In this Lucrative Lookback, we’ll share 2 ways you can conquer your inner commentator. You know, the inner voice that goes through all your lunch options during the mid-morning meeting.

Here are 2 ways to successfully hush your inner commentator:

1. Acknowledge & Accept It.

We all have an inner voice, constantly making noise inside our skulls. Sometimes it’s our best friend, telling us we look way better in that pair of shoes than we do. Other times, it’s tearing us down and acting like a bit of jerk. Almost all of the time, it’s working hard to distract us from being present during conversations, especially Tough Conversations. Of course, those are the ones we should be most present in.

Most of us try to control it, getting into an argument with it. Like a toddler throwing a tantrum, the harder we try to calm it down, the louder our inner commentator gets. Instead of trying to control it, the best way to deal with our inner commentator is to acknowledge we have one, then accept it. The idea is to quiet it, not remove it. Take this moment to let your inner commentator know you’re on to it, and you’re turning the volume down.

2. Use the Skills for Being Present.

There are 3 skills we can use to keep ourselves in the moment and out of our heads: 1. Inquire, 2. Paraphrase, 3. Acknowledge.

When we Inquire, we’re tapping into that all important communication tool, curiosity, and asking questions we genuinely want the answer to. “How do you see it?” “What details do you have I may be missing?”

When we Paraphrase, we’re restating what the other person said to clarify meaning and understanding. In order to do this, we have to be listening. It’s important to remember you’re paraphrasing to ensure you understand the other person’s message: use your own words, don’t paraphrase too often like a parrot, or use your voice in a way that is condescending or dismissive.

When we Acknowledge, we’re letting the other person know we’ve heard them and accept their feelings and story as valid (note: you don’t have to agree with them, just acknowledge their experience is a valid one). Make sure you Acknowledge feelings before dealing with what happened, and never skip directly to problem-solving.

Thirsty for more helpful communication skills?

Allow us to quench your thirst with our Strengths-based communication course, Conversation Mechanics: How to Talk About It. It’s packed with actionable skills you can utilize in your everyday life, especially for those Tough Conversations you’re avoiding, or aren’t sure how to have.

Click here to learn more and apply. Show your inner commentator who’s boss!

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