How to eliminate pointless confrontations and create more intelligent conversations in your relationships?

By Daniel Renaud, published 2016-11-20

It is quite easy to judge someone almost instantly. However, when that happens, we are also given the opportunity to change our mindset for a state of openness. Certain techniques used in coaching, teach us how to abandon our protective brain for a more open and giving brain. In order to achieve this, first, we must have a clear understanding of our psychology and of our thoughts. We must constantly ask ourselves questions to make sure that none of our old primitive habits take the upper hand on our intelligent self.

You might have already judged someone at first sight with the impression that your verdict was already set, that no matter his or her actions, your judgment would not change. It has been proven that a judgment is made in 7 seconds. And the worse thing about this is that our judgments are not within our conscious control. Instead, they arise from our unconscious mind and remain far beyond our field of consciousness.

In order to understand this better, one's state of unconsciousness represents all processes carried out by our primitive brain, which some call, our animal brain. This primitive brain is the control center of our instinctive reflexes. This is where our instincts take the upper hand over our conscious thoughts.

This part of our brain has been developed likewise, over 200 000 years ago for "Brak's"(fictitious name of a prehistoric man) survival. Back then, for his own survival, Brak had to take split second decisions, especially when a predator chased him. In a survival situation, feelings of fear, fight or flight and uncertainty took hold of him. This process was thus highly adaptive for Brak's time with mammoths and saber-toothed cats. Right, who wouldn't be scared of these animals? However, is the situation the same today? Has Brak's brain sufficiently adapted? In other words, has our psychology evolved sufficiently in line with our modern society?

I dare to say no! Our psychology is far from being sufficiently adapted to today's world. Why? Because, in just 12 milliseconds, the primitive instincts of fear take the upper hand over conscious thoughts of the neocortex. However, there are training techniques used in coaching that help us to move away from the primitive brain (more unconscious) towards the modern brain (more conscious).

In fact, the research carried out by doctor Judith E. Glaser (The DNA of Leadership, and Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results) based on relationship types, reveals that confidence is a strong indicator whether we remain within a state of unconsciousness or if we bridge towards a state of openness and co-creation consciousness.

If we return to the example at the beginning, that it is quite easy to judge someone almost instantly. Based on the conversational intelligence theory, we are also given the opportunity to change our mindset by not living in a continued state of closure. The reality is that, although Brak's instinctive brain is poorly adapted to today's relationships where physical dangers are much less; it's still possible to move from this primitive brain towards a more modern one.

Certain techniques used in coaching, teach us how to abandon our protective brain towards an opened brain. In order to achieve this, we must first have a clear understanding of our psychology and all of our thoughts. We must constantly ask questions within ourselves and make sure that none of our old primitive habits take the upper hand. For instance, we may wonder: how should I act in this relationship and at this time? How do I feel now? Despite all that, how should I welcome the other person? By asking these types of questions, we automatically switch to our modern brain; an invitation to connection and co-creation. This is also a state of a greater consciousness of oneself, others and the environment. This is a state of presence where it becomes easier to bring positive energy into the relationship; to open, connect and understand the other person.

Thus, starting tomorrow whenever you meet a person with a mindset of closure, and that you are about to judge him, instead try to inflict a new energy, remain positive, be yourself, and aim at an effective opening for your conversation. See if the other person is receptive. And if there is no reaction from his part or if the relationship does not take a step further, it's best to simply leave and try it again the next day!

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