Wise Talk


WISE TALK October 2013: Sue hosts Judith Glaser, Founder and Chairman of the Creating WE Institute, organizational anthropologist and best-selling author. Judith’s insights will help you understand how to listen and communicate in a way that establishes connectivity and trust. She’ll translate the complexity of neuroscience for easy consumption. Judith’s advice and tips will enable you to build a strong company culture that impacts the bottom line.

MIkki Durishin


Judith reveals some unique, rarely heard insights into the origin of the C-IQ book.

How Conversational Intelligence Can Help Your Career

By Dan Schawbel | quickbase.intuit.com
Published: October 30, 2013

I spoke to Judith Glaser about how conversational intelligence can help you better connect with others and grow your career. Glaser is the author of Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results, the CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and the chairman of The Creative WE Institute. Below is a brief interview where I ask her questions about conversational intelligence, her tips to communicate more effectively in the office, how to customize your message, and more.

Dan Schawbel: What is conversational intelligence and why is it important to employees and managers at work?

Judith Glaser: Conversational Intelligence is the hardwired, and learnable ability, to connect, navigate and grow with others  – a necessity in building healthier and more resilient organizations in the face of change. Conversational Intelligence measures the level of trust that you create with others – and the quality of interactions and conversations that result.

Conversations have 3 Levels; each has a purpose and result. Each can be done effectively where the intention and impact are aligned, or they can be carried out ineffectively in which case they stir up unintended emotions and feelings and lead to an erosion of trust.

Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel

Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and management consulting firm. His new book, a New York Times best seller, is called Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and his previous book, Me 2.0, was a #1 international bestseller.

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See the complete inteview at: http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2013/10/30/how-conversational-intelligence-can-help-your-career/#sthash.sANMiokE.dpuf

Mikki Williams


Mikki & Friends Tele-Conversations

Mikki introduces Judith in her interview:

“JUDITH E. GLASER started out her career at the age of 11 months when she was inducted into the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Hall of Fame for balancing on one foot on her father’s hand, Judith continues to apply her ‘balancing skills to her work with executives, and their organizations. She now calls herself anorganizational anthropologist – which means she digs around in other people’s dirt – discovers gems more valuable and worth more than their owners ever realized – and helps them reframe, reorganize, restructure, and refocus people minds, hearts and relationships so they can become more successful than they ever imagined. Judith brings out the best in people, relationships and organizations. She believes that evolution has designed us to be “WE-centric” Leaders. We know how to inspire others, we know how to collaborate, and we know how to innovate – but sometimes things goes wrong… and we find ourselves in ‘power-over’ rather than ‘power-with’ relationships.    Join us to find out the secrets that tens of thousands of leaders around the globe are learning from Judith. “

Mikki talks with Judith E. Glaser about Conversational Intelligence

Innovate or Evaporate!


By By Judith E. Glaser & Joan Lawrence-Ross | huffingtonpost.com
Published: October 23, 2013


Conversational Intelligence at Work

What Conversational Intelligence™ Habit Patterns are Driving You?
We’ve researched conversational patterns for 30 years and have discovered that without realizing it, 80-90 percent of the time people fall back into their old habits and patterns when having conversations with others.

There are 3 levels of conversation:
Level I: Transactional Conversations…. where we are asking and telling about what we already know to confirm it.
Level II: Positional Conversations… where we are advocating and inquiring about what we know and defending our beliefs about what we know.
Level III: Transformational Conversations… where we are sharing and discovering about what we don’t know we know, or about what we don’t know we don’t know, or about what we want to know and discover

Conversational Intelligence is your ability to understand the impact of your conversations on others, and to intentionally set the level and quality of your conversations to enhance trust and to positively impact your relationships with others.

What Conversations Breed Success?

Good Intention, Bad Impact! While many of us start out with good intentions in a conversation, at the moment of contact we fall back into what we already know rather than step into a space where uncertainty lives robustly. Innovative conversations contain lots of uncertainty and often complexity.

More conversations at work — even those about “innovation and creativity” can be described as “people telling each other” what their ideas are. This may sound, on the surface, to be a good thing, yet the pattern of “idea sharing” quickly turns into “idea selling” and conversations look more like persuasions than innovations.

The most successful companies and the most successful leaders harvest Conversational Intelligence spaces where people can feel comfortable “not knowing” the answers.

