Learn to Talk WITH People, Not AT Them

Hit a wall? So many ambitious and talented leaders plateau and even regress once they “reach the top” of the ladder, mountain or organizational structure they’ve been climbing. There’s a simple reason this can happen, and it sometimes come down to conversation.

Top leaders still face new mountains to climb – engaging a broader audience of potential partners – both inside and outside the company to make change happen. While some top leaders tend to be great talkers, and are natural pitchmen for their visions and strategies, many plateau when it comes to connecting deeply. They’ve learned to talk at people, not with them, and it can hold them and their projects back.

To reverse course, you must tap into Conversational Intelligence, a framework for knowing which conversations trigger different brain activities for constructive communication. Research has shown that engaging conversations trigger the brain’s prefrontal cortex, a section that enables trust and good judgement, reducing fears and threats. This opens the door to more innovative and creative results with others, now and in the future. When people co-create – they feel ownership for the results; they feel more accountable, they are willing to work harder to bring the ideas to fruition and they produce higher levels of productivity at work. Through co-creating conversations, we can connect with others in healthy and productive ways, something vital for mutual success.

Leaders looking for their next step would do well to remember the word “aspire” has a Latin root: “to breathe.” To achieve more, ideas need to flow freely and to fuel us. We can then breathe in a coherent, collaborative way we aspire together, and our capabilities increase.

To ensure you’re engaging in co-creating conversations, apply these four tips.

1. When you meet someone new. Say, “I’m so glad I met you!” Or “You look familiar!” Our brains are designed to be social. The need to belong is more powerful than the need for safety. Feeling rejected activates our fear networks and increases the level of cortisol, which moves us into protective behaviors. A sense of inclusion reduces protective cortisol levels while increasing oxytocin and promoting bonding.

2. When you brainstorm with a diverse group. Say, “thank you” or “That’s a great point.” Reaching out to connect and appreciate others’ perspectives, even if you don’t agree, elevates trust, or feeling like a friend, thus creating a larger framework for thinking together. Make sure to appreciate others’ contributions, comment on how their idea has helped you, and let them know how much you appreciate their thinking. Appreciation reshapes our neural networks, activating a larger framework of neurons in our brain that enables higher levels of seeing, hearing, and thinking broader and bigger.

3. When you want to persuade someone. Say nothing – at first. Put yourself in your listener’s shoes. Empathy activates the mirror neuron network located in the prefrontal cortex or Executive Brain. When we mirror each other, we can see and experience the world through each other’s eyes. This activates higher oxytocin production, which facilitates bonding, collaboration and co-creation and elevates trust and openness. We become comfortable sharing what is really on our minds.

4. When you need to solve a difficult problem. Say, “Tell me your thoughts,” and listen to connect. When we are uncertain, both the distrust and trust networks are activated at the same time. We more easily fall into groupthink to be safe in the crowd, or we close up for fear we will look weak. Make it safe to be transparent about what you are uncertain about. Don’t penalize those who speak up – encourage them to share. Conversational Intelligence is the ability to master the power of connection to enhance your relationships and gain better business and personal results.

Remember, Conversational Intelligence helps you become smarter at navigating your social highway. It’s not about how smart you are, but how open you are to learning effective conversational rituals that prime the brain for trust, partnership, and mutual success. Entrepreneurs who put relationships before tasks can build bridges for connection that lead to real greatness.

> Read more from Judith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Judith Glaser

Judith Glaser

Judith E. Glaser is the CEO of Benchmark Communications and the chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is the author of six books, including Creating WE (Platinum Press, 2005) and Conversational Intelligence (BiblioMotion, 2013), and a consultant to Fortune 500 companies.

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Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
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Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Cultural Transformation is a Leadership Skill Everyone Can Learn

Culture transformation is an advanced leadership skill. The primary way to change a culture is to use your conversational intelligence to create an environment that infuses energy and commitment into relationships, teams and the whole organization. Too often we get stuck in habit patterns of talking about but not creating change.

The more we talk about change, the more we talk about all the problems and challenges that can emerge, resulting in negative mindsets, which trigger fear hormones and threat networks in our brains. No wonder change is so difficult. By the time we are ready to take action, we are frozen in place.

However, you can shift the way you think about change the same way successful leaders do to navigate their own journeys.

> 1st Success Factor: Be the Change for Transforming the Culture

The first skill is to be the change for transforming the culture. Realize that you have the power, influence and ability to see and understand the culture in which you work, and how you can play a role in transforming it into a healthier, more inspiring and thriving culture. Transforming culture can mean a culture that is so powerful it transforms itself, or it can mean that you play a role in activating the culture transformation.

Call to Action: Envision how you can play a catalytic role in transforming your culture. Envision how you can be accountable for co-creating transformation in your culture by the way you show up at work every day. When you put skin in the game, you become the change that transforms the culture.

> 2nd Success Factor: Step out of Your Comfort Zone

The second skill, embrace the opportunity, is the ability to step out of your comfort zone and, rather than allowing fear of the unknown paralyze you, embrace the opportunity with excitement and enthusiasm. Your shift in focus will create positive ripple effects on those you influence. By fully stepping out of your comfort zone into a new opportunity, you are activating your ability to transform yourself and inspire courage in others.

