Conversational Intelligence: Do You Have It?

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(DGIwire) — Given that we are all somewhat risk averse and tend to shy away from confrontation—in business and in our personal lives—communication between all of us has become severely disconnected.  Add to this our ever-present smart phones, our computers, and workaholics bringing projects home, and you can clearly see why distracted listening has turned into an epidemic.

“We disconnect during conversations, mentally rehearsing our rebuttals while the other person talks and relationships fall apart,” says Judith E. Glaser, a pioneering “organizational anthropologist,” executive coach and author of the best-selling book Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results. The good news: Glaser believes she has a solution, and her strategy has already turned hundreds of bad listeners into great ones.  Glaser, along with colleague Mike Stabile, Ph.D. of Xavier University, instituted the “60-Day C-IQ Challenge.”

Already, Glaser reports, she is getting emails and calls from around the world with incredible stories of how people’s business and personal lives are dramatically changing – one rewarding conversation at a time. As Glaser explains, “Everything happens through conversations. Conversations have three levels. We need all three, yet we have blind spots.  Not realizing we have remained on the superficial level, we get frustrated when others don’t hear us, don’t get us, or don’t understand us.  We keep trying to ‘tell-sell-yell’ or become ‘addicted to being right’ and blind to how bad others feel.  Fortunately the human brain is a very adaptive to change, especially when it has rewarding effects,” she relates.

One of the most powerful C-IQ Neuro-tips is “Listen to Connect.”   As one executive reported, “I carry a 3×5 card with me that says, FOCUS: “Listen to Connect!” Over the past 60 days I have taken five minutes before each meeting to focus my mind on doing that. This simple practice has made me more relaxed and engaged, and changed the outcome favorable for even my most difficult conversations.”

Another businessman told Glaser, “I can’t believe how disconnected I’ve been. Over the past 60 days of listening to connect I put away my smart phone, left any unfinished work and other distractions at the office, and listened to my wife and kids in the moment and without judgment. The connection I feel with my family is something I haven’t experienced in a very long time.”

Conversational Intelligence provides Neuro-tips for elevating C-IQ in relationships, teams and organizations.  The essential premise behind the book—now in its second printing after only two months—is this, says Glaser: “Conversational Intelligence helps us understand that every time we ‘listen to connect ‘it produces a surge of oxytocin in our brain. This neurotransmitter facilitates more trusting conversations and opens up our relationships rather than closing them down.”

Each Neuro-tip in the book is designed to produce results that can be profound and life-changing, Glaser notes, adding, “As more of us interact on this deepest level of communication, the greater the opportunity to elevate conversational intelligence on a global level, and in the process hopefully make an incalculable difference in the entire human conversation.”

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