Building your Conversational Intelligence

Who’s the boss of your conversations:  your brain or your mouth?

When others see things differently, are your responses productive or destructive?

Over the last year, Carolina Business Coach has become certified in Conversational Intelligence. This program, taught by author, coach and organizational anthropologist Judith Glaser, is based on the connection between our brains and our conversations, whether positive or negative. An understanding of this knowledge can now be used to help us:

  1. Become more powerful conversationalists/communicators
  2. Help us build trust in the workplace

In Judith E. Glaser’s book, "Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results”, she shares the latest research from neuroscience applicable for us all. Read Judith's post about conversations below:

A Simple Conversation is Anything But

by Judith E. Glaser

Most of us think of conversations as casual, but you reveal that they are much more than what they appear. What has your research revealed about the power and importance of conversation?

Conversational Intelligence is the intelligence hardwired into every human being to enable us to navigate successfully with others. Through language and conversations, we learn to build trust, to bond, to grow to each other, and to create our societies. There is no more powerful skill hardwired into every human being than the wisdom of conversations.

Conversations are not just the words we use when engaging with others. Our 35 years of research shows that conversations are the golden thread that keeps human beings connected relationally, neuro-chemically, and energetically. Our brain has the ability to ‘signal’ us when the connection feels like ‘distrust’ or when we feel ‘trust.’ Conversations happen like this:

Our conversations take place against the backdrop of our brain chemistry. Our state of mind – and our level of trust and distrust – directly impacts what kinds of conversations we have and how we interpret them. Equally so, our conversations impact how much we trust someone, or don’t.

Brain chemistry is like a symphony, moving us to higher or lower levels of trust or distrust as we converse with others. The brain is where trust lives or dies, and if we are threatened during our conversations, we activate the distrust networks, and if we are feeling trust, we activate the trust networks. According to Angelika Dimoka, Temple University, Fox School of Business, distrust takes place in the lower brain (the amygdala and limbic areas) and trust takes place in the higher brain (the prefrontal cortex).

In other words, the distrust, or fear network, closes down most of our thinking brain, giving power to our emotional and action brain, while the trust network opens up access to our executive brain – the neo-cortex and prefrontal cortex.

Reprinted with permission Judith E. Glaser