Oliver Demille "Family, Freedom, Prosperity"

Conversational Intelligence takes leadership to a whole new level. For decades we have been taught about the Intelligence Quotient (C-IQ), and more recently Daniel Goleman's book Emotional Intelligence revolutionized the leadership and self-help industry by showing us how relationships matter deeply and how relationship skills are more important than IQ for effective leadership. Goleman called Emotional Intelligence EQ.

Howard Gardner taught that there are seven core intelligences, including musical intelligence, mathematical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, and spatial intelligence, among others, and Stephen Covey reframed the idea of intelligence to habits, things we do (or don't do) that bring most success--especially if we do them automatically, without having to think about it.

Together, these understandings of human knowledge, skills and habits have had a huge influence on business, education and political leadership in the past several decades.

Enter Judith Glaser and her new addition to the whole field of leadership: Conversational Intelligence (CQ). This is as revolutionary as the contributions of Golemen, Covey or Malcolm Gladwell.

Conversational Intelligence, according to Glaser, goes beyond using words to communicate, share important ideas, or influence people. Indeed, it is advanced beyond mere communication like calculus is advanced beyond simple counting.

The crux of Conversational Intelligence is knowing that the words we use, and how we use them, has a direct impact on the brain neurochemistry of the people who hear what we say. This is real power, and those who understand the incredible influence of words are able to use them more effectively to lead, sway, and impact other people.

This can be used for good or ill, so it is essential for leaders to understand it--both to use it to effectively serve and help others, and also to avoid being negatively swayed by others who may use words and their neurochemical impact for the wrong reasons. This is deeply important, a new level of wisdom for leaders in all sectors.

But while the book is based on deep science and cutting-edge research, it isn't boringly technical or dry. Quite the opposite, Conversational Intelligence is a fun read, full of interesting examples and engaging stories. For example, Glaser teaches about the STAR Skills--Skills That Achieve Results, how our brains respond to threats and how to have real control over our emotions and responses, and how to "turn adversaries into partners."

It also teaches leaders how to use neuroscience to be better speakers, mentors, and how to improve their relationships. Consider the following important lessons from the book:

* How to shift the mind (and organizations) from the mentality of I to the mentality of We

* How to create space (and therefore room for change) in any conversation or relationship

* Why the words we use in conversations are rarely neutral, and how to recognize this and utilize it effectively

* What we can learn from our worst conversations

* How leaders can understand conversations, words, and speeches in a multidimensional (rather than linear) way

* Why many leaders fail to connect, and what to do about it

* How our conversations with people either trigger trust or something else, and how to recognize and understand the neurochemistry of both

* How to be an open, candid, caring leader--using words

* What words and speaking patterns cause mistrust, and trust

This knowledge is simply vital for leaders. Those who don't know this material will always be operating from behind. Not reading and understanding this book will be like refusing to use social media or a cell phone--it's a true revolution in leadership.

Once we know how all this works, Glaser teaches the reader how to apply the trust model to everyday life, in 5 incredibly powerful steps. Again, these may be as essential as knowing and applying Covey's 7 Habits. Those who don't know the 5 Steps of Trust are limiting their own leadership abilities.

Everything I've mentioned here is found just in the Part I of this excellent book. Part II teaches readers how to master the techniques of great conversations, and Part III helps leaders apply them to organizational and large-scale leadership. This book is a must read!

I loved Glaser's earlier books, Creating We and The DNA of Leadership, and Conversational Intelligence is even better.

One of the most powerful parts of the book is a section titled, "The Roadmap for Building Conversational Agility." This is the highest level of Conversational Intelligence, where a person understands how the brain and words work so well that he or she can use words with agility--to drastically empower, uplift, motivate, and serve people.

This is profound. Top leaders learn to use words to create genuine, authentic trust and five important mindshifts:

1-From fear to Co-Creating

2-From power (and politics) to genuine Relationship Building

3-From uncertainty to Understanding

4-From a need to be right to Mapping Shared Success

5-From groupthink to Group Cohesion and Partnering

How can you make these shifts? Well, you'll have to read the book.

This book reminds me of the astute wisdom of works like Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis, Good to Great by Jim Collins, and Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. In short, every leader should read Conversational Intelligence.

And every person should understand Glaser's seven types of conversations. Each is vital to success at home, in relationships, school, career, and leadership.

Finally, the four stages of any successful conversation--between individuals, a few people, or large crowds and even entire organizations--is downright exceptional. Readers will be changed--improved--just by reading it.

Needless to say, I'm really enjoyed this book. I learned so much. I can't recommend it highly enough. I wish it were allowed to give it 6 Stars! Read it! You'll become a better person and leader with every page.


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