Here are five mistakes that lower Conversational Intelligence.
- Ignoring other perspectives: Many people err by spending most of their time describing their views of reality rather than learning how others assess a situation.
- Fixation on “Being Right”: Neuroscientists are discovering that humans have a passion for being “right” – more than a passion – a compulsion. People “get high” on being right – and are rewarded individually for having “correct” answers. But, the more a speaker pushes his or her “reality,” the more the listeners will seek to protect their positions or points of view, which reduces their connection with others and raises the risk of conflict.
- Tell-Sell-Yell: It’s a mistake to think that more talk always translates into better communication, understanding and influence. The truth is, the more we try to align others around “our” point of view, the more we create groupthink, resistance or grudging obedience driven by fear. To employees, this comes across as “my way or the highway.”
- Allowing Emotions to Affect Listening: Every conversation has emotional content. Fearful listeners may misinterpret friendly advice or warnings as threats.
- Disengaged Listeners: Those who nod their heads while others talk aren’t always paying attention. Leaders need to learn to practice engagement strategies with others to ensure they are truly connecting, sharing and learning.