How do we actually “Be the Change We Want to See”? If you have been following my blog over the last few years, you may recall that I wrote a blog series on a course I was taking on Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) for coaches regarding the impact that neuroscience has on the quality of conversations. The blog series can be found at the bottom of the post titled, Courageous Conversations: The Future is Now. Skills that I learned in the course were: Being Open to Influence, Priming for Trust, Asking Questions for Which We Have No Answers, Listen to Connect, Conversational Agility and Double-Clicking. Over the last two years I have been using these skills with coaching and consulting clients to close gaps between intention and impact and to elevate awareness of the power of conversation to transform the world. This year, I decided to certify as a C-IQ coach. The certification program was an additional six months of course work and a capstone project to demonstrate how I embody conversational intelligence. During the first few months, it was very challenging to grasp what “embodying C-IQ” really meant. The dictionary.com definition is “to give concrete form to; express, personify, or exemplify in concrete form.” To embody conversational intelligence, we were asked to explore our level of competence along the four stages of competence. The highest level of competence is “unconscious competence”, which is the level at which we are in flow, when things come so easily that you don’t even think about what you are doing. It becomes second nature. In C-IQ certification, as coaches we were challenged to go deeper with our learning, adding new conversational essentials, to stretch ourselves to move through the four stages of competence. New conversational essentials presented were: Making the Invisible Visible, Deconstructing Conversations and Co-Regulating our Conversations — up-regulating oxytocin and down-regulating cortisol. Oxytocin and cortisol are the neurotransmitters triggered when we have either positive or negative conversations. As I mentioned, I was really struggling with the notion of embodying and then one day, I realized I was TRYING too hard. I wasn’t getting to the flow because I was too much in my head, not in my heart. When I “loosened up the grip” on learning and leaned back, I started to notice that I was now using these skills not only in my work but in all aspects of my life. I can see how many of the conversational essentials I learned in 2017 have now become second nature. I am deconstructing conversations with family and friends. I am raising visibility of conversational patterns that are unproductive in all aspects of my life. I am starting to build the unconscious competence…embodying conversational intelligence. Conversational Intelligence essentials have helped guide me in all aspects of my life, to be the change I want to see in the world. Are you experiencing challenging conversations in any area of your life and don’t know how to shift from the patterns that keep you stuck? Are you THINKING about it too much? To get a sneak peek of how C-IQ can help you transform your conversations, we are offering a free 30-minute webcast and live chat on Conversational Intelligence next week, August 21 @ 12:30pm CDT. We will offer it again in September, if you can’t make it live. Join us to begin the journey of transforming your conversations!