Conversational Intelligence has…

Conversations Have Three Levels
Level I: Transactional… Confirming what we know
Overuse of Level I = Tell, Sell, Yell Syndrome

Level II: Positional… Defending what we know
Overuse of Level II = Addicted to Being Right

Level III: Transformational… Discover what we don’t know we don’t know
Overuse of Level III = All talk and no action  

Conversational Intelligence is…

Conversational Intelligence is the hardwired ability in all humans to connect, engage and navigate with others. It is the most important intelligence that gets better when “we” do it together. While the other types of intelligence are more “I-centric” in nature, Conversational Intelligence is a collaborative effort.

Conversational Intelligence is about closing the gaps between your reality and mine. Each of us maps the world through our experiences. We create the meaning, and then we share it with others. Conversations provide the tools for talking about what we think and feel, and if the conversations are healthy and robust, we will come to see how others view the world and learn to work successfully with them.

Conversations help us bridge our realities – and when we do we feel a sense of trust with others, we can create a shared reality. When we trust others, we are also able to address reality gaps, and through C-IQ we gain a language for bridging our reality gaps with others and create healthy thriving relationships, teams and organizations.

Elevating Conversational Intelligence will improve business results, and create a framework for enhancing relationships and partnerships, releasing new energy for growth and transformation.

Thank you for attending!


Thank you for attending the Citibank Alumnae webinar on Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results.

I hope you found the session stimulating and provided you with new ideas and insights about how you can elevate conversational intelligence at work.

To give you more tools for your journey, please fill out the form on the right and access your downloads. See below for a summary of the webinar.

C-IQ-Journey-MapSummary of Citibank Webinar

Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Results and Get Extraordinary Results

There are many types of intelligence – like intellectual intelligence or emotional intelligence. Yet there is one intelligence that is different from the rest. It’s an intelligence that is hardwired in all of us – yet hidden from plain site. It’s called Conversational Intelligence.

In the webinar we talked about:

  • The definition of Conversational Intelligence – and how C-IQ shapes reality
  • The neuroscience of conversations—including what conversations close our brains and what conversations open our brains—and why we need to know this
  • How to activate, measure and use Three Levels of Conversations
  • The five conversational mistakes that lower our Conversational Intelligence, and the five conversational skills that raise our Conversational Intelligence
  • How ‘trust’ changes reality
  • How to use Conversational Rituals to elevate your C-IQ

Conversations are not always what we think they are. We’ve grown up believing in a narrow view of conversations, thinking they are about expressing thoughts, observations and opinions. Many see conversations as “persuasion” or “getting others to think the way I think.”

In our early research, we watched conversations under different circumstances, everything from first meetings to major negotiations. It wasn’t difficult to see the patterns emerge. We found that as many of 95 percent of verbal exchanges were “telling” statements. “Asking” statements were rare, as was quality listening.

Your Five Brains- Harness Their Wisdom


By Judith E. Glaser |
Published: July 9, 2014

brainstorm-teamYou’re sitting in a meeting with your team brainstorming about the financial crisis, and what to do about it. Business is awful. People have stopped buying your products. Market share has plummeted. Everyone is scared and emotional. Some people express anger; others close down.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? You are trying to navigate through the conversation and be helpful. It’s confusing to keep track of what’s going on. When you hear an idea you like, or see an opening to something new, you jump in and share it at the moment it occurs to you. Then someone closes that door and says, “that’s a stupid idea—we’ve tried that before and it failed.”

When you hear the words stupid and failed, you have an emotional reaction to the situation and person. You tune out of the meeting and ruminate. On the outside, people think you are still there. Your body is present, and your face may show signs of listening, yet a big part of you has left the meeting.

Your attention is now turned inside to your silent conversation with yourself about being stupid, and failing. You remember other times when your boss or colleague said you were stupid. You get angry and find yourself in a movie clip of you and your boss yelling about something. You are getting emotional and feeling bad about yourself. You recall a conversation you had with Jason, one of your teammates in the room; you faced-off with Jason and lost.

