A Tribute to Judith E. Glaser: A Woman Who Really Made A Difference
In this blog we continue our journey through Judith E Glaser’s Five Conversational Essentials (C-IQ). You will learn how to ask non-leading questions and have an opportunity to practice this skill. This will help build your conversational intelligence toolkit and foster higher quality conversations with the people around you.
Last week was a very sad week for the C-IQ tribe. We saw the passing of Judith who was the pioneer of Conversational Intelligence. Judith was an incredible human being, who despite her struggle with cancer, stepped up to the plate with gusto. She shared her knowledge and tools with thousands of coaches across the globe. This enabled them to make a huge impact on the quality of conversations they were having. I feel incredibly privileged to have met and studied with her. In her life she shared so much with so many. Judith’s greatest wish was for her legacy to be continued. It certainly will be, as C-IQ coaches will continue the work she began and shared.
I want to dedicate this blog to her memory. This is my way of expressing gratitude for the huge contribution her work has brought to my life. This is not only in relation to all aspects of my coaching and training, but also to me personally in my own journey of learning and growing.
This blog is a demonstration of me honouring her wishes in a small way. This article aims to continue her legacy through the words on this page and the conversations that will result…
I intend to continue my role as advocate, coach and passionate supporter of Judith’s work.
Today we are exploring the 4th concept relating to conversational essentials. To explore the others you can read more here.
#4 Concept: Asking Questions for Which You Have No Answers
Think about the last conversation you had. When you asked a question of someone. Did you already know the answer? Or have a preconceived idea of what the answer would be?
Consider what it means to ask a question for which you already have a preconceived answer. Think about it for a moment. Does being on the receiving end of a “leading question” nurture your feelings of trust? Does it leave you feeling heard and understood? Are you likely to be truthful when you know your answer may not be what they want to hear? How does it make you feel?
I don’t know about you, but there are few things that annoy me more than being asked a leading question. It can make you feel as if you are being manipulated. From a neurochemical perspective, leading questions may up regulate “cortisol”. This results in feeling the need to protect, shut down and distrust what you are trying to achieve.
What is a Question for Which You Have No Answer?
It is a question that is asked from a place of curiosity. Its aim is to discover something you don’t already know. It demonstrates that you are not all knowing. It signals that you are inquisitive and receptive to hearing what someone has to say. Neurologically the effect of this is to up- regulate the oxytocin in our brains. This results in a feeling of validation, openness and connection. These are all important elements necessary for quality conversations.
I thought it would be fun to learn this distinction right here and now in this blog…..
Can you spot the “questions for which I have no answers” in the body of this article? Can you name the leading questions I have also asked? I wonder how each of these leave you feeling?
(When you are done reading, look at the end of the blog. I have listed which questions are leading and which are not).
Are You Up For A Challenge?
I challenge you to experiment. Engage in a conversation where both you and your communication partner ask questions for which you have no answers. Notice how it feels to ask them and to receive them. What do you expect will result? How do you imagine it will feel?
And don’t forget to make silence your friend… This allows your partner the time to process, consider your question and respond!
Applying This Skill In The Workplace
Take the time to ask questions to which you do not know the answer in the workplace. This might be taking the time to get curious about a colleague, or to understand a new concept. It might be reframing the way you seek information from a family in an early childhood intervention situation.
I encourage you to take some time over the next few weeks to practice this skill. It will improve the depth and quality of your conversations.
Do you worry about how your team talks to each other in the workplace? Put conversational intelligence onto your learning and development calendar in 2019. My unique background in occupational therapy, coaching and neuroscientific behavioural science will help you transform your team. I’m taking bookings now, contact me via the link below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here Are My Interpretations of the “Questions for Which I Have No Answers” Challenge:
Questions For Which I Have No Answer
Did you already know the answer?
Have you ever thought about what it means to ask a question for which you have no preconceived answer?
How does it make you feel?
Are you up for a challenge?
Can you spot the “questions for which I have no answers”?
Can you name the leading questions I have also asked?
How do you imagine it will feel?
What do you expect will result?
Did you already know the answer? Or have a preconceived idea of what the answer would be?
Does being on the receiving end of a “leading question” nurture your feelings of trust?
Does it leave you feeling heard and understood?
Are you likely to be truthful when you know your answer may not be what they want to hear?
So what then is a question for which you have no answer?
How good are you at moving yourself and others from being defensive to partnering, from closed-minded to open or from unhelpful thinking to helpful?
Hi there! I’m Jacqui Snider and I’m here to help you and your business grow and flourish.
As an Occupational Therapist and Workplace Culture Coach and Trainer, I am passionate about helping individuals and organisations develop better home and workplace practices that everyone enjoys being part of. With more than 35 years of coaching experience, I have personally coached and trained in excess of 350 leaders, bringing about transformational change in both individuals and teams.
To receive regular tips that will help you build incremental change in your organisation and life, please sign up for, "Small things that matter" below.