Home Concepts Managing Stress & Challenges Miracles Do Happen! The DNA of Healthy Conversations

Miracles Do Happen! The DNA of Healthy Conversations

26 min read

Conversational intelligence gives us the power to express our inner thoughts and feelings. Conversations trigger emotional reactions. By learning how verbal messages and nonverbal behaviors trigger different parts of the brain and stimulate certain reactions and responses, you and I can develop our conversational intelligence to build healthier, more resilient relationships and boost desired results—to confront each other face to face, say what is in our hearts and on our minds, and at the same time build and strengthen our relationships with others.

Confrontation saps energy, limits focus and destroys good intentions…

Confrontation takes most of us to the edge of our comfort zone, and so we tend to avoid it. Having difficult conversations scares most people into thinking they will lose a friendship, and so they avoid confronting the truth. When we feel frustrated or angry at someone who we feel has stood in our way of success, undermined us or caused us to lose face, we get so upset we just can’t find the words to express ourselves. We end up pushing, not pulling, expressing our worst behaviors, or we may hold it all inside until we boil up with frustration and then blast someone.

Much of what goes on in situations with high emotional content takes place primarily in our minds. This is our “story” and how we put words to the drama of our experience. Much of our frustration comes from the words we use to tell the story. How do we communicate with each other when we feel pushed to the edge? How do we deal with these challenges in a way that builds relationships, rather than erodes them? How do we masterfully walk ourselves down the ladder of conclusions instead of climbing the ladder of assumptions, inferences, and stories about each other that only serve to reinforce our separateness rather than our connectivity?

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. 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.

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