Professional Development: Emotional Programming: Conversational Capacity

Conversational capacity is the skill of having balance in dialogue, and most especially when under pressure. A seemingly essential concept yet one largely overlooked if not totally ignored.

It should come as no surprise that we are hardwired to treat our views and opinions as truth. It is part of our emotional programming. In a conversation, when someone has a differing point of view, we instinctively default back on our primal predispositions of fight-or-flight.

These predispositions often hijack the conversation; triggering us to avoid or win on the issue.

If we want to be more aware of the impact these tendencies have on us, we must pay closer attention to how we react in difficult conversations.

Let’s be clear, it is no easy task to resist the gravitational pull of these programmed responses. It takes practice to instinctually set aside our tendencies and seek a higher set of objectives. The hallmark objective is to move from unconsciousness, to awareness, to a guiding mindset where we manage these primal behaviors. Only then can we ensure balanced conversations with positive end results.

Given the pivotal impact this has on relationships, teams, and organizations; it’s a mystery why the subject gets so little attention and training. Treating dialogue as a discipline is a much needed skill in today’s day and age. After all, do you want to participate in conversations in a way that leads to informed choice or willful ignorance?

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