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Communication Intelligence: Why Self Talk Matters and How to Make Yours Positive

Positive self-talk has the ability to completely alter your perspective, which in turn can alter your behavior. This can then have a significant impact on how successful you are on whatever journey you do or any challenge you face.

The way we communicate at home, work, and with other people out in the world is maybe unpredictable. We usually have to account for differences between us and to whom we are communicating in factors like tone, body language, and natural perceptions or biases. We can form habits around how we communicate with others and have those habits challenged by communicating with someone new, perhaps a boss or professor with a different style or perspective. You may notice you speak differently depending on whom you are speaking to, the power dynamic, or the history of your relationship. The common factor in all of your communication is you and there are more factors impacting how you are able to engage than you might realize.

A study from the Journal of Managerial Psychology reported that positive self-talk helps leaders manage their stress at work and is linked to an improved capacity for leading others. It enables leaders to create and manage a positive workplace environment and better guide their followers. Ineffective self-talk was associated with a decline in leadership inventiveness. A person's motivation to persist, which is frequently required for generating and putting into action creative ideas, is reduced when they perceive challenges as problems rather than opportunities.

What is Self-Talk?

What we mean by self-talk here is; the way you talk to yourself, or your inner voice. This inner voice combines conscious thoughts and experiences with conditioned beliefs and biases to create an internal monologue that can impact your life significantly. Self-talk is important because it can affect how you feel, behave, how you communicate with others, and how you relate to yourself. Studies show ‘effective’ use of self-talk, meaning you engage with yourself in a mostly positive and uplifting manner, can improve your performance by helping you regulate your feelings, thoughts, and energy about life events and interactions.

People who are aware of their self-talk are able to engage with it intentionally and use purposeful language to strengthen their neuropathways toward resilience and persistence. This is not an abstract theory. Aware, productive self-talk can quite literally change your brain chemistry. Many studies demonstrate that positive self-talk can help you feel more confident, improve coordination, control fine motor skills, enhance your focus, and perform better at nearly any activity. It is easier to de-escalate challenging situations and keep a level head when you are aware of how you are processing internally.

Are There Negative Impacts of Self-Talk?

Self-talk as a mechanism is not inherently negative or positive. Our patterns of thinking, worldview, saboteurs, and lived experiences are all factors in how well our self-talk can be in service to our lives. Perpetual negative self-talk can have detrimental impacts on you and the people around you. Negative self-talk can appear more like an inner critic than an inner voice. It may say things like “I can’t do this,” I’m not good enough,” or “Bad things are always happening to me.” Most of us have experienced feedback or situations that bring about negative self-talk and feelings of self-doubt. Many of us are able to recognize the harm this might cause and end the loop, but sometimes we get stuck. Our brains are wired to recognize patterns and create pathways that make our habits stronger. Habitual negative self-talk can impact self-esteem, your contribution to relationships, and your job performance. If you have a habit of negative self-talk that goes unchecked for long enough it can severely impact your mental health and negatively impact your life in general.

A Way Forward

There are countless self-improvement models, studies, and books all packed with ways to improve self-talk and positively change your life. The truth is nothing in your life will change unless you are doing inner work to be intentional and aware of the ways you communicate, especially with yourself. Your relationship with yourself and your awareness of your habits has the ability to make or break your success as a leader and your capacity to reach your full potential. No one can do it for you, but you can’t do it alone.

At KeenAlignment we pair expert, boots-on-the-ground experience with the latest neuroscience and psychometrics to give you a meaningful starting point to getting radically honest about the current development of your leader within. Our highly sought-after coaches and training, time and time again, give people the tools they need to succeed in the transformation from the inside out. We have programs specifically geared toward accelerating your capacity as a leader and tools for shifting your self-talk to being a service to your highest purpose. Our mission is to forever liberate the human spirit and if you have the courage to become aware of what inner work there is to do, we have the tools to take you beyond your wildest expectations.

Magi helped boost my confidence in the workplace. Her program was impactful and really made a difference in my work ethic and behaviors. The lessons learned during this training helped me transform into a more positive and confident leader. With her coaching and guidance, I was able to show my management team true commitment and knowledge of our business with complete confidence which led me to being promoted into a lead position in my workplace. I am truly honored to have been able to participate and complete her course. She is an amazing instructor, and I would definitely recommend attending all the programs that she has to offer. With the skills and knowledge taught along with lessons learned, I hope to bring this leadership coaching and guidance to my new team. I am genuinely excited and re energized to put my leadership training into motion and lead my team throughout continued success.

- Beth Sevilla

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To your success, The KeenAlignment Team


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