Judith Glaser, in her book, Conversational Intelligence - How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, states, “Everything happens through conversations!” I agree with her 100%. It is through conversations that we learn about each other, about ourselves, about our world. To facilitate discovery during our coaching sessions, I use the “Essential Tools” that Judith created. Her work is also steeped in Neuroscience so I’m able to bring all the Leadership learning together for a solid practice.
Example: One “Essential Tool” that I love to use is called the Ladder of Conclusions.
I used this tool with Sally when she noticed the sensations in her body, a reaction to her confrontational conversation with her co-worker. The ladder is a visual with many rungs. Each rung represents a step towards discovery. The first one is body sensations or bio-reactions. We spend some time discovering where they generate from in the body. The next step is uncovering the feelings or emotions that arise. The third are that thoughts about the emotions, the fourth, beliefs about the emotions. By this time, stories of memories show up in technicolor and finally conclusions are made to make these stories true. But, are they, really? What Sally uncovered in our discussions was that she was attaching memories of long ago to current situations that were entirely different. The brain is conserving energy here, reaching back to past patterns that are similar. Remember the Pre-frontal cortex (PFC) has shut down because of a perceived threat and Sally’s brain is trying to be quick in making and assessment since the PFC is not available. The Ladder of Conclusions is a great way of uncovering stories, biases, assumptions, and perceptions that may not be serving you.