How to identify and influence behavior patterns

According to expert Judith Glaser, to get challenging conversations back on track and move them toward a satisfying or productive conclusion, you'll need to navigate the conversational levels.

A modern "tin-can telephone" re-creates a primitive form of communication. (YouTube video clip from an episode of Nickelodeon's children's program, "Mr. Wizard's World," circa the 1980s)

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2016 – On both personal and professional levels, creating effective and positive communication can be challenging for many people. This is true because we all have different patterns of behavior and language that we use when communicating with groups or with one another.

Judith Glaser’s “Conversational Intelligence” is the standard bearer not only for discovering how to pull mindset and conversation together but for relationship building as well. “To get to the next level of greatness,” says Glaser, “depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of relationships, which depends on the quality of conversations.”

I am having success sharing Glaser’s volume and key ideas with my clients. Clients who are currently embracing and using this advice are already living more positive, productive lives.

A client recently said to me, “[Glaser’s book] makes so much sense. I used to avoid having conversations if I knew they could be difficult. You’ve given me the tools to feel confident in any conversation…at the office and at home.”

Today, I want to focus on conversational patterns themselves. In the next few weeks, we’ll discuss how to interrupt and redirect them. Each pattern in and of itself is important.

To begin, Glaser describes four types of conversational dynamics, how they work, and how they progress:

  1. Pattern Identification
  2. Pre-cognitive Identification
  3. Acknowledging Conversational Levels I & II
  4. Creating the Space for Conversational Level III

Let’s briefly examine these further, one by one.

Pattern Identification: When communicating, first, you have to be aware of and notice whether a communication pattern is being repeated and ask yourself if it is having a positive impact. An example of this is a pattern of “telling” instead of “asking.”

Another example of a pattern occurs when someone tries to persuade you instead of actually listening to what you are saying. How frustrating! If you’ve been in this kind of communication situation, you’ve almost certainly noticed that the ensuing conversation can begin to quickly go downhill. Most of us know how this feels.

Pre-cognitive Identification occurs when you notice during a conversation that an individual is having a visceral or “gut” reaction to what’s said at some deeper level. You may experience this at times yourself when you find you can’t express in words just how you feel about a person, event or idea.

Acknowledging Conversational Levels I (Transactional-exchange of information to keep people in the loop) and II (Positional-exchanging power to influence others to our point of view using our personal power and influence skills). At Glaser’s Conversational Levels I and II, you find you are noticing and are literally able to call out and stop a given conversation by identifying the conversational dynamic or lack thereof, allowing you to refocus those involved on a more effective communication pattern or one that might better fit the situation.

Last but not least…Creating the Space for Level III. Noticing the need for Level III (Transformational-exchanging energy and co-creating ideas with others), you can then call it out, shifting the team dynamics at that point toward a more “share and discover” conversational environment, one that will hopefully help the team reach a satisfactory resolution.

If you’re having communication issues either at home or at work, invite Susan in to facilitate a workshop, to coach, or to speak on the topic to help you navigate toward calmer conversational waters and smooth sailing for all involved.

For more Information Contact:

Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, CPCC

Certified Business, Life & Leadership Coach Focusing on Confidence & Resilience Strategies, Life & Career Transition, & Business & Leadership

Certified Mediator         [email protected]
Twitter: @SelfTalkCoach
301-706-7226 & 703-574-0039!/susan.samakow

Ask Susan about her coaching packages and the Stress Reducing techniques she teaches: EFT (Tapping) and Breathing Exercises.

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