For over 20 years, Samantha has worked with public, private and non-profit organizations.

She has coached hundreds of male and female executives and leaders across a variety of industries. She uses a unique blueprint to accelerate client performance and improve the quality of their human dynamic interactions.


Get control of your neuro and biochemical response tendencies to regulate your reactions, improve your ability to perform under pressure, and influence others to shared outcomes

The Science of Conversations

Our lives are defined by the conversations we can and cannot—or are unable to—have with others. We have all found ourselves up against a topic that feels too intimidating to discuss; a question that sparks defensiveness; and moments where it seems easier to become agreeable than defend our perspective. 
Conversations challenge us to thrive or survive in two different ways:
  1. We can lean into courageous vulnerability to connect deeply and create emotional bonds with others, which open up the conversational space for shifting people to shared meaning, outcomes, and innovative solutions.

  2. We can power over and hurt each other by restricting contributions, voices, concerns, and opinions in the conversational space. 

Conversations are chemically charged...

During a conversation, the prefrontal cortex needs to get to a concrete decision-point or committed state to circumvent stress and anxiety. In the most simplified way, if the participating parties aren’t able to skillfully navigate the conversational space, the amygdala—the region of the brain primarily associated with emotional responses—takes over and shuts down our executive functioning. When the amygdala takes over, we are triggered into four response choices: fight, flight, freeze, or appease. 

But we can reclaim our response behavior.

Understanding the neurochemicals that help the cells within our body, brains, and nervous system communicate is key to regulating the chemical, physical, and emotional triggers that show up in our interactions.
Brain-based leadership strategies help us reclaim our intentional engagement in conversations and transform artificial harmony into trust currency and relationship currency.


The Business Case for
Conversational Intelligence

Leadership takes place in the conversational space. That’s why the ability to architect dialogue that builds trust is one of the most crucial competencies for gaining competitive advantage in the business environment. And it isn’t done by simply going through the motions.

choices are made by the average person per day

decisions are made by leaders per hour


of decisions made and behaviors that we act upon are unconscious

Credit: Eva M. Krockow Ph.D. for Psychology Today | Dr. Kimble Greene for ‘The Power to Thrive’

Conscious Conversation

If less than 10% of our thoughts, feelings, and actions are conscious decisions from moment to moment, how strategic and intentional are you being as a leader? 
Conversational intelligence begins with navigating the dialogue space in order to build trust and transform the quality and outcomes of conversations. By focusing on holistic influencing—a term first coined by GrowthFuel—we open up space to create emotional bonds with listening to understand, being curious, and other neuroleadership techniques.
Holistic influencing is the creation of emotional bonds with others through a biological and chemical reaction triggered as a result of feeling heard, seen, valued, and understood in the moment. Leveraging this to build trust brings alignment to healthy partnering conversations.

What Smart Conversations
Look Like

Using conversational intelligence and brain-based leadership techniques, GrowthFuel equips leaders with the tools and scripts they need to overcome their conversational limitations and improve their strategic relationship power and influence.
  • Shifting from ‘I’ to ‘We’ to navigate the conversational space

  • Deeply connecting by extending, repairing, and maintaining trust

  • Creating an environment of mutual respect

  • Navigating power dynamics

  • Regulating and navigating around emotional triggers (yours and theirs)

  • Shifting the dialogue to get to higher ground and avoid feeling like a victim

  • Masterfully advancing around tension and misaligned agendas to increase mutual success and move towards co-creation
  • Creating humanizing conditions that allow others to flourish

  • Confidence in your conversational agility 

  • Embodying the brain-based frameworks as a business application
  • Uncertainty that creates stress or hostile dialogue that creates fear
  • Inability to express your thoughts and feelings

  • Relationships tagged as distrusting
  • Not feeling heard, valued, or understood

  • Inability to perform under pressure

  • Not able to be authentic or speak your truth 

  • Not getting access to strategic initiatives in the workplace 

  • Withholding information and creating artificial harmony
  • Defaulting to defensiveness, disconnection, or disengagement  

  • Microaggressions that shut others down
  • Lack of ability to influence up or down the organization

  • Playing into the power dynamic game 

Getting to the Next
Level of Greatness

Leveling up as a leader, team, or organization depends on the quality of the culture, relationships, and conversations. Focusing leadership development through the lens of conversational intelligence allows leaders to recognize behaviors that open up or close down relationships and navigate with professional bravery in those moments that matter most.

Dig Deeper

Learn more about conversational intelligence, leadership, decision-making, trust, and influence at The Exchange—blogs, articles, and podcasts by GrowthFuel covering the latest in brain-science.

Six Steps To Designing Thriving Relationship Connections In A Digital Social Exchange


14 Key Steps To Become A Better Team Player At Work


Opening Locked Doors: Social Isolation In The Conversational Space

Command-And-Control Leadership Can Feed Your Ego; Instead, Aim For Cocreation

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Gain conversational agility.

At a loss for words? With science-backed methodologies, tools, and scripts, you won’t be anymore.
Our brains, our emotions, our conversations—they are all connected and at the foundation of what fuels strong leadership. Start your growth journey with the science.