Judith E. Glaser
Learn more about leadershipandmanagement with this collection
How to ask open-ended questions
How to avoid awkward silences
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“To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of our culture, which depends on the quality of our relationships, which depends on the quality of our conversations. Everything happens through conversations!”
Trust is a key factor in helping people connect with each other through conversation. We often make snap decisions and assessments about the person we are talking with and this involves identifying whether we think we can trust them.
This can happen within 0.07 seconds, and this decision can heavily influence the nature of the conversation. If we trust the person we feel safe and so able to share our views more candidly. Where distrust is involved, we can shut down and operate based on our assumptions.
"Conversations are ‘rituals’ we embed into our culture and our relationships, and which give us a way to successfully structure our engagements with others… each ritual has a place and each enhances or impedes communication and engagement… Conversational rituals are what we do when we talk."
They happen when we are seeing the situation from our own individual perspective rather than seeking to understand the other person’s point of view.
"Change brings with it uncertainty, and uncertainty triggers fear. As leaders learn to reduce fear and increase trust within their organizations, they lay the foundation for higher-level conversations, where opportunities for greater innovation, collaboration, and success are revealed."
When you trust people, you’re more likely to listen to them. When you don’t trust someone, your brain shuts down and it’s harder for you to pay attention.
The amygdala (the emotional center of the brain) is activated when someone doesn’t have faith in another person; the prefrontal cortex (the rational part of the brain) is activated when one does have faith in another person.
A healthy conversation involves a lack of harm and punishment because you trust each other enough to express different points of view on the subject matter at hand.
According to scientists, a person’s brain shuts down rational thinking when they’re faced with a perceived threat. This is called an “amygdala hijack.” When this happens, you should be aware that your brain has shut off rational thinking and try some alternative reactions.
In order to become more stress-free, we must identify the things that cause us stress. We can learn how to interrupt our patterns of stress by becoming aware of them and shifting our mindset from distrust and fear toward trust.
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