Blog

Which Brain is Driving your Conversation?

In July 2017, Judith Glaser’s seven-month Conversational Intelligence program culminated with an in-person graduation event in New York City. Vista Global Coaching & Consulting joined over 200 coaches in New York plus hundreds of other participants live-streaming from across the globe. Continue reading “Which Brain is Driving your Conversation?”

Why Coaching Credentials Matter

As founder of Vista Global Coaching & Consulting, Mary Stelletello not only consults with organizations, she is also a credentialed professional coach who works with individuals to help them achieve their goals in work and life.

Coaching vs. Consulting

Mary has played team sports since she was 9 years old.  She recalls how the coach was the person who taught you how to play the game, shared new strategies, pointed out what you were doing wrong, pointed out what you were doing right and celebrated team accomplishments.  For the most part, you accepted what the coach said as the best course of action.

Fast forward a few decades and now you hear the word “coach” used in the work environment in many different ways, “An executive coach, a business coach, a leadership coach, a life coach” and so on.  Is this use of the word “coach” the same as in the context of sports?  Well, yes and no.

Yes, a coach is someone who helps you see all aspects of yourself, helps shine a light on the blind spots and helps celebrate those talents that you may ignore.  No, a coach doesn’t tell you what to do, that is a consultant.  Take a look at this blog post to understand the difference.

A coach helps you clarify your values and your talents and works with you to move toward your greatest potential.  A coach is a sounding board, a champion, a truth teller and advocate for your best self. A coach helps you create a plan and be accountable to achieving that plan.

Once you have determined whether you are looking for a coach or a consultant, the next question is, how do I find the right coach?

The Value of Coaching Credentials

Coaching is a profession that is evolving and is less known to have a credentialing process as professions such as accounting, financial planning or counseling.  When you see a CPA after a person’s name, you know that person has gone through a rigorous training and testing process that requires ongoing educational credits to maintain the credential.

To continue the CPA analogy, there are professionals who identify themselves as accountants that are very skilled, who are not CPAs. However, they are not as qualified as a person with a CPA.  Similarly, professionals call themselves coaches without being credentialed.

The credentialing body for coaching is called the International Coach Federation. There are more than 10,000 professional credentialed coaches worldwide. The ICF has 3 levels of credentialing, ACC, PCC and MCC.  A coach at the ACC level has had 60 hours of training and completed 100 hours of client coaching.  A coach at the PCC level has completed over 125 hours of training and more than 500 hours of client coaching. An MCC level coach has completed over 200 hours of training and 2,500 hours of client coaching.  Beyond the number of hours the coach has completed, there is a distinction between the minimum skills at each credential level.

So why does having a coaching credential matter?  Credentialed coaches are strengthening their skills on an ongoing basis.  Choosing a credentialed coach to guide you ensures that you will always benefit from the most current tools and advanced coaching skills while reaching your greatest potential.

Mary began her coach training in 2009 and has recently received her PCC credential. If you think coaching is right for you, contact Mary today for a free introductory session.

Photo credit: Erce via Shutterstock.

 

Build Your Conversation Agility: Align Your Intention with Your Impact

The fifth module of Judith E. Glaser’s Conversational Intelligence course, “Generating Conversations,” guides us to identify the patterns that lower our C-IQ and create the right environment to overcome these patterns to activate parts of the brain for co-creation of transformational conversations.

The best communicators align their intentions with their impact. While our intention is what we want to happen, our impact is the experience of the receiver. Successful communicators monitor and align the intentions and impact resulting in greater trust.

 

In transformational conversations, the interaction dynamic is to “share and discover” which opens us up to broader insights and wisdom than each person has individually. We ask questions to which we truly have no answers, thereby inviting others to participate in answers that are co-created. We engage with others in high levels of curiosity, candor and wonder asking provocative questions, enabling us to partner and elevate our thinking to new ideas for innovation. We reach transformational conversations through building conversational agility skills of reframing, refocusing, and redirecting.