As you build your Innovative Intelligence at work, how are you engaging your employees and your clients? Not all engagement is equal.
What doesn’t work: telling and directing.
What does work: asking deep/discovery questions; listening without judgment; cultivating open receptive mindsets; sharing information; and leading through inspired story telling.

Leaders at the top need to change the rules, and to act in concert with the rules for innovation. Leaders often send mixed messages — knowingly or unknowingly — that cause people to fear speaking up.
What doesn’t work: going back on their word; discrediting ideas before they get vetted; not allowing thinking time; setting up roadblocks that ensure failure.
What does work: marrying intentions and impact – our real leadership behavior; monitoring the meta-messages we send to employees; not allowing the fear of retribution for speaking up to have a life of its own.

Checklist for Setting Innovation Norms:
• Make Level III: Transformational Conversations integral to your organization’s business agenda.
• Create Conversationally Intelligent spaces for co-creation and innovation.
• Encourage, teach and reward Level III Conversations everywhere.
• Implement the right metrics and the right incentives to support the growth of Conversational Intelligence at work.
• Don’t forget to enjoy the journey and benefits of Conversational Intelligence!

Checklist for Conversationally Intelligent Leaders:
Listen to connect not reject — Rejection of new ideas closes down the brain and creates a state of fear that has a shelf life of over 26 hours. If people talk with others about the fear, they exacerbate it and sustain the fear state of mind. This limits any chance of creativity to emerge. Instead, listen to connect — set a non-judgmental state of mind inside yourself and it will open doors to creativity in others.
Ask questions for which you have no answers — Notice how often you ask questions to confirm or defend your point of view. Notice when you try to influence people toward what you want them to think. Instead, ask questions for which you don’t have answers. Interrupt your own limiting habit pattern. Notice when you are being the smartest person on the block — and be open to live in “not knowing” with others.
Prime the conversational space for trust — Create conversationally intelligent spaces where people feel they can open up to you and “trust” you. To do this you need to trust them. Give them credit for their ability to think… to have new ideas… for being curious… for being great listeners. When you extend this trust to them, you prime their brains for being able to have those great ideas.

Judith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc., and Chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is the author of 7 books including her new best selling book – Conversational Intelligence; How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion)
To learn more, visit: www.conversationalintelligence.com; //jeglaser@creatingwe.com” target=”_hplink”>jeglaser@creatingwe.com

Joan Lawrence-Ross is the Chief Learning Officer at AIG.


Follow Judith E. Glaser on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CreatingWE

How Conversational Intelligence Inspires 21st Century Innovation

Meeting Description:

Join Judith E. Glaser, Organizational Anthropologist and pioneer in the field of Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) and Innovation Excellence Executive Editor, Julie Anixter to explore Judith’s newest research, and its implications for individual innovators, teams and organizations.  Whether you’re working on creating ideas on the front end or implementing on the back end, Conversational Intelligence, says Dan Pink, “may be just what you need to produce results.” We know that innovation is one part imagination, and two parts enrolling; that collaboration, innovation’s most profound verb and the key to creating new stuff, is one part getting the right people in the room or online, and much more about creating an environment where ideas can really be heard and built upon, or said another way, developed in a climate of trust, where it’s less about being right, and more about producing breakthroughs.Join us for a dialogue and to hear some of Judith’s lessons learned over 5 decades of research and consulting with the C-suite – captured in her newest book, Conversational Intelligence.Save the Date: FEI US 2014: May 13-15, Boston

Introducing FEI Manifesto! The common thread across innovative organizations lies in strong leadership, the finest teams and an environment that empowers, promotes and accelerates collaboration, a risk culture and contented employees. Research demonstrates the key difference between being future-forward and left-behind lies in people. Attracting top talent demands that a company is a recognized innovator. Retaining the right talent correlates to generating an exceptional culture. Building the right talent calls for a business to invest in its people…. it fundamentally understands and accepts that at its core, its people are the key to achieving the vision. Manifesto! is a unique “rising stars” program for understanding and developing LEADERS AS PEOPLE. Manifesto! is a holistic approach to addressing the development needs of the whole person.

Register for the meeting here: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=2zfkl3f1esf7

Temple Perspectives Webinar Series: Conversations that Transform History

Tuesday, November 12
12:00-1:00 PM

To register for this webinar, please click here.

