DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Better late than never!

Written by: on September 23, 2018

As I scrolled through online commentary and reviews about Judith Glaser’s book, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results, one came up that reflected my own thinking. It said simply, “good concept that could have been summarized in one essay.”[1]

To be clear, Glaser has written a book that is chock full of content, ideas, approaches and systems for improving leadership and results.  Her basic premise as she puts it in the introduction is that “to get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of our culture, which depends on the quality of our relationships, which depends on the quality of our conversations.  Everything happens through conversations!’”[2]

As the reviewer suggests, Glaser’s core idea is a good one.  This focus on culture, relationships and conversations is something that every leader should internalize and use to build strong teams.

Recently, in my congregational context, I led a half-day staff off-site and then an overnight retreat for our Elders where we experienced what Glaser is writing about. We spent time intentionally clarifying what is important about our leadership culture, building relationships with each other (especially those who are new) and having honest conversations about the year ahead.

To do this work, we focused on a passage of scripture, from Paul’s Letter to the Romans.[3]  In it, he is describing the way that the new community, the Church, would think, speak and act toward each other as well as to the watching world.  The words are so rich, and apply to church staffs, leadership boards as well as many other organizations that one might lead.

It says:Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.[e] 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;[f] do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God;[g] for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Reading through these words of scripture line by line, we talked about what they would mean for us. We used white butcher paper and put everybody’s ideas up on it.  We used sticky notes to cluster our thoughts.  We sat in a circle, allowing for the non-verbal cues to be noticed, and people to have a chance to speak.

This scene, which is experienced in one form or another in all sorts of healthy organizations, is an example of what Glaser is trying to get across.  A critique of the book is that she surrounds this core idea with too much material.  It takes what should be a crisp, enjoyable read, and makes it more of a textbook than a guidebook.

One example of this is the sheer number of acronyms and mnemonics that Glaser invents or includes. There is the TRUST model[4], there is REALITY[5], there are the FORCES that impact trust: “Fairness, Ownership, Reciprocity, Cooperation, Expression, Status.”[6]The list goes on: the Ladder of Conclusions[7], the Seven Conversation[8], the STAR model[9]and more.

Early in the book, Glaser shares an anecdote about one of her first leadership-coaching clients. She explains how she was not self-aware enough at the time to really help this individual.  She writes, “coaching requires you to know yourself first; from that platform you can help others know themselves.”[10]  For someone whose work centers on self-knowledge, Glaser should know herself and her audience a bit better.

With all of that being said, Conversational Intelligence offers a lot to a leader looking for frameworks and patterns for a team.  With my own leaders, focusing on Romans 12 and talking about how we can know and care for each other is just a simple expression of what Glaser’s work is all about.  It is an ongoing project to bind people together with love, which is what Saint Paul seemed to know.  Judith Glaser knows it, too.

[1]“Good Reads,” www.goodreads.com, accessed September 20, 2018, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17801996-conversational-intelligence.

[2]Judith E. Glaser, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (New York: Bibliomotion, Inc, 2014), xix.

[3]Rom. 12:9-21 (New Revised Standard Version).

[4]Judith E. Glaser, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (New York: Bibliomotion, Inc, 2014), 56-57.

[5]Judith E. Glaser, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (New York: Bibliomotion, Inc, 2014), 160.

[6]Judith E. Glaser, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (New York: Bibliomotion, Inc, 2014), 102.

[7]Judith E. Glaser, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (New York: Bibliomotion, Inc, 2014), 41.

[8]Judith E. Glaser, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (New York: Bibliomotion, Inc, 2014), 162.

[9]Judith E. Glaser, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (New York: Bibliomotion, Inc, 2014), xxvii.

[10]Judith E. Glaser, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results (New York: Bibliomotion, Inc, 2014), 4.

About the Author

Dave Watermulder

14 responses to “Better late than never!”

  1. Greg says:

    Dave, I too thought this book was overly simplistic. Your quoted review made me laugh.

    Acronyms and mnemonics sells books and opens the doors to invitations to seminars 🙂 I feeling pretty sarcastic today. Love the time a team can be together and just dig into the word and see how that shapes our lives and our future together.

  2. mm Kyle Chalko says:

    Good John dave. Yeah I felt like she kind of just kept throwing things in there again and again. It’s like she needed a certain amount of pages to be able to get it to market or something!

    How many models and acronyms can someone remember?

  3. Shawn Hart says:

    Dave, as you mentioned, there was a very simple series of messages presented in this book, and yet, how many of those simple messages do we see our leaders fail at continuously? I think sometimes we get so caught up in being deep and profound that too often, we fail to remember the simpler lessons on communication.

    I had our youth minister, a number of years ago, walk up to a mother and verbal assault her over the fact that her daughter had not been at church lately. The man asked no questions, show any concern, or even give basic respect and consideration for the woman standing before him. In the middle of a bunch of people, right before services began, he leapt with both feet and pounced as aggressively as he could. Though the attack was brief, it definitely showed its effects as the woman struggled not to cry as she made her way to her pew. Needless to say, I took care of it. I pulled the man into a room, shut the door, and then explained to him that had he spoken to my wife he would have been punched out in front of the congregation by the preacher. After the look of shock started to subside, I took the opportunity after services to give him a much deeper lesson on the value of brotherly love toward others (yes, I realize I had previously threatened to knock him out…but that is the point). We may have our bible memorized, our sermons perfected, and our dress clothes pressed sharp; but if we do not learn how to communicate in even the simplest ways, then it is all a waste of time.

    I have used the woman at the well as an example in teaching this lesson; can you imagine if Jesus had not decided to be more diplomatic in His word choice? What if He would have attacked her character for all of her failed marriages; would He have still had her return with all of her family and friends? It is amazing how poor some leaders are at communicating…perhaps we need a little more simple to remind them how important it still is.

  4. Chris Pritchett says:

    Good work Dave. Your experience with the staff and elders retreat made me miss my work in the congregational setting. Like you, I found the book helpful but mostly, the author’s talk at the Gates Foundation was most useful for me. My main takeaway is to be intentional about asking questions for which I do not know the answers. But lots of common sense and good reminders of what we learned in CPE, I think.

  5. mm Trisha Welstad says:

    Dave, I felt similar to you when reading, that there was too much content to be able to implement. As brilliant as Glaser seems, on the whole she does not connect with a wider readership on the popular level to be able to help them well. I am glad for your work with your church and your meditation on timeless truth that brings them together in unity. I am praying your team is stronger from your time together.

  6. Sobatpoker says:

    if you are interested in betting on the best online websites, gambling on online poker sites, or playing other online gambling, this sobatpoker site provides everything you need. You do not need to wait long when making a deposit on this site, because it takes less than 2 minute everything will be OK and you can

  7. Vip casino sitesi Cratosslot

  8. Spor Bahisleri için Cratossporting

  9. Radyo says:

    Tüm radyo frekansları için

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *