In my Lead with Confidence programme recently, we were practising some of the skills of Conversational Intelligence® – the neuroscience of conversations.
I love this on so many levels because of the insights and takeaways.
Insight one – What surprises people most is when you let someone talk out loud without trying to interrupt them or ‘fix the problem’ they often know exactly what they need to do next (instead of ruminating endlessly and not doing anything).
Insight two – Another surprise is how, when we pay attention to specific words and language – I mean really pay attention -, we get to the heart of why someone is stuck. (And it’s not always why they ‘think’ it is!)
Insight three – Something else – how often we ‘interpret’ what someone is saying and get it wrong. That’s because we’re assuming a meaning rather than asking what they’re meaning. (E.g., your team member says they’re ‘snowed under’. You ‘assume’ they have too much work but what else could it mean? (You won’t know unless you ask).
Insight four – if we want to listen well and not miss anything, it’s probably best if we don’t take notes. People get twitchy about this, but we can’t listen and write at the same time – well we can, but we miss a lot of nuances and clues when we do. The odd word or bullet point is fine. But no more than that.
Insight five – How powerful it is when you leave the conversation, and the person is crystal clear on their next steps. They’ve thought through exactly the questions they want to ask in the meeting later in the afternoon. They know exactly how to tackle that next 1-1. Getting specific is powerful.