The seemingly simple act of talking has the ability to alter someone’s life permanently. Indeed, the key to success in life and business is to master conversational intelligence. It’s not about how smart you are, but how open you are to learn new and effective powerful conversational rituals that prime the brain for trust, partnership, and mutual success. Thankfully, knowing how to have effective conversations is not just an inherent talent, it’s a skill backed by science that anyone can learn.

On behalf of the Temple University Alumni Association (TUAA), please join us for an exploration of how science can teach the wisdom and practices behind great conversations—ones that are powerful enough to transform the world. In this session, Dr. Angelika Dimoka will share current, dynamic discoveries in neuroscience. Judith E. Glaser, CLA ’67, will then translate the science into simple principles that individuals can apply to enhance their communication styles to yield desired results.

To preview and order Temple Alumna Judith Glaser’s new book, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, please click here.


Identifying Your Conversational Blind Spots


By Judith E. Glaser | entrepreneur.com
Published: October 17, 2013


Successful entrepreneurs tend to be great talkers. They have to be. That’s because they continually pitch their visions, strategies, products and services to investors, banks, employees, customers, clients, and partners. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs blow critical meetings and discover too late they can’t speak to influence and fail to connect. These entrepreneurs have communication blind spots or, more technically speaking, Low Conversational Intelligence.

Conversational Intelligence is a rating of the level of trust you create with others and the quality of interaction as measured by social scientists. Someone with high conversational intelligence would activate the prefrontal cortex of an audience member’s brain, a section that enables trust and good judgment. A person with low CI, on the other hand, engages the lower cortex, where fear and distrust reside. Boosts in CI often correlate directly with business turnarounds and a high CI is often a high predictor of success.

Breakdowns happen when people talk past each other, not to each other. Once entrepreneurs become aware of their conversational blind spots, they can boost their C-IQ. Recent discoveries in how the brain operates pinpoint that people can learn to identify what is going wrong in conversations and how to “flip the switch” in their brains and others’ brains to get communications back on a productive neural path. Here are three common blind spots and how to prevent them.

Not Seeing Beyond Your Vision. The tough road of entrepreneurship demands total belief in the enterprise. It’s an invigorating state with a natural dopamine high. Unfortunately, this state can blind entrepreneurs to the need to get buy-in from diverse constituencies. In these cases, entrepreneurs might not have fully stepped into their conversation partners’ worlds and aren’t focusing on shared success, and are instead creating an unbridgeable gap.

These entrepreneurs need to shift from talking about themselves and their solutions to co-creating. This involves plenty of homework identifying what the people in the loop want from the enterprise. For example, a business plan presented to venture capitalists should document how revenue has already been generated or the high probability that it will be, since a VC’s primary objective is to make money.

Shutting Down Out of Fear. Being afraid is a realistic response to uncertainty. When fear dominates, the primitive brain takes over, releasing cortisol and catecholamines, a hormone that’s released during emotional or physical stress. These chemicals shut down the brain’s prefrontal cortex, or executive functions, which allow for sophisticated strategies. Instead of responding intelligently and creatively to investors, banks or customers, entrepreneurs could freeze, coming across as dumb, defensive or unstable for partnership.

The solution is to acknowledge the fear. That frees entrepreneurs to change the channel. Instead of protecting themselves they can pay attention to what is going on in others and manifest empathy. The people they’re speaking with will feel that positive neural connection and cooperate. Researchers in Italy, led by Giacomo Rizzolatti, found that human beings are wired with mirror neurons which pick up everything going on in others’ brains. When we approach people with empathy, the mirror neurons in their brains synch with our own, and they feel understood and open to our influence.

Not Hearing What Was Really Said. Throughout civilization, effective salespeople, healers and change agents repeated what others had said to verify it. Intuitively, they knew what neuroscientists have recently confirmed: Human beings listen inefficiently, cherry-picking what they want to hear and embedding only that in their memory bank. Therefore, it is likely that entrepreneurs heard encouraging words from investors who were actually saying they were not interested. It is absolutely necessary to gracefully confirm what others are saying. For example, throughout the conversation, ask discovery questions such as, “Where are you in all this?” or “How do you feel about the pace of innovation?”


