Conversational Intelligence – Judith E. Glaser
To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of our culture, which depends on the quality of our relationships, which depends on the quality of our conversations. Everything happens through conversations!
The Assumptions We Make About Other People
Trust is a key factor in helping people connect with each other through conversation. We often make snap decisions and assessments about the person we are talking with, and this involves identifying whether we think we can trust them.
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This can happen within 0.07 seconds, and this decision can heavily influence the nature of the conversation. If we trust the person, we feel safe and are able to share our views more candidly. Where distrust is involved, we can shut down and operate based on our assumptions.
The Conversational Dashboard: 3 Levels of Conversation
Transactional: people are exchanging information, updates, and facts that help us confirm if we are on the same page. There is not a lot of trust and people are focused on what they need to get from each other to confirm and validate their own perspectives.
Positional: here individuals are advocating for what they want and are seeking to ascertain whether they can influence the other individual to share their perspective.
Transformational: individuals conversing at this level seek to share their views and learn more about the perspectives of the others they are talking to.
Conversations are ‘rituals’ we embed into our culture and our relationships, and which give us a way to successfully structure our engagements with others… each ritual has a place and each enhances or impedes communication and engagement… Conversational rituals are what we do when we talk.
Effective And Ineffective Conversations
Our conversations can be structured in ways that support the development of shared trust and enable success. These conversations are the ones in which individuals respect and care about the other person’s perspective; they lead to “co-creating” conversations where both people are creating a shared sense of reality rather than trying to persuade the other person to see and agree with their point of view.
Ineffective conversations occur when individuals try to get their message across and talk past the other person—resulting in shared monologues as opposed to dialogue.
Conversational Blind Spots
They happen when we are seeing the situation from our own individual perspective rather than seeking to understand the other person’s point of view.
- Assuming others see, feel and think about the situation exactly as we do; this prevents us from trying to understand it from their perspective.
- Failing to realize that fear, trust, and distrust change how we see and interpret reality.
- Being unable to see something from someone else’s point of view if we are fearful or upset about a situation.
- Assuming we remember what others say, we actually remember what we think about what others say.