Do you talk to yourself? I do …. Not all the time, but I find having a chat with myself helps me think things through. I do a lot of talking to myself in the car on my way to meetings.
I’m not alone. A former mentor (also a great chatter with self) used to say that sometimes he was the best person to listen to. Maybe he was right. He was certainly an excellent problem solver.
You can get funny looks from other, quieter people if you talk to yourself but research consistently suggests that talking out loud can be very helpful in mastering new skills or knowledge. It also helps your memory. As my team have always described me as having a memory like an elephant, despite having a lot to remember and manage, I may be living proof of this.
A variety of studies dating back as far as the early 1960s have found thinking aloud will enhance problem-solving, learning, and the ability to transfer learning from one task to another.
Talking our thoughts through out loud makes us slow down and think about the important elements of the task or problem in front of us more carefully, deliberately, and consciously. It encourages us to take a more holistic view of the problem where we can focus more on the problem-solving process.
When you’re learning something new, either reading about it or listening to others explain it, take the time to pause and summarise out loud what you’re learning.
You can use self-talk for a variety of things. Here are some examples.
- If you have to make a presentation practice out loud. Go through your presentation as many times as it’s necessary to turn it into a brilliant performance.
- You’re going to a recruitment interview. Collect the list of 20-30 most frequently asked questions and rehearse the answers.
- You have decided (nervously) to ask for a pay rise. List all the possible questions that may come up during such a conversation and prepare your answers.
Talking to yourself is not odd at all. It’s great!
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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.
Copyright © 2017 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.
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