Protocol Consultants International Book Review

By Judith Bowman |
Published: April 23, 2014

Conversations are the source of energy that have the power to release transformational thoughts – (products and goods) into the world. Conversations are the golden threads that enable us to move forward and trust others. It is through conversation that we communicate and ultimately, connect. Conversation is integral to the health and productivity of a company culture.  

We here at PCI have always spoken to the importance of conversation (skills) as a means to help place the other person at ease while learning information, sharing information, earning trust, and advancing critical business relationships. I am delighted to recommend Judith Glaser’s new book, Conversational Intelligence. Judith brings the importance of conversation skill to the next level and contends that everything happens through conversation and nothing happens without it. Moreover, setting the right conversational tone stimulates the brain to appeal to others, activate higher engagement, build more resilient organizations and get transformational results with employees, customers and vendors. The key to success in life and business is to become a master at CI. “It is not about how smart you are, but how open you are. Conversations prime the brain of trust, partnerships and ultimately, mutual success. Getting to the next level depends on the quality of culture, which depends upon the quality of relationships which is contingent upon the quality of our conversations.” Trust is the foundation of quality, successful relationships and the fuel for navigating, indeed, creating the future; trust changes reality.

Communication and Trust – A Neurochemical Reality

Glaser contends that when we communicate with others we essentially feel good or bad. We feel good when we have a sense of fairness, ownership, reciprocity, cooperation, open expression and status. This state coexists with neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin (the happy neurotransmitters) as well as oxytocin (a bonding hormone.) Together, these neurotransmitters buffer against stress and produce pleasure. When we consistently feel good around certain people, that feeling typically leads to greater trust and when we feel trust, the relationship/cycle is reinforced. Unhealthy conversation is the root of distrust, deceit, betrayal and avoidance … it promotes lower levels of productivity and innovation and yields low success. Bad conversations are unhealthy and non-productive. Either way, every communication (with another person) has a chemical component. Conversation triggers different parts of our brain that can either catalyze and freeze our brains in protective patterns or enhance and develop conversation skills. Conversations stimulate production of hormones, neurotransmitters and nerve pathways, body systems and have the ability to literally change our body chemistry.  

Conversation and Storytelling

Conversation and sharing stories of mutual success actually shifts our neurochemistry. Glaser urges us to become curious about others’ perspectives, knowledge and success. This intentional shift releases dopamine which creates curiosity in our brain. “When we are curious and ask questions of others, the heart connects to our brain, engaging us to open up. When this happens it sends a whole new path of neurotransmitters that enable connection with others. This encourages successful conversations.” Judith maintains that successful conversations encourage us to define success together, make meaning and create the story together that describes the reality you want to co-create. Physiologically, this stimulates more oxytocin and will create new bonds of friendship, understanding, trust. Trust leads to rewards that go beyond words and feelings; they are a neurochemical reality.”

In Summary

The words we use and the conversations we have hold the power to change the brain. Healthy conversations are critical to healthy relationships. Being a master of Conversation Intelligence will help advance trust, ideas, partnerships and commerce. Consider the question: what impact are my words having on others? We need to be aware of our state of mind and know that being in a positive state of mind is critical to developing healthy, productive Conversational Intelligence and actually change the future and co-create new realities. We need to become masters at articulating our words (of intention) and aware of the impact our exchanges have on others. When aligned, the trust quotient is elevated, connections are ignited, relationships advance.


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