Call to Action: Embracing opportunity both encourages others and inspires courage in yourself. By seeing transformation and change as a way to grow, you influence how you experience the challenge in a positive and less fearful way.

> 3rd Success Factor: Open the Space for Conversations

The third skill, create space for conversations, is the ability to intentionally open up opportunities for feedback-rich conversations one-on-one, within teams, and across the organization. By opening up space for and creating conversational journeys, you establish an environment in which employees have room to learn, grow and be nourished by new ideas and energy.

Call to Action: Creating spaces is a call to action you need to take every day to open the space for more innovative, generative and catalytic conversations to take place in your relationships and teams. This space signals our brain that we can discover and share new ideas we’ve never talked about before.

> 4th Success Factor: Practice Co-creating Conversations

The fourth skill, practice co-creating conversations, is a core to conversational intelligence. In the previous steps, you learned to recognize and release old baggage filled with toxic experiences that negatively undermine and denigrate relationships, and replace them with new meanings that positively uplift and inspire relationships. This empowers a new sense of optimism and effectiveness.

As a leader, you can begin to have co-creating conversations. Co-creating conversations are conversations that have the ability to release the past and open space for the future with others — a psychological state of being that is powerful and transforms us.

Call to Action: Co-creating conversations means opening the space for new energy for co-creation with others. This is a space where you and others are open to think about what you don’t know, what you don’t know you don’t know and to explore possibilities that you never thought about before.

> 5th Success Factor: Shaping Stories 

Finally, the fifth skill is shaping stories. Having moved from a place of understanding to challenging, then stepping out and releasing, and finally opening space for co-creating conversations, you have now mastered the most proactive and intentional skill of shaping the story of your team’s collective success. This is what visionary leaders and organizations do. It’s work you do with others, not on your own in isolation. What you co-create together are shared stories for success that envision and make possible the fulfillment of WE.

Call to Action: Shaping stories is a call to action that allows you to realize how you shape the stories’ impact on how the future unfolds. Reflect every day in a conscious way on how you shape stories so that they are winning, inclusive and appreciative. These conversations have the ability to re-frame your view of the world, give you and others hope for the future and enable you to see the best outcomes for all of us. Both meanings have the power to transform.

How You Label Determines How You See

Empowering your team to work in concert to achieve your organization’s goals and strategies requires flexibility of thought, agility of mind and speed of response. Most of all, it requires you to break out of old conversational habits and negative patterns of communicating and view the impact you can have on your business in totally new ways.

Use conversational intelligence as a way to break from the past and create the future. Rather than thinking about situations as problems, see them as challenges and opportunities, and communicate this point of view in your conversations with others. Until you challenge yourself to change old thinking and conversational habits, you will see little change from yesterday to today.

Once you do, you will find you become a catalyst for change wherever you go, and you will discover new energy appears around you for tackling big challenges and achieving the desired results and targets regardless of their size and difficulty.

>> Read more from Judith.

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| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Leadership >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Judith Glaser

Judith Glaser

Judith E. Glaser is the CEO of Benchmark Communications and the chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is the author of six books, including Creating WE (Platinum Press, 2005) and Conversational Intelligence (BiblioMotion, 2013), and a consultant to Fortune 500 companies.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How Better Listening Can Improve Your Conversations and Your Leadership

For a leader, listening is perhaps the most important skill of all. As a leader, we must learn to listen while navigating along with the person speaking toward a common destination – mutual understanding.

Whether your talents are in sales, systems engineering, administration, technical support, or leadership, listening to connect with others – requires a new and powerful form of deep listening.

When having a conversation you can improve your precision listening skills by asking questions that will help you gain more insight from the speaker. By intentionally navigating through a conversation, we can move from making assumptions to gaining clarification of meaning and intent – and it happens by asking the right questions.

Judith Glaser, CEO of the Benchmarking Institution and Chair of the Creating WE Institute, has developed examples of these navigational-listening questions that will guide your next important conversation.

You can download these questions along with other practical helps for your next conversation here.

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A recent release of our SUMS free book summaries also spoke directly to this topic.

Conversational Intelligence, also by Judith Glaser, advances the theory that the key to success in life and business is to become a master at “Conversational Intelligence.” It’s not about how smart you are, but how open you are to learn new and effective powerful conversational rituals that prime the brain for trust, partnership, and mutual success.

Download a copy of this free summary here.

SUMS_ConversationalIntelligence

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Tags: , , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Communication >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Judith Glaser

Judith Glaser

Judith E. Glaser is the CEO of Benchmark Communications and the chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is the author of six books, including Creating WE (Platinum Press, 2005) and Conversational Intelligence (BiblioMotion, 2013), and a consultant to Fortune 500 companies.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
Sorry, the author of this content has removed the links at the original source!
 
— VRcurator
 
The hypertext link is broken for the pdf download - can it be fixed? Thanks!
 
— Steve Elliott
 
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.