When you return to the conversation, the team is on to something else. You feel lost and strange about asking for a recap, so you shut up. Later, someone comes and asks why you were angry in the meeting and then shut up. They made assumptions and projected interpretations because all they saw was your angry face and then your silence. What you didn’t realize is that while you were recalling old angry memories of failing and being stupid your face became angry, and that is what others saw. While your “movie” only lasted 12 seconds, it had a huge impact on the meeting and the mood. But you couldn’t see what others saw.

Our research conducted during the writing of our newest book, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, is demonstrating that our brains disconnect during conversations every 12 to 18 seconds, as we get hooked on key words that send us back to emotional memories. Our movie-making mind brings up these old memories and edits them into a draft of the current situation, changing the meaning, from your perspective, of the meeting you are experiencing in the now.

As neuro-scientific research is also demonstrating, bringing emotion-laden memories into the present only amplifies the present. If the memories are “feel bad,” you bring more pain and feel bad into your interpretation of the present. If the memories are “feel good” you bring more pleasure into the present.

Our Five-Brains

Behind the Neuroscience of Conversationsis a model for seeing our brains not as one brain, but as five brains—each hard-wired to help us sort out and sort through our interactions with others.

  • Reptilian Brain informs about threats (physical and psychological) to our safety.
  • Limbic Brain informs us who is our friend or foe and how we can fit in— relationships;
  • Neocortex sorts through data from our senses, memories, and experiences, and helps us make sense of our reality—understanding.

The other two brains work in concert to influence what it means to be human.

  • Heart Brain our oldest brain, reads the biochemistry of our bodies and enables us to translate the energetic and hormonal messages that arise as we interact—sensitivity.
  • Prefrontal cortex or Executive Brain engages us with the outer world and the future, helping us grasp inner and outer Truths. By translating current information, impulses, and biochemistry, it helps us make judgment calls, have empathy, anticipate the future—what I call Futuresite and Foresight.

Our brains are made to be social so when we aren’t paying attention to the work at hand, we are connecting with others—that is what our brain wants. Next time you are in a conversation, let the power of your five brains give you insight into how to respond.


Sustainable Leadership


By Judith E. Glaser & Jon Entine |
Published: July 7, 2014


Innovating to last in the new reality

What is all this talk about sustainability? Is this serious business or another fad or trend that has little relevance to business? As part of our Conversational Intelligence Research, we often explore the evolutionary definitions of words that are changing the world and opening up new conversations. Our “phrase of the month” is Sustainable Leadership.

The corporate world is abuzz with sustainability. Leaders are under duress, facing the most serious financial and structural challenges in decades. Fear and anxiety are rampant, which heightens the concerns of stakeholders. Instilling an ethic of sustainable management signals to investors, employees, vendors, and customers that a business is stable and the leadership has a long-term vision drawing on state-of-the-art practices. The ethic extends beyond environmental concerns and embraces a new, vigorous business model that acknowledges the interdependence of all stakeholders.

Productivity plummets when stake-holders are worried more about security than executing responsibilities and responding to opportunities. Building confidence is key. Attracting and retaining top talent is critical to creating a sustainable business model; and commitment to socially responsible behaviors helps ensure satisfaction and loyalty. In a “flat” world, the leader’s ability to engage is the key driver of sustainable success.

Engage in the Conversation
Most organizations are matrixed with communication flowing multi-directionally. We no longer sell to customers; rather, we build partnership with them for sustainable success. But engagement needs to extend beyond the customer to all stakeholders: how they think, what is important to them, and how to partner with them to focus on the critical issues: financial, social and environmental. Customers, vendors, regulators, the media, and other stakeholders, including shareholders demand higher transparency.

Leaders stand at the intersection of leadership/culture/and brand. They need to be trained to lead stakeholders and not just respond to crises, having one foot in the investor world and the other deep inside their culture to manage the triple-bottom line, which means overseeing so-called “soft” concerns such as social issues as well as traditional financial issues. Yet there is often an initial resistance in “alpha cultures” to the concept of sustainability. It is sometimes mistakenly viewed as social engineering or as too ideological, and is marginalized in the minds of hard-driving executives and entrepreneurs. Yet sustainability lowers risk profiles and increases opportunity. But the key is whether the leaders have the fortitude to break through the resistance, instill stakeholders with a vision of stability and revival, and aggressively manage the financial health.

