Conversational Intelligence, a Cocktail of NeuroChemicals

If a child lives in encouragement, he learns to be confident; If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty-Anonymous. We can all recall, how easy it is to communicate with kids; by showing an interest and by listening to them patiently. Because we aren’t judgmental and don’t believe they are unpleasant or feigning (they do sometimes though); and we quickly establish stronger bonds. Adults and children with healthy and positive relationship communicate on regular basis without any threats. That’s how we learn emotional intelligence from our surrounding environs.

Photo credit: Jason Schukltz

Our conversations largely start at three levels of continuum: level one is transactional and allows us to share information in one-sided environment; level two-is positional, leadership is mostly influence where we try to influence others with our point of view; level three-is transformational, to shape reality by spreading our ideas across. Judith E. Glaser calls these as Co-Creating Conversations. Before engaging into any conversation, our nervous systems continuously evaluate the environment; making neurochemical adaptions that impact our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in our conversations.

The development of interactive conversational skills is also an important part of socialization. We engage in conversation to learn, collaborate and understand others. This happens when we make ourselves vulnerable to others to find a common language of trust. Countless messages ranging from ecstatic to dejected reach us every day in several ways, leading to information overload. We don’t have enough time to process these interactions. Research shows, working in such fragmented fashion significantly impact efficiency, creativity, mental acuity and leaves us stressed.

Kevin Ciccotti, a well-known figure, a public speaker and certified coach; popularly known as Human Factor Formula guy. In his lecture at University of Nevada talked about cocktail of three neurochemicals that drives our conversations. The decoction of Dopamine, Cortisol and Oxytocin, runs in our system all the time. Dopamine, a chemical released by neurons through dopamine pathways, and into prefrontal cortex. Inside our brain, it plays a major role in motivation and rewards. Its high level can lead to addicted stressful behaviors such as, ‘have to be right always’. Cortisol, a stress hormone is released under high level of uncertainty and normalize upon completion of the task. However, continuous stress leads leads to free floating cortisol (half-life of 26 hours) without any outlet, backfires and starts emitting host of negative health effects. Oxytocin, whereas plays a role in social bonding, facilitating trust and attachment between individuals. Consequently, is referred as love hormone and works an anti-depressant and brings empathy.

Trust is an essential element for any engaged relationship. It may take years to build one and a second to lose. We can learn to be a self-bartender of this cocktail, by keep three in equilibrium and stimulate a healthy milieu. How? By understanding their special effects we can; Strive for Oxytocin. Cutback Cortisol. Balance Dopamine.

Writing on Conversational Intelligence and the neurochemistry behind it, comes from Coach Kevin’s lecture. Its in continuation of my reflection to contribute to Vibrant Healthy Communities. Share your thoughts and ideas on C-IQ !

Author: VandanaSandhir

Developing Vibrant Communities

2 thoughts on “Conversational Intelligence, a Cocktail of NeuroChemicals”

  1. Hi Vandana, this is another good blog. I can’t imagine a world without a conversation. The variety of languages, try to convey the same message and a differently abled uses a sign language or braille. But the cognitive mechanism to interpret is the same for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sheli! Thanks for the comment, and I couldn’t agree with you more. By being aware of how these neuro chemicals affects the body, we can be an orchestra conductor in our conversations. Thank you Sheli!


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