Full disclosure, what I’m about to share with you comes from a year of immmersion and certification in the art of Conversational Intelligence® (C-IQ). The genius and brains behind this program is Organizational Anthropologist, Judith E. Glaser. Everything I’m sharing, Judith has taught me.
When we converse with others (and with ourselves), there are certain things we do and say that create negative (cortisol-producing) interactions. Likewise there are certain things we do and say that create positive (oxytocin-producing) interactions.
For example, these common conversational elements produce the stress hormone, cortisol:
- Not trusting other people or their intentions. Even if you don’t audibly say so, other people can sense distrust. (The science of Cybernetics can help illuminate why this happens.)
- Focus on convincing other people to your point of view.
- Convincing yourself to believe something you really don’t believe. This impacts your neurochemistry and your future behavior.
- Speaking in harsh or overly direct tones also produces cortisol.
Conversely, here are some common conversational elements that produce the feel-good hormone, oxytocin:
- Being both tactful and truthful about what’s on your mind. This encourages trust and, in the process, creates oxytocin.
- Appropriately and transparently sharing your vision, back-story, thoughts and feelings while making room for others to do the same.
- Listening with full presence.
- Expressing genuine concern and appreciation for others. This opens the way for greater trust and connection.
If you’d like your conversations to be more intelligent and produce more trust as well as oxytocin, here are three ways to get started:
- Stimulate an open dialogue with your family or co-workers. Ask them what they aspire to. Create a conversation together by letting everyone express themselves before you share.
- Stop trying to convince someone that your point of view is best. Instead, step into their world. Listen for clues to how they see the world. Identify something you didn’t previously know or didn’t see about this person.
- Engage in that one difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding. Withholding what’s on your mind is bad for everyone involved. If you’re not sure how to go about constructing this sort of conversation, contact me here. Write “I need help with a difficult conversation” in the subject line and we’ll help you create your own roadmap for better communication.