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21st Century Innovation


By Judith E. Glaser, Rex Jung, Jerry Manas | huffingtonpost.com
Published: November 16, 2013


The more we learn about how the brain grows, adapts, changes and — on the other extreme — falls into patterns of thinking, the more we see that a leader’s most important job is creating environments for innovation to flourish. Enhancing interaction during brainstorming sessions enables us to tap into our hardwired DNA and leverage the enormous capacity and deft flexibility of our brains to enhance innovation.

Suppose you’re invited to participate in a brainstorming session. The facilitator says that “every idea counts” and invites you to propose many ideas in the next 10 to 15 minutes. You feel rushed, and notice a push to come to consensus and begin doing the “real work” of implementation. The effort of organizing and narrowing the ideas then begins. Ideas are posted and you dutifully put dots on those you think are best.

Next, you step back, see where the dots are densely clustered, and choose 10 good ideas. The facilitator posts them in descending order, and announces that the top three are the most supported. Then he does a “bake-off” of these three, and declares the winning idea.

Of course, everyone is not on board with the chosen idea. Some people are willing to abandon their pet ideas; others go underground and create resistance. Some give up and give in, feeling that the mediocre idea won.

This process is “innovation by committee.” Mediocre ideas emerge, driven by the need to converge, reach consensus, and avoid conflict. This is a far cry from what we can achieve in innovation. We need to nurture the ideation process and allow room for divergence.

Divergent Thinking
People want to be connected to each other and be part of a winning team. This need for inclusion is a powerful drive. Our brains accommodate the complex interplay between individuals, groups, and societies. Similarly, we want to feel successful and competent.

Thinking the same thoughts repeatedly lulls us into a sense of comfort. We think we know the “correct” answer, which reinforces feelings of intelligence and good judgment. We may not even realize we are in a repetitive loop, or experiencing status quo thinking. Instead, we feel good that we got it right. Thinking repetitive thoughts etches “grooves” into the brain. MRIs show that the gray matter nodes (regions of the brain that do the processing) are well developed. So is the white matter that connects those nodes.

The brain is reshaping itself and reinforcing what it knows, perhaps at the expense of what is new and novel. Along these well-trodden paths, brain structure serves to link learning to behavior in predictable ways. We strive to find our comfort zone where we can project a positive image, be smart, and feel included. Sadly, these tendencies also inhibit innovation. Innovation likely resides in regions of the brain both overlapping and distinct from these well-developed pathways.

Divergence, one aspect of new and innovative thinking, requires that we expand our ideas into the far recesses of our brain that may be less comfortable or familiar. Yet getting into those parts of the brain forges new connections — both at the idea level and at the level of the brain tissue itself.

Raising our Innovation IQ

We raise our Innovation IQ by making new brain connections daily. Facilitating divergence fosters new ways of thinking. Individual ideas are formed, tested, refined, brought forth and advocated for within a marketplace of ideas. We rarely give adequate time to this process or pay enough attention to unleashing the power of our brain to leverage this capacity.

Use Conversational Intelligence to Elevate Innovation

We raise our ability to think innovatively by making new brain connections daily. Facilitating divergence fosters new ways of thinking. Individual ideas are formed, tested, refined, brought forth and advocated for within a marketplace of ideas. We rarely give adequate time to this process or pay enough attention to unleashing the power of our brain to leverage this capacity.

Here are 3 things you can do starting tomorrow to create a safe space for divergence in your workplace:

#1 – Release Fear
Remove the feeling of fear of speaking up by creating a safe space for people to have divergent thinking conversations with each other.

#2 – Release Judgment
Remove the feeling of judgment by allowing all ideas to have a life. Sometimes the worst ideas catalyze the best new ideas. Allow yourself and your team to live in the space of judgment free.

#3 – Encourage & Challenge
Encourage people to challenge the status quo. Give them permission to spend time questioning what is … and to ponder what could be. Our brain gets patterned to a current reality very easily. It’s comforting. By enabling and encouraging people to challenge the status quo they become free to think in new ways.

Judith E. Glaser, CEO Benchmark Communications, Inc. & Chairman of the Creating WE Institute; Author of Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (BiblioMotion) October 2013. Order now on Amazon; visit us at www.creatingwe.com; www.conversationalintelligence.com; Rex Jung Ph.D., Brain and Behavioral Associates, PC; Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery University of New Mexico; Jerry Manas, Author of Napoleon on Project Management, and Managing the Gray Areas.

Follow Judith E. Glaser on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CreatingWE