and professional life.
And I’ll close with the reassurance that your “gut instinct” is not made up. And that fact is more scientifically proven now than ever. I encourage you to pay close attention to the messages that your body is sending. Might it just be that the upset stomach you’re feeling is a chemical signal from your brain to do something different?
How might C-IQ benefit your conversations?