How to upgrade your conversations by thinking with your heart
As in all other life situations, in critical conversations we won’t go very far without a self-empowering mindset. It’s the basis of success for whatever we do. But what about our heart-set?
Did you know that the heart is a part of our brain? – Yes, that’s right. We have a heart brain (as well as a gut brain… for the records). For today, let’s start with heart.
In business, when we think with our heart and you do it with a positive achievement in mind, it means we’re tapping into our innate emotional intelligence. (When we think heart, we think of feelings.) This intelligence now becomes more available for us to use it in our communication and behavior.
The heart is one of the processing centers of our nervous system (as are the head and gut). Intentionally opening our heart before we step into a meeting allows us to connect with others on a deeper level and enhance our listening skills. We can now “put ourselves in other people’s shoes” and become empathetic to their situations and challenges. When our conversation partners feel that we truly listen, with compassion and the sincere intention to understand where they are coming from, they will trust us more, feel safer in our presence and open up. They will share what’s really on their minds (or on their hearts) rather than what they think they are expected to say. And more transparent communication often makes it easier to reach a mutual agreement.
Our heart also has a role in the courage we bring to our business conversations, to speaking up in meetings, presenting in front of an audience, applying for a job... Courage originates in our heart. The word courage is derived from the Latin word cor. Let’s look at other languages and their words for heart/courage:
- Italian: cuore/coraggio
- French: coeur/courage
- Spanish: corazón/valor or coraje
- Portuguese: coração/corajoso
- And in my own native tongue, German, an old word for courageous is beherzt, which comes from Herz (heart).
That’s how far my language skills take me, though I’m sure we could find many more examples in other languages.
BodyTalk, a state-of-the-art holistic healing modality I studied, teaches us about the heart’s consciousness: The heart is about awareness, acceptance, love and self-love, respect, harmony… Using our heart brain helps us to be present for ourselves and others. This can make all the difference in a conversation.
Conversational Intelligence® or C-IQ® with its powerful tools to help us navigate successfully through team conversations and negotiations, also focuses on using all parts of our brain, including the heart.
Thinking with our heart means making decisions based on how we are feeling rather than facts only. I have made my worst decisions based on so-called “facts” (which are often very subjective anyway). We all do at some point in our lives. Have you ever made a decision where you didn’t listen to your heart,… maybe because you didn’t trust your intuition, your inner feeling voice, your heart’s and your gut’s voice? As a result, did you go through a painful lesson? – Even in conversations with ourselves, like when we make a decision, it pays off to be heart-centered!
Business people have discovered the critical role of mindfulness for success. It's time to add heartfulness to the picture. When our heart is filled with positive expectations, whether these are related to our business outcome, our relationships with others, our vision, that's when we can bring about success with greater ease and more fun.
So… next time you go into a conversation, check first: Is brain is in the right place? – Start with your heart!
And if you’d like to find out more about this and the powerful work we do with women leaders, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you on my calendar for a discovery session.