How to Develop Leadership Intelligence using Conversational Intelligence©

Of the thirteen Intelligences identified in my model, there is one intelligence that embodies them all – Conversational Intelligence ®. A leader can activate all the other intelligences using the power of conversation!

Neuroscience and linguistic studies reveal that the things we say, the words we use, create physical and chemical reactions in us and that words literally change our physiology. It is the interaction of chemicals in our brains and genes that build trust in business or personal relationships.

The limbic systemis the part of the brain that is responsible for feelings and emotions and lets us know within .07 seconds whether or not we have connected with others and are accepted by them. Whether or not we can trust them. In distrust this primitive brain generates cortisol, a stress hormone, and goes into “fight” flight” or “freeze” reactions and all logical and creative thinking is put on hold and it impacts negatively on memory, resilience and emotional regulation. This is referred to as the Amygdala Hijack. When this happens, this older braintries to protect us by increasing our adrenaline which stops the production of oxytocin in our newer brain and we are unable to get growth and connection.

In a trusting conversation the prefrontal cortex is loaded with oxytocin, a hormone and neurotransmitter, which generates feelings of well-being and results in bonding behaviours. It allows wisdom, integrity, strategy, insights, empathy, foresight and creativity to emerge.

For leaders to be prepared for the constant and necessary change in their businesses, they need to know how to best engage with their teams (both internal and external) using positive conversations that make the listener feel important and valued.

And conversation is two-way, so in turn, for trust to exist, the leader must encourage the listener to make themselves vulnerable, to share, and to take risks.

People in high-trust relationships are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that goals are met. If, however, they feel that they are not valued they will focus on self-preservation which will result in people spending time covering their own backs rather than experimenting with new and innovative ideas.

Tips for building trust and a safe environment to allow your team to flourish:

T = Transparency

  • Create a safe environment
  • Share visions and goals
  • Explain the threats and conquer the fears
  • Tell the truth with candour and caring
  • Be vulnerable and share your story and/or your lack of knowledge and admit your mistakes

R = Relationship

  • Good meaningful co-created conversations to paint a picture of shared success
  • Listen to understand and to connect
  • Build rapport
  • Develop respect
  • Retain confidences and demonstrate integrity
  • Demonstrate care and empathy
  • Stay open and non-judgemental
  • Be prepared to learn and to grow
  • Provide support as needed
  • Be responsive and keep promises and commitments

U = Understand

  • Ask questions for which you have no answer – double click on a conversation to see the world through the other person’s eyes
  • Become aware of your unconscious behaviours and how they impact on others

S = Shared Success

  • Share and celebrate success often to elevate oxytocin, the neurotransmitter which elevates collaboration and bonding
  • Lower your attachment of “addicted to being right” and explore new co-created possibilities
  • Elevate your curiosity

T – Test Assumptions

  • Create a culture that encourages risk-taking
  • Test assumptions

Conversational Intelligence® is a revolutionary body of work leveraging the power of neuroscience to create profound and lasting transformation for individuals, teams and entire organisational cultures. Combining science and intuition, Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) aspires to shift our world from I-Centric to WE-Centric and architect Conversational Transformation on a neurochemical level.

Whether applied to individual leaders and executives, teams or entire organisations, C-IQ is a force for positive transformation such as establishing high levels of trust, triggering growth and innovation, overcoming limiting conversational patterns or gracefully navigating difficult conversations.

As a coach Certified in Conversational Intelligence® I have access to the C-IQ Catalyst Tools and technologies and am equipped to facilitate workshops, masterminds and other in-depth sessions utilising C-IQ tools and frameworks to elevate performance results, shift organisations into Level III Conversational Rituals, create and sustain a healthy organisational culture and much more.

Together, we are changing the World one conversation at a time.

Words create worlds

 This work is adapted from Conversational Intelligence® and the work of Judith E. Glaser © Benchmark Communications, Inc. and The CreatingWE® Institute. All rights reserved.