The Chemistry of Your Conversations

Everything happens through conversations. Your company’s success depends on the quality of your relationships, which depends on the quality of your conversations.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “They had great chemistry on screen.”

Well, did you know that the chemistry of the conversations you have with others can either reduce or increase your company’s success? That’s right, your behaviors have a chemical impact on those around you and your company.

“Science has now proven that the chemical nature of relationships, conversations, and collaboration is more than an attraction metaphor”, says conversational intelligence expert and neuroscientist Judith Glaser. Glaser is CEO of CreatingWe, an agency whose work promotes the importance of conversations in shaping corporate culture and achieving corporate goals.

The conversations you have with others actually cause a release of specific chemicals in the brain. Positive comments and positive conversations provide a chemical high with the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the bonding hormone that elevates our ability to collaborate, communicate and trust.

Negative conversations and comments, on the other hand, stick with us much longer and release cortisol. Cortisol shuts down the thinking center of our brain and activates conflict aversion and protection behavior. We become more reactive, defensive hyper-sensitive and negative. It is like a sustained release tablet—the more you ruminate about that negative conversation, the longer the impact.

In a study conducted by Glaser and Qualtrics, the world’s largest online survey software company, managers were surveyed to analyze the frequency of negative (cortisol-producing) versus positive (oxytocin-producing) interactions in today’s workplaces. The results revealed that managers are using more positive behaviors like expressing concern for others and painting pictures of mutual successes, and less negative behaviors like pretending to listen and not trusting others’ intentions. The full study can be read here.

The most powerful leadershift you can make as a CPG Professional is to know that you have the power to generate the conversational space that creates deeper understanding, engagement, and trust – not fear and avoidance. And that positive conversational spaces increase our ability to develop trust, improves collaboration with others, and drives innovation.

You can learn more about the chemical impacts of your behavior on others at the upcoming F4SS Connect 2017 event. Judith Glaser will explain how your behavior can open up or close down opportunities for growth and progress.

Lauren Wilson