Reframe, Refocus and Redirect

When we are in a conversational pattern that starts to feel like it isn’t working, people are in protective or positional stance, that is the signal to activate conversational agility skills. Research done by the HeartMath Institute has determined that practices that reduce the negative thought loops and fear, create the space for innovation and co-creation.

Reframe

Reframing takes a difficult situation and turns it into an opportunity for finding trust and common ground with someone. You are giving the other person a mental break and creating space to think in a new way.

Example: “I am a failure because I didn’t win the contract with that big client.”

Reframe: “Yes, you didn’t win that contract but you did learn a lot about what it takes to put together a proposal for a big client and that will provide insights for the next time we go after a big project.”

Refocus

Refocusing allows you to move people from a place where they are stuck and point them toward a larger topic where they can see connections that they had not seen before.

Example: “I am really frustrated that I continue to be passed over for an invitation to be on a speaker panel when I have the most experience.”

Refocus: “You really seem to care a lot about the topic, what are some other ways that you can share your expertise that would raise the visibility of your talents to the entire organization?”

Redirect

Redirecting helps people move from a place of being stuck and emotionally bound, to a place where they can see new opportunities.

Example: “There is no way that I can start a new business when I am working full-time. I can’t quit my job.”

Redirect: “Sure, I understand there are risks of completely quitting your job but what can you do to move in the direction of starting your new business?”

When you notice that you or someone else is in a protective mode, being resistant or skeptical, you can use these conversational agility skills to nudge them towards a mind shift for transformational conversations.

Stay tuned for more tips to have meaningful conversations that transform leaders and organizations.  

This is part of a blog series on Conversational Intelligence course by Judith E. Glaser. Check out related blogs such as “Listening to Connect” and “Moving from Distrust to Trust.

 

 

Photo credit: Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock

Celebrating Interdependence and Business as a Force for Good

When Mary Stelletello founded Vista Global Coaching & Consulting, her vision was to create a company that demonstrated her values of making a difference in the world. She knew about the B Corp certification process for businesses to measure the “triple bottom line” – social, environmental and economic impact.

In 2012, Vista Global Coaching & Consulting became Wisconsin’s first certified B Corporation. Last week, Mary attended the B Corp Champions Retreat in Toronto with more than 500 global change-makers that are running businesses as a force for good.

B Corp Champions Retreat, Toronto, Canada.  Photo credit: M. Stelletello

One of the most moving stories shared was about Roshan, the only B Corp in Afghanistan. Roshan brought telecommunications service to a country that in 2002, had only 100,000 cellular phones. By 2017 their success has been beyond anything imaginable, bringing cellular service to more than 90% of the population. However, in May 2017 their world shattered when a tanker truck explosion destroyed the Kabul offices, killing 80 staff members. The B Corp community across the globe responded to support Roshan’s rebuilding and resilience. At the closing B Inspired event in Toronto, Roshan founder, Shainoor Khoja shared this story of interdependence. They have rebuilt and there is now a fund to support the families of the employees lost in the tragedy.

Roshan Founder, Shainoor Khoja, Champions Retreat, Toronto, Canada. Photo: M. Stelletello

It was incredibly inspiring to hear the highlights of the first 10 years of the movement, including how B Corp businesses have taken up the Inclusive Economy Challenge.

The vision of an economy that is equitable and creates opportunity for all people of all backgrounds and experiences to live with dignity, to support themselves and their families and help their economies thrive.

If you are committed to being a business that is a force for good and want to learn more about B Corp certification, take the B Impact Assessment, or contact Mary today to learn about the Vista Global journey. Join the movement to create shared and durable prosperity.

Upcoming Workshop: Tools for Courageous Conversations

Do you work with someone whose conversational style is “Tell, Sell, and Yell” and sometimes struggle to feel heard? Join Mary Stelletello and the Madison chapter of the Ellevate Network on November 8, 2017, at 5:30 P.M. for a 90-minute workshop at the Stamm House in Middleton, Wisconsin.

