Within the context of Leader Language LLQi, let’s consider Self-Belief, Believability, Beliefs and appropriate Communication Behavior. I am busy drafting the book as well as producing 2-minute vignettes about LLQi.
B is for…
I used to open all of my speaking engagements with the question to the audience of, “how are you?”. In an LLQi context, the question I now begin with is, “what are you?”. The follow-up questions asks “how are you supporting what you are?”.
The drill-down is to look at self-belief. Do we feel like frauds? We don’t win some kind of lottery where we are simply awarded our role. Yet we are often limited by our own internal boundaries – and ‘belief’ is a big one.“Leader Language LLQi”, Neil Fogarty
Our leader belief manifests itself in many ways (and, too much belief can lead to delusion!) . If we don’t have this self-belief, we can’t trust others – and trust is a cornerstone of LLQi.
We have to believe in our ability to communicate effectively. We believe that others reflect LLQi back to us. Being the LLQi Agent is a risk inasmuch as everyone has to play by the same rules. Do you have the right kind of leader belief within you? Do you know people who demonstrate the right kind of communication behaviour?
If we don’t have leader belief, how can other people buy into us? At deep, atavistic levels, humans have the ability to intuit. This intuition means that we can ‘read’ people. What can block or obfuscate this intuition is logic.
Albert Einstein called the intuitive or metaphoric mind a sacred gift. He added that the rational mind was a faithful servant. It is paradoxical that in the context of modern life we have begun to worship the servant and defile the divine.“The Metaphoric Mind: A Celebration of Creative Consciousness” by Bob Samples
Basically, if we pay attention to our physical reactions, we can sense the believability of others. If we sense this level of believability, we can may or may not sense a lack of authenticity.
The lack of believability serves to inhibit collaboration, change / transformation, sales whilst also creating conflict.
If we look at what sits ‘Below-The-Line‘, we see values and beliefs.
Our beliefs are convictions that we generally hold to be true (even without evidence to support them). Aside from religious beliefs, consider the core non-religious belief of all people being created equal.
As an LLQi conversation is founded on our communication behaviour, the non-religious core belief of equality is central.
Our beliefs inform how we receive, process and transmit information. These beliefs grow from what we see, hear, experience, read and think about. From these, we develop our opinions and our values.
Going through life, our experiences and interactions help to shape these beliefs. This means that they may change or they may be entrenched. I refer to Confirmation Bias in the next blog. This is our tendency to cherry-pick information that confirms existing beliefs.
Communication Behaviour in the workplace
So what happens if we believe in truth, openness and honesty yet, in confiding with a colleague in the workplace, you find that a secret becomes common knowledge? Part of the belief system now may include the caveat of ‘ah yes, but you can’t trust people with something important“.
An LLQi Agent would raise the issue with the first colleague (to explain the belief, the underlying conditions of the belief and also be self-aware enough to modify their belief accordingly.
I never said it would be easy.
If we can understand the foundations of our beliefs, we can communicate in a clearer manner to other people. Similarly, if we take the time to understand the foundations of the beliefs of others, we can have reasoned discussions. Rather than trying to change someone’s belief system, we can speak about the building blocks of the belief instead.
I worked with a banking client who said that she had experienced no negative influences from her childhood that affected her in her adult life. As we talked it through, it was obvious that her parents loved her very much – and would reward her every time she did well at school. What she eventually understood was that she had been conditioned to associate success with rewards and this drove her adult behaviours of focus and ‘winning at all costs’. Not all foundations of a belief have to be a bad experience.“Leader Language LLQi”, Neil Fogarty
Communication Behaviour influences our individual differences how we express our feelings, needs, and thoughts. As well as the words we use, the way we communicate (prosody) makes for a substitute for more direct and open communication.
Prosody is the toolkit of non-verbal communicators that come under LLQi’s “communication behaviour”. This includes stress of syllables / words, rhythm (including speed of speech), volume, pitch, hand movements, facial movements, and so on.
Whereas a conversation can communicate a message, the ‘leakage’ of certain words used (e.g. “need to”, “have to”, “must”, “I will try”, etc.) all add flavour. Prosody is an interesting insight into some of what is going on Below-The-Line – the innerstate and midstate conversations going on in our head.
Also within LLQi’s “communication behavior” is Transactional Analysis; specifically “Strokes”. Whilst I will look at Strokes in a later blog, the physical indicators from this model helps to build or dismantle the confidence of other parties in the conversation.
Each nod, smile, friendly eye contact can be considered to be a Positive Stroke but if it’s insincere… well, people know!
In addition to Communication Behaviour is Leader Behaviour which is where ‘actions speak louder than words’. If you care to search online for ‘leader behaviour’ you will find a ready mix of lists by thought leaders (or people who contribute for free to various journals) about what are the key behaviours.
Alternatively, check out one of the later blogs in this series.
A bonus one for you…
When I work with clients, I always check to see where their ‘line’ is. What kind of conversations are taking place?
At points in our life, our beliefs (in the innerstate) are conflicted with our conscious thoughts (midstate) and can lead to inappropriate communications (outerstate).
If there is conflict between what we believe and what is expected of us, we may communicate (verbally and behaviourally) in inauthentic ways. Our communication behaviour is impacted by what’s happening below-the-line.
Depending on the contamination from the midstate, we may communicate in ways contradictory to how we feel. This disparity causes internal conflict and, therefore, tensions. One of the ways to release the tension is through angry outbursts.
Through our own self-awareness and the empathy of others, we can recognise, acknowledge and understand underlying beliefs. If we can do this, we can understand the motivation behind behaviors.
For an effective LLQi conversation, there has to be a willingness to lower the line – to make some things invisible below the line visible. This is not an overnight process (although you will note how your line is lower when speaking with your very best friend). Many initial workplace conversations will have a high line but, as trust grows, the line will lower.