|by Judith E. Glaser
“To get to the next level of greatness, depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of the relationships, which depends on the quality of the conversations. Everything happens through conversations!” – Judith E. Glaser
Everything happens through conversations.
It’s what differentiates humans from other species and enables us to develop and handle complexity and ambiguity, to evolve and grow, and to teach others what we know. Conversation allows us to build common languages, definitions, and meanings that in turn create community.
Conversations are the difference between trust and distrust, protection and innovation, exclusion and inclusion. Conversations are how we connect and communicate with others. Words are not the things-they are representations and symbols we use to see, think and process our perceptions of reality with others.
Yet few leaders understand how vital conversation is to the health and productivity of their culture. Unhealthy conversations are at the root of distrust, deceit, betrayal, and avoidance-which leads to lower productivity, innovation, and ultimately, lower success.
By understanding how language triggers different parts of the brain and stimulates certain habits and behaviors, leaders can develop their Conversational Intelligence to build healthier, more resilient organizations in the face of change.
A seemingly simple act such as talking with a colleague, a small momentary exchange of words in a hallway, has the ability to alter someone’s life permanently. Phrases like “I can’t do that!” and “If I only knew how!” may take only seconds to utter, but they can be life changing. There is little connection between the time it takes to say the words and the lasting impact they may have on a person, a relationship, or an organization.
Why do we need to understand Conversational Intelligence?
A Business Case for Mindfulness
How can you create the conversational space that creates deeper understanding and engagement rather than fear and avoidance? Take three action steps:
For more information on conversations, read The American Express Open Forum article entitled “When is Nice too Nice?”
Judith E. Glaser is the CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc., and the Chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is one of the most innovative and pioneering change agents, consultants and executive coaches in the consulting industry – and refers to herself as an Organizational Anthropologist.
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