Where to Start: The Discovery Process
To increase their Sustainability IQ, leaders need to initiate a sustainability conversation and gather information about key aspects of the business and culture. They need to address what sustainability means to an organization in the context of its vision, goals, structure, initiatives and performance. Various metric standards are available to summarize the data. The Discovery Process begins building a new foundation that enables conversations about what’s important for sustainable success as it creates a template to understand transparency, engagement, and a shared view of reality. Leaders can use this information to learn more about themselves, their culture, obstacles to change, and the roadblocks that limit engaging with all stakeholders.

Step 1: Create the Discovery Guide.
The Discovery Process begins with building the Discovery Guide — a set of provocative questions that open the organization to a new way of thinking about how to create sustainable leadership and change. Each question set has sub questions that provoke deep dives into issues and opportunities, launch the sustainability conversation, and make the business case for sustainability.

Step 2: Establish the Discovery Interview Protocol. When conducting interviews, choose the appropriate people to bring insight, candor, depth and breadth to the process. Those interviewed begin to understand whether their views of the organization are aligned with its performance and the perceptions of others. They ask questions such as: “Are you finding what I say consistent with what others are saying?” This builds the sustainability conversation and commitment to the processes and initiatives.

Step 3: Facilitate an Executive Briefing and Brainstorming Session. Executive Briefing sessions provide a time for leaders to sit face-to-face with each other, and with others who report to them to interpret needs, discuss strategies, and develop sustainability objectives. The process creates aware- ness, alignment, and understanding at all levels. The leaders frame of reference moves from an “I-centric orientation” to a “We-centric orientation.”

Knowledge is Power
Sustainability and Global Citizenship can be “organizing principles” that unlock the hidden value of a company — sustainable long-term value — in an increasingly competitive international landscape strewn with regulatory and reputational challenges.

Sustainable innovations transform operations, culture, and leaders. They impact the quality of products and services and improve operational efficiency, customer loyalty, and recruitment efforts. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives are only possible when stakeholders collaborate to challenge old paradigms and improve the processes and practices that shape the wellbeing of the organization, the community, and environment.

These initiatives are good for people and for business, particularly in challenging times when markets are in turmoil and employees are on edge. As leaders engage stakeholders, they elevate enterprise thinking. Companies that incorporate sustainability and responsibility into the DNA of their culture distinguish themselves and become leaders in their industries.

Jon Entine is founder of ESG Metrics, columnist on sustain-ability, visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a frequent contributor to, and member of the Creating WE Institute. He is the author of seven books including Taboo and Abraham’s Children.

Judith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and Chairman of The Creating WE Institute, and author of seven books. Her newest best seller is Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (Bibliomotion, 2013) Visit

ACTION: Lead for sustainability.


The Chemistry of Conversations


By Judith E. Glaser |
Published: July 2, 2014

qualtrics-thumbsWhy do negative comments and conversations stick with us so much longer than positive ones?

A critique from a boss, a disagreement with a colleague, or a fight with a friend – the sting from any of these can make you forget a month’s worth of praise or accord. If you’ve ever been called lazy, careless or a disappointment, then you’re likely to remember and internalize it. It’s somehow easier to forget, or discount, all the times people have said you’re talented or conscientious or that you make them proud.

Chemistry plays a big role in this phenomenon. When we face criticism, rejection or fear, when we feel marginalized or minimized, our bodies produce higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that shuts down the thinking center of our brains and activates conflict aversion and protection behaviors. We become more reactive and sensitive. We often perceive even greater judgment and negativity than actually exists. And these effects can last for 26 hours or more, imprinting the interaction on our memories and magnifying the impact it has on our future behavior. Cortisol functions like a sustained release tablet – the more we ruminate about our fear, the longer the impact.

Recently, my consultancy, The CreatingWE Institute, partnered with Qualtrics to analyze the frequency of negative versus positive interactions in today’s workplaces. The results were published in Harvard Business Review. You can read the full article here:

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!