First there was IQ. Then came EQ or Emotional Intelligence. Now Judith Glazer of “The Harvard Coaching Institute” has introduced the concept of CQ or Conversational Intelligence.

CQ taps into our need for self-expression and validation. Glazer says that in environments where people can share their aspirations, intentions and fears freely, the door opens for creative collaboration.

CQ is a two-way street. It requires that people not only speak without fear of repercussion, but they must also listen to others without judgment. This can be difficult for many, but it’s important because everyone must feel safe enough to share, and that their thoughts and feelings are valued. To help you listen without judgment, she recommends stepping into the speaker’s shoes. This signals the pre-frontal cortex to access higher-level capacities that allow us to become even more candid and caring.

Glazer offers these 3 tips to help your team extract the benefits of Conversational Intelligence.

  • Start meetings by asking people to share a personal story and a business story – something they feel good about or feel is important to share.
  • During meetings where the focus is getting people to work together more effectively, invite them to share these two things with each other, “What I respect about, and what I need from you.” This results in the kind of openness, bonding and connectivity that helps prime team members for partnering and co-creation.
  • Collect and publish team stories on the intranet or use other internal communication tools. Ask participants to include tips and practices that led to the success. This gives them an opportunity to further process their role in contributing positively to achievement of the company’s goals.

When we feel safe enough to speak truth in trust, we create the right space that leads to shared creativity and success.


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