Conversational Essentials from Judith E. Glaser’s Conversational Intelligence®
Being Open to Influence
Connecting without judgement; engaging and listening to what others are saying and even thinking, rather than preparing for what we want to say next.
Think of this Essential as the overarching mindset and attitude we cultivate in order to really utilise the other Conversational Essentials in a masterful and consistent way. When we are Open to Influence, we are connecting without judgement. We are engaging and listening to what others are saying and even thinking rather than preparing for what we want to say next. When coaching or working with others we cultivate an open mindset. We embody curiosity and we are open to deeply hearing what others are saying without filtering it through our own agenda. Most of all we are open to changing our mind.
Prime for Trust
Creating a healthy mental, emotional and conversational environment that activates higher levels of partnering.
Think of this Essential as the foundation of C-IQ. Trust is when we believe others will deliver on their promises. Distrust is when we doubt others are telling the truth and assume, they will not deliver on their promises. When we trust others, we experience higher levels of oxytocin, a neurotransmitter which creates higher levels of bonding and mutual success. When we distrust others, we experience higher levels of cortisol, which closes down our brain and relationship with others. Priming for Trust enables us to work as partners and opens us up to achieve higher levels of success with others. TRUST involves actively bringing the following behaviours into your interactions with others:
TRANSPARENCY-RELATIONSHIP-UNDERSTANDING-SHARED SUCCESS-TRUTH TELLING
Trust lives in the Pre-frontal Cortex, and Distrust lives in the Primitive and Limbic Brain. When you Prime for TRUST, you create a healthy mental, emotional and conversational environment that activates higher levels of partnering. When trust exists, your conversations with others produce more openness, candour, courage and caring. Reflect on the following ways you can evaluate trust and co-creation:
- How can I create a safe environment?
- Can I be more transparent about desired outcomes and shared threats that may stand in the way?
- What actions, thoughts or words will enable the other person to shift from protect to partner?
- How can I establish rapport?
- How can I establish a ‘power-with-others’ context?
- What can we say to reduce conflict and open a view of what mutual success looks like?
- How can I approach my client (colleague or employee) with caring, courage and candour?
- Can we identify Reality Gaps, and stay open to test assumptions?
- Can I/we stay in Share and Discover – listen to connect and be open to change our minds?
Ask Questions for Which You/We Have No Answers
Being in a mindset of discovery, and co-creating a space of sharing and discovering.
Think of Asking Questions for Which You Have No Answers as a way of exploring beyond what you already know, to what you don’t know. Too often we ask questions for which we think we already have answers, guiding people toward where we want them to go. Others may feel this as ‘asking leading questions’ – and this can be interpreted as manipulation which puts people on guard, and activates our distrust networks. When we ask questions for which we have no answer, we are in a mindset of discovery and others feel this as inquisitive, curious and even caring, which puts people in a co-creating, trusting, and receptive state of mind. When you and others ask questions for which you have no answers, you are co-creating a space for ‘sharing and discovering’, which elevate your ability to co-create and partner with others.
Listening to Connect, Not Judge, Confirm or Reject
Focusing attention on the other person: opening yourself up to connect to the other person’s aspiration and ‘view of the world’ in a non-judgmental way.
Listening to Connect – not judge, confirm or reject activates partnering. Too often we listen to understand – which is more about listening to confirm what you already know. Listening to connect is about focusing your attention on the other person: What are they trying to say? What are they thinking? What are they hoping you will help them explore? Listening to Connect – is about opening yourself up to connect to the other person’s aspirations and ‘view of the world’ in a non-judgmental way. What are their needs and interests? How can you connect to their world?
Sustaining Conversational Agility
Moving in and out of conversations with ease and agility; create new ‘conversational space’ that elevates trust and invites wisdom and insight to emerge.
Conversational Agility enables us to move in and out of conversations with ease and agility. When a conflict is brewing, or you see a better way to frame the conversation, you can interrupt the pattern by Reframing, Refocusing and Redirecting. Conversational Agility enables people to create a new ‘conversational space’ that facilitates wisdom and insight to emerge. For example, you can use Reframing to set a new context for a situation from ‘difficult to different’. For Refocusing you can move a conversation from ‘looking at the situation as a problem, to looking at it as an opportunity’. For Redirecting, you can direct people to ‘Aspirations, instead of problems’. Each one of these Agility skills can totally change a conversation from ‘low trust to elevated trust’.
Uncover and explore what is in the other person’s mind, gaining clarity and deeper understanding of others’ perspectives, their deeply held beliefs, and their unique points of view.
Double-Clicking is a great tool to use with all of the other Essentials. When we Double-Click, we are uncovering and exploring what is in the other person’s mind. Double-Clicking is ‘opening the deeper connections’ that are linked deeply in others’ minds. Asking “What does that mean to you?” or “How do you envision next steps?” are very powerful questions to deepen your conversation. By Double-Clicking you can better understand how others see the world. You gain clarity and understanding of what triggers others and also gain a deeper understanding of others’ perspectives, their deeply held beliefs, and their unique points of view.
Acknowledgement: Judith E. Glaser and her major work Conversational Intelligence® for Coaches.
I believe that understanding the importance of communication … as a key management competency … is crucial; but mastering and applying the essential fundamentals of Conversational Intelligence® is the key to success in the leadership role.