Articles & Publications

By Nicklas Balboa
Published in: Psychology Today

“How leaders lead in difficult times has been a study of the history of humanity, and we are now in school, learning together.” – Judith E. Glaser, Creator of Conversational Intelligence 

We are at an epic shift in history. Not only do words matter, they shape how the world functions. Judith E. Glaser taught us that “Words Create Worlds” because why and how we use our words determines the future course of action. If we choose our words wisely, we can all reach the next level of greatness together. However, if we twist our words to provoke, intentionally or inadvertently, fear can overshadow our evolution. 

Listen to Connect, not Reject

Language is a powerful tool; it has a direct impact on our psychology and our neurochemistry. Conversations change the brain, and they change relationships from the inside out. The words we use – and how we use them – trigger physical and emotional changes in the brain and body that either open us up for healthy connection, or close us down so that we speak from a place of fear and anxiety. We are on the cusp of a conversational reform; instead of focusing on who is right and who is in the wrong, success can be achieved by connecting our intentions to our impact. This motivates us and others to listen to connect, not reject.

Conversational Intelligence alerts us to the 3 levels of conversation. How we navigate these levels dictates the quality of our conversations. There are behavioral roadblocks and blind spots that prevent us from activating higher levels of interaction dynamics that pave the way to trust and healthy connection.

Are we engaging in ‘Tell, Sell, Yell’: where we’re forcing our point of view to the exclusion of others? Or are we ‘Addicted to Being Right’, where we’re persuading others that ours is the only right answer?

The unfortunate truth is that we cannot simply force others to assume our position. Tell, Sell, Yell, and Addiction to Being Right are the at core of our nation’s greatest divide. Not only do these behaviors erode trust, the cornerstone of Conversational Intelligence, they trigger our territorial instincts, bringing us into a more defensive part of our brain. Only by finding ways to calm our instinctive ‘protect’ mode, can we create transformational conversations!

Exploring New Territories, Together

When it comes to healthy conversations, we must strive to go beyond these territorial instincts and create space for actual change that generates action and real solutions. This willingness to explore uncharted territory together, with increased self-awareness and open-mindedness, will help to create a new language of shared success. This is the path to co-creating the future we desire.

These exercises in Conversational Intelligence bring us out of our ‘protective brain’ and into the ‘social brain’ that enables us to connect, navigate, and flourish together in this rapidly changing world. 

Which brain are you living in? Moving into transformational conversations will ignite your brain power and will help change the world.

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