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

Academy Update: Upcoming Webcast and Live Chat

Vista Leadership Academy, a new Vista Global Coaching & Consulting program, invites you to join founder Mary Stelletello and Academy Class of 2016 Alum Cristina Manfre for a special webcast and live chat Tuesday, May 2, 2017 , from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT.

Get your sneak peek into the Academy and learn how the program’s unique design can help you!

You’ll hear Alum Cristina share her transformative journey through the Academy’s online classes, individual coaching sessions, and immersive retreat in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Mary will describe the core values and career insights that led her to found the Academy.

Please note: Space is limited. The number of registrations will be kept small to help ensure everyone can participate in the live chat Q&A. Don’t miss your chance to ask Mary and Cristina if the Academy is right for you!

Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico

 

Are you ready to take the lead in your work and life? Applications for the Class of 2017 are being accepted through May 15, 2017. Learn more about our application requirements and register for the webcast.

What We Can Learn from Our Worst Conversations

Judith Glaser’s 7-month course on Conversational Intelligence offers new and improved methodologies for effective communication that you can apply to both work and life situations.

“Conversations are the social rituals that hold us together, the fabric of culture and society.”
— Judith E. Glaser

The course section on “Humanizing Conversations” explores how to down-regulate the behaviors that create distrust and up-regulate behaviors that build trust. No matter what we do in our professional lives, trust is the most important element in achieving extraordinary results. Trust is something that I have explored over the last 15 years through leadership development work. I always believed that listening was the most powerful skill to build trust.

Humanizing Conversations
Conversational Intelligence takes the skill of listening, a step further by providing more texture to “listening.”  Glaser uses the concept, “deconstructing conversation” which looks back to look forward. Examine a conversation after the fact to garner new insights. In the first few moments of contact in a conversation, our brain will determine whether to trust the other person. If that impact “feels good,” we will move in the direction of opening up to more interactions. If that impact “feels bad,” we will close down and move into protective mode.

In the deconstruction process, here are a few questions for exploration and learning.

  • Was either person addicted to being right?
  • Did you experience the “Tell-Sell-Yell” syndrome? (Tell them once, try to sell them why you are right, then yell!)
  • Did you ask questions that you already knew the answers to?

If you said YES to any of these questions, you were operating from the primitive brain (amygdala) pumping cortisol, keeping you in a protected distrust state.

So how do you shift from this part of the brain that is being triggered by threatening behaviors? The very first step is to recognize the neurological response and find ways to head off the fears. Understand where the fears may be coming from, work backward to find a solution.

How do we sideline these signals from the amygdala?

  • Notice how we react to threats (fight, flight, freeze, appease)
  • Acknowledge this reaction
  • Notice if we always choose the same reaction and how much the threat impacts us
  • Choose an alternative way to react in the moment (mindfulness techniques: breath in, breath out, express how you are feeling)
  •  Become more aware of our responses and realize we can override our emotions and shift to other responses
  • Ultimately transform fear into trust

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

This is the second in a blog series. Read the first blog at “Listening to Connect.”

 

Photo credit: Rawpixel via Shutterstock.

Listening to Connect: Neuroscience, Coaching, and Conversational Intelligence

As a credentialed coach, it’s important to stay educated on new and improved methodologies that resonate with clients. Recently, I began a 7-month course on Conversational Intelligence, (also known as C-IQ) facilitated by Judith E. Glaser.

The curriculum explores how parts of the brain influence the outcome of conversations. Just two weeks in, I can already tell how valuable this will be for my clients.  As a coach, I recognize that if clients are in fight/flight mode, it is very difficult for them to find solutions to any problems. Now I have language and context for why.

Harnessing Your Executive Brain

When we are in flight/flight mode, we are operating from our primitive brain, generating cortisol that shuts down our ability to be creative, strategic and engaged. So where do we want to operate from and how do we get there?

The prefrontal cortex (the area of the third eye) is called the executive brain. If an interaction feels safe, we produce oxytocin, which allows us to relax and create a state of trust. This gives us access to empathy, strategic thinking and innovation. When we are able to operate from this place in the brain, we begin to see opportunities for co-creating solutions together.

Listening to Connect

We move from protecting our own self-interest to creating a “WE-centric” way. The first step is: listen to connect. This is not a concept gaining traction just in the coaching field. There has been research published in Harvard Business Review on the power of connecting first.

In Judith’s words, “Everything happens through conversation. Coaches hold the key for transformation of humanity.”

Helping You Get to the Next Level

As we move through the modules, I will share some key “ah-has” and will incorporate these tools into my new coaching offerings that will roll out in Spring 2017. Stay tuned for more tips to have meaningful conversations that transform leaders and organizations.

Interested in coaching? Learn about the coaching process and more!

 

Photo credit: Rawpixel via Shutterstock.