by Judith E. Glaser
When we feel strongly that our point of view is right, our brain focuses on looking for evidence. We stop listening to other perspectives and fight for our point of view. We create a culture of conflict avoidance when others fear engaging with us. Leaders who are addicted to being right tend to think that all others are wrong and fail to see and acknowledge their negative impact on the culture.
Conversational Rituals Shape the Conversational Space
Conversational Rituals are how we architect a conversation, how we structure the interaction dynamics of a conversation. They activate the neurochemicals that drive our conversations and behavior. Rituals hold all cultures together because they are sticky! They are the norms or how we do things around here. Conversational Rituals are what makes, moves and manifests culture, relationships and engagement. Rituals define a culture and transfer to each generation the norms that work to hold us together.
Just as conversational rituals embody what to do, conversational taboos embody what not to do. For example, it may be taboo to tell a boss you disagree with him, or to upstage her. When you engage in a taboo, you usually get into trouble.
The word culture is an ‘abstract term’ that includes ‘how we do things around here, along with many other behaviors that are visible and invisible. Culture includes both visible and invisible things that drive us to connect or disconnect with others. Neuroscience research has identified ‘isolation’ as the pivotal most important reason why people get sick, and fail to achieve their goals. Isolation is like living with a phone that rings but ‘no-one answers.’
Conversation rituals create culture that activates ‘the glue’ of success. Since conversational rituals embody what to do and conversational taboos embody what not to do, we build communities and cultures as we engage with others over time. We can create a culture of trust using conversational intelligence skills (C-IQ). When you start with the basics and build on a strong foundation, your C-IQ skills improve and create a culture of trust.
C-IQ starts with five foundational skills:
1) Listen to connect;
2) Ask questions for which you have no answers;
3) Prime for Trust; and
4) Sustain Conversational Agility and
5) Double-clicking to get inside of what others are actually seeing, feeling and want to say.
You don’t have to be an Organizational Anthropologist like me to learn the core conversational skills and practice them every day. When you decide to experiment with C-IQ Essentials and core methodologies, you’ll see a shift take place in your leaders, culture and brand. A sense of personal identity and responsibility emerges that propels your organization forward—not as individual I’s but as a team of WE’s
Power-Up Your C-IQ Skills for Mutual Success
The power of healthy, transformational conversations can’t be measured on one dimension alone. It impacts all three levels—leadership, culture and brand. C-IQ helps leaders describe, deconstruct, and transform their organizations – leading to greater mutual success. Getting 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 is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and Chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is an Organizational Anthropologist, and consults to Fortune 500 Companies. Judith is the author of 4 best-selling business books, including her newest Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion, 2013)