How Confrontational Intelligence Can Get You What You Want


Last year, I studied and was certified in Judith Glaser's Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) work. In her teachings, she describes the Three Levels of Conversation as follows:

• Level I is transactional. This is when we exchange information. You ask. I tell. Repeat. Reverse. And so goes the dance. This is simply giving instructions or directing someone.

• Level II is positional. It is an exchange of power when we explore what we know. It is persuading, advocating, inquiring and influencing others to agree with us.

• Level III occurs when we share and discover what we don’t know together. This is having what I call a co-active conversation. Level III conversations create a lot of space to feel safe and be safe.

Conversational Intelligence has taught me when and how to use these different levels of conversations. Using this model helps me find a common language with my clients, who go on to have a common language with their teams. It has also helped me learn how my mind may hinder or support me in being successful in certain conversations and help me get what I want.

Confrontation is one of those things that most us turn away from — no, run away from. Confrontation has such a negative connotation in our society that most people will avoid it at all costs. Each of us has experienced a time when avoiding a conversation is just easier than addressing it. But does this really help us get what we want? I think the answer is no.


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