Humans have always worked to try and ‘figure out’ the world around them. We’ve invested centuries in creating stories that help us ‘explain’ why things happen the way they do. The research focusing on how the brain works has given us a much clearer understanding of how those stories actually help or hinder us as we strive to create a world we want to live in. We don’t control the world – things happen. What we CAN control, however, is our brain chemistry and in so doing we discover that there is much about the world we actually CAN control.
Our brains are hard wired to do two things: protect our self, and connect with others. Almost everything that happens to us stems from one of those two proclivities. It can be phrased another way; we either love or fear – period! Think of it this way, our thoughts are really habits of thought, so we either spend our time scaring our self about the world or loving our self and the world around us. Either way we are creating strong pathways inside of our brain that have profound ramifications about what we can and cannot do with our mental faculties.
My training and certification in Conversational Intelligence® has not only stimulated my curiosity about my – and your brain, but it has given me tools and techniques that provide ways to reprogram our brains so that we are working with our brain chemistry to actually achieve what we say we want – a world that works. I’m committed to sharing CIQ with you!
Restoring Organizational Trust Through Conversational Intelligence®
How God Changes Your Brain by Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman
Distinct neural signatures for safety and danger in the amygdala and striaturm of the mouse by MT Rogan, KS Leon, DL Perez, and ER Kandel as published in Neuron April 21, 2005
There is not a human being in the world who cannot talk. We learn to talk when we are about two. If we are so good at it then why do we get into so much trouble just by talking? If you have trouble with your reports and/or team members then you know what I mean. You have the best of intentions yet things go awry that you did not foresee - why?
If you are like most of us when folks don't seem to get it - the usual response is to say the same thing louder and more often or in new and clever ways (maybe tinged with a bit of sarcasm). Still they don't 'get it.' YOU know you are right! YOU know how it should get done - why is it so hard to make them understand?
The new field of brain science has some very important information for us as leaders. If you spend most of your day talking to people and yet are frustrated by the results come join me as we explore how we get ourselves into trouble and how we can get out of it. We create worlds with our words so with the help of a better understanding of brain chemistry and neurobiology we can now begin to create a world we actually want to inhabit
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Nothing happens if we don't talk to each other. We talk all the time. We haven't known before is how very powerful conversations can be - conversations can change your DNA. The FOX2 gene, the gene that enables us to connect with our world, is impacted by our experience. It can 'remember' if we felt fear or if we were excited and creative. These experiences can be created through conversations.
Key to building trust is Transparency. If you most often function with a 'need to know' attitude then you are creating an opaque environment for many around you. If you often put a 'good face' on things so you don't rock the boat, you are creating a cloudy environment for those who work with you. The truth is people DO know when things have an emotional charge, but they may not always read those signals correctly. By asking, "How do you feel about this?" folks are trying to clarify the signals they are getting. We are conditioned and even expected to cover up those moments so others won't feel uncomfortable and we are spared from revealing our truth.
The common response to these types of situations is the complicit, "Great, just checking." as we enable each other to hide reality. The trouble with this is that, while it smooths things over and we can get on with it, it also creates a climate of distrust because we all know something is being hidden, we just are not sure of what that might be. Not knowing creates distrust.
When we experience distrust our brain is flooded with higher levels of cortisol, which closes down our brain and our willingness to be in relationship with others. We feel we have to protect our self by playing small, hiding in the background, and keeping our views and ideas to our self. When we make others feel excluded, judged, or criticized we stimulate the release of cortisol in the brains of the people we are talking to. This changes their focus from tasks and problem solving to self protection. It can make it hard for people to even remember what was said, as they were preoccupied with self protective thoughts.
The good news is that is very possible to shift these kinds of conversations to ones that do just the opposite. Conversations that enable us to work as partners by stimulating the release of oxytocin which creates higher levels of bonding and mutual success. Appreciation, inclusion (transparency), and empathy all bring out the best in us. Working to create increased skill levels of Conversational Intelligence® is one very good way of improving your results.
Fear is old school, but you wouldn't know it the way its being thrown around today. The reality is fear is a tool used by uncreative folks who are fearful themselves. They use fear as:
Fear is a form of control as the need for safety limits creativity and experimentation. thus severely limiting the number of possibilities seemingly available. This ties in nicely with the next use - manipulation. When the range of options narrows it is easy to make suggestions that will be easily and quickly accepted, thus ensuring a desired outcome. The Amygdala does like anything new.
Generating fear in others means that people are too focused on their own safety to really see the limitations and weakness in those creating the fear. When people are afraid of you they are less likely to actually see who you are and only see the projected image that creates the fear. It is the old illusionists trick of creating a distraction so that you don't see what the other hand is doing. And so we come full circle.
Fear is old school because it never goes forward, but strives to take things backward into old patterns and old experiences. New requires the freedom to experiment and explore and yes, even fail. Innovation, growth and discovery require too much energy to be distracted by fear. Fear only results in old habits and old patterns, fear is not able to create, only the prefrontal cortex creates.
Kathryn Alexander, MA Author
A student of human nature, of living systems, ethics and now neurobiology and brain science - I see the same thing everywhere - we need to get reconnected: to ourselves, others and the planet!