Monday, January 12, 2015

Combat Fear in Relationships....Build Bridges of Trust

Do you desire to build trust with a coworker, family member, neighbor or friend?

We've all been a part of conversations where one or both parties shut down or close each other off.  This often comes from fear or perceived threat.   Research and science has shown us that conversations have a neurochemical component.  When there is mistrust or fear, cortisol closes down the part of the brain (prefrontal cortex), that connects with others, is creative, and innovative.  When trust is present in the conversation, oxytocin is produced, which opens up the prefrontal cortex.* 

Fear Puts up Walls and Shuts Down Healthy Conversation

 Judith Glaser states in her book Conversational Intelligence:
The best antidotes to the brain’s fear are trust, empathy, and support.  When someone shows concern for us, our brain chemistry makes a shift.  We become calmer, we regain our composure ……Because conversations depend on how we think, how we listen, and how we speak, it’s vital that we learn to bring ourselves into a state of trust in order to ensure conversational success.”

 Offer Trust, Empathy and Support
  • Listen to the person without judgment
  • Ask questions to gain understanding and see their perspective
  • Seek a tangible way to support them (listen, offer a meal, help them with a task)
Reflect, Ask & Act:
  • When you converse with someone, what puts you in defense or fear mode?
  • Think of someone at work, in your family, a neighbor, or friend:
-Listen to them without judgment

-Ask Questions to gain understanding of their view or circumstance

-Seek a tangible way to support them

-Do something together with them

*Conversational Intelligence, by Judith Glaser


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this timely posting. It will be put to good use.