Bridging Lives Notes: July 2016

Facing into Challenges
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Who comes to mind when you think of your biggest challenges right now?

Does starting with “who” seem odd? It might feel better to identify what your biggest challenges are first. Take a moment now to identify 2-3 specific challenges.

To nudge your thinking, consider at least one challenge in each of these three buckets:
  • External Challenges – external events and people that throw up barriers or open new possibilities
  • Internal Challenges – attitudes and tendencies that get in your way or allow you to lead your way
  • Challenges Arising from Leadership Itself – issues and dynamics you must cope with specifically because you’re a leader.
Now, come back to the “who” question. Who comes to mind?

Do you see...
  • people who represent the challenge
  • people who are your allies to meet the challenge, or
  • yourself and who you need to be?
Either way, you’ve got some challenging conversations before you.
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How you show up in those conversations will make all the difference in recognizing, learning from and rising to those challenges together.

When do you feel powerful or powerless in conversation?

What power do you have to influence the direction, feeling and outcome of a tough conversation?

What could make you more eager to engage with someone who’s challenging you?

Raising Your C-IQ
Have you heard of C-IQ before? C-IQ is shorthand for “conversational intelligence.” That’s your capacity to up-regulate what is happening and what is possible in conversation, co-creating results with other people. Our C-IQ is at play every day and is a source of considerable power.

What difference would it make if you could effectively raise your C-IQ?

According to Judith Glaser, PhD, author of Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, "Conversations are not what they seem. They are part of incredible energetic interactions that impact our neurochemistry and activate powerful systems and networks in our brain and heart that ‘read’ the energy and enable us to engage with others either as friend or foe - and all in .07 seconds."

Conversations are not simply a way of sharing information. Conversations trigger somatic responses that impact what and how we experience and express our reality. When you really look, everything happens through conversation.

Your leadership success rides on the quality of your conversations.

What increases your odds of leading more successful conversations?
How you listen is an excellent place to start.

First, catch yourself when you're listening to judge, reject or protect. Is your conversational partner listening that way, too? When we feel threatened (consciously or unconsciously), the natural and deeply patterned response is to protect. When you trigger protection, it’s tough to partner. Triggered by threats, we experience higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline and maybe even an "amygdala hijack." Cortisol causes us to think and act differently. This shows up, for example, as defensive posturing and stances of distrust.
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What can you do to up-regulate the listening – yours and another person’s? Listen to CONNECT.

Connecting requires Care, Courage, and Candor.

Start with Care. What’s more important to you here than being right? What do you really care about?

Add Courage. Courage comes from a sincere heart connection, giving you access to much greater intelligence that just your smarts. Become more curious and less certain so you can meet on common ground.

Finally, choose Candor.

Significantly, it matters that you approach these elements for listening to connect in that order. Imagine the impact of reversing the order. You start with candor but there’s no communicated sense of caring or courageous listening. Chances are, that will feel threatening, bringing up barriers of resistance, distrust and separation.

And that's just the beginning...
Tuning into "WE"
Step back and ask yourself: “What is my purpose in having this conversation?” Whether you want to inform, persuade, or co-create, look for ways to create mutual success.

It’s like tuning into different radio stations for completely different music. The station for “power over” is WIIFM; it’s the I-centric “what’s in it for ME” station. The station for “power with” is WIIFW; it’s the WE-centric “what’s in it for WE” station. Tuned into WIIFW, you have more power to up-regulate your quality of connection, level of conversation and capacity to co-create with others.
Curious for More?
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I've recently completed Judith Glaser's first ever C-IQ Enhanced Program. Later this year I'll complete the highly selective Certification Program, for which I have also been invited to serve as a Peer Group Facilitator.

Every aspect of the C-IQ methodology is rooted in leading-edge neuroscience and decades of leadership and organizational culture change practice.

Find a variety of C-IQ-related articles by Judith Glaser on my BridgingLives-BL Facebook page. ("Like" the page for even more.)

If you're curious about C-IQ, please contact me.
Let's explore ways we can introduce C-IQ for your leadership growth and collaborative excellence.

Call for Participation

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For Women Leaders in Science:
What would empower you to lead with greater impact without sacrificing your wellbeing?

Join us for The Feminine Face of Leadership in Science (FFLS). Be part of this collaborative study/seminar that engages women scientists into an enlivening inquiry and mutually empowering experience, unlike any you’ve had before. Designed for women scientists leading their way in academia and industry.

Enrollment closes September 30, 2016

Please see for more information and to enroll. Or contact me directly at 415-332-8338 |

Thank you for helping me spread the word!
You Are the Bridge to “better”
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For the work that's yours to do, you are the bridge to "better." Thank you for the important work you do and the leader you're becoming while you do it. I'm here as your ally, partnering with you to thrive.

Be in touch...and stay tuned!
Lead. Collaborate. Grow. ... to Thrive!
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