I finished reading Conversational Intelligence by Judith Glazer. I usually listen to books, but this one is only available in print so I consumed it that way, which was an achievement for me. 🙂
Judith has spent much of her adult life studying the impact of conversations on people, teams and whole organizations. She’s worked with Burberry, Edy’s, Exide, and Clairol among others to improve their cultures and thereby, their businesses, by improving the quality of their conversations.
This quote from her sums up what this book is all about:
“To get to the next level of greatness, depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of the relationships, which depends on the quality of the conversations. Everything happens through conversation!”
Judith talks about 3 levels of conversation and encourages us to set up and have Level III conversations as often as possible. Those are conversations where we ask questions for which we have no answers, we are open to co-creating, and we’re not trying to tell, sell, convince or persuade. We are sharing and discovering.
Can you see how a Level III conversation differs from the usual? It’s one where Trust is established at an elevated level and people can be completely open and unguarded.
When we have Level III conversations, we cover new ground and find new answers to problems that plagued us previously. We strengthen relationships with co-workers, family members or friends because we’re not trying to get something done. We’re experimentoring as Judith calls it and just seeing where the conversation leads.
In Level I conversations we are telling and asking, while in Level II conversations we are advocating and inquiring. These are not bad aspects to conversation, serving a purpose at certain times, but for solving big problems and making important new discoveries, they are inadequate.
Judith has created a new term called C-IQ, which is referred to often in the book. And, by reading Conversational Intelligence, you’ll gain C-IQ. You’ll learn how to reframe, refocus and redirect conversations to be more beneficial for all parties involved. You’ll understand how the various parts of the brain work when engaged in conversation.
You’ll also understand how our body releases chemicals such as oxytocin or cortisol dependent on the type of conversation we’re having and how these chemicals affect us. Cortisol, which is released when we have arguments or fear-inducing encounters, can course through our body for up to 48 hours.
I highly recommend this book and can’t say enough good things about it. I am happy to say that I bought this book from Barnes & Noble at a physical store!