Mary Stelletello leads a workshop at the 2016 Vista Leadership Academy retreat. Photo: M. Stelletello

Learn trust-building techniques to improve your conversational intelligence (C-IQ) and best practices heralded by Ellevate Network Founder Sallie Krawcheck. In this workshop, we will talk through the conversation styles designed to teach how to move a conversation from “Me to We” using tools like the C-IQ Conversation Dashboard.

Explore Courageous Conversations

We will also explore Krawcheck’s book “Own It: The Power of Women at Work” and concepts for having “Courageous Conversations.” Whether the conversation is about gender equity, company culture, bias around work assignments, or “man-terrupting”, Sallie believes there is an urgency for all women to engage in courageous conversations.

“We all have the power to bring about change, individually and collectively, and the way we do that is by each of us starting conversations in our own workplaces.

 

I also firmly believe that owning these conversations can also position each of us as true leaders, for taking a principled and educated stance on what is clearly “the right side of history.”

Source: Krawcheck, Sallie. Own It: The Power of Women at Work (p. 144-146). The Crown Publishing Group.

Workshop goals and learning objectives include:

  1. Gain increased awareness of your personal conversational style and its impact on others
  2. Learn techniques to engage in courageous conversations
  3. Increase ability to access empathy, foster shared decision-making, and connect with others more deeply

Interested? Get your tickets today! The workshop is $10.00 for Ellevate Network members and $15.00 for non-members.

Can’t make it to this workshop? Contact Mary to learn about a custom workshop for your team or organization.

Asking Questions For Which You Have No Answers

“Conversational rituals allow us to build common language, definitions and meanings that in turn create community. They influence our behavior at the neurochemical level.” Judith Glaser

To uncover “conversational blind spots” you have to become mindful of when you are making assumptions, interpreting incorrectly, and jumping to conclusions.

This begins with asking the right kind of open-ended questions.  Questions that open our minds to explore new avenues of thought with each other. Questions for which we have no answers.

In Conversational Intelligence, Judith Glaser explains there are three levels of conversation.  Level 1 is a basic “Tell/Ask” interaction. It is directive with no open-ended exploration.  Level 2 is more provocative and the interaction is labeled “Advocate/Inquire.”  Referred to as “Share/Discover,” Level 3 is the most dynamic and exploratory interaction.

People Sitting with Question Marks

The example below illustrates how questions from the 3 levels result in different experiences.

Level 1:

  • “Do you mind including this brochure in the donor information packet?”

You ask a question that you don’t have an answer to but it is really a statement in disguise.  This is “tell/ask” interaction to exchange information.  There isn’t much trust.  By asking the question this way, you are attempting to validate your own view of reality.

Level 2:

  • “I really love the brochure. It has all the compelling elements for donors. What do you think? Is there anything stopping you from getting on board with this?”

This exchange is dominated by “advocate/inquire” dynamics. You are advocating for what you want (not just telling). You are inquiring about the other person’s beliefs in an effort to persuade them. Trust is conditional.

Level 3:

  • “Which of these pieces of collateral do you think will be the most compelling for this donor? Are there any concerns we should talk through before making a decision?”

This conversation is marked by “share/discover” dynamics.  By asking in this way, you are sharing that you’re open to being influenced and that you care about your colleague’s thoughts. This signals to the listener that they can offer ideas and you both influence the decision that achieves greater shared success.

Learning to ask an open-ended question for which you have no answer strengthens your ability to have meaningful conversations that lead to transformational results.

Stay tuned for more C-IQ tips!  This is part of a blog series on Conversational Intelligence course by Judith E. Glaser. Check out related blogs such as “Listening to Connect” and “What We Can Learn from our Worst Conversations.”

 

Photo credit: Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock