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Conversational IQ: Reality Gaps

Reality Gaps

Conflicts commonly arise when there’s a reality gap (an opposing interpretation of reality). They trigger an array of fears that activate our distrust network. We begin to process reality through a fear-based (vs. trust-based) lens. We start to make stuff up.

When we talk past one another, we are conversationally blind. We become focused on making a point and persuading others we’re right. Winning becomes the goal instead of co-creating a shared solution.

In some studies, executives were found to use statements 85 percent of the time, asking questions only 15 percent of the time. Even their questions often turned out to be statements in disguise.

One’s conversational ability isn’t necessarily innate, but you can improve upon it. Conversation partners must agree to share thoughts, ideas and beliefs to co-create a shared sense of mutual reality.


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