Skills in Leadership: How to Master Your Negative Self-Talk

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Communication is one of the most important skills in leadership. Having great communication can foster trust with your team, motivate your peers to go the extra mile, and bring a lot of success to your organization. Are you improving your communication skills daily? And are you aware of how you communicate with your teammates? 

Before mastering the art of communication, leaders must first become proficient in intrapersonal communication. To acquire this skills, here are some important non-negotiables to be mindful of.

Communicating with yourself 

You want to be able to apply your intrapersonal communication skills when communicating with others. Do you speak beautiful words to yourself each day? Are you aware of your negative words and do you turn them into positive ones? 

Emphasizing intrapersonal communication is crucial as it can increase our self-confidence, improve our communication skills, and depict us as powerful leaders. With these characteristics, our thoughts, ideas, and influence will come across with greater conviction. 

In contrast, poor communication skills can create a negative emotional state and strain your relationships with your teammates, business partners, and fellow leaders. Furthermore, it can create negative beliefs about your performance.

Here are some tips for creating a positive mindset and changing your language from negative to positive.

Repeating daily affirmations

I love myself, I am great, I am loved, I am capable, I am enough, I believe in myself, among many other affirmations.

You can listen to affirmations from experts, self-development leaders, and speakers or you can make up your own affirmations. Say them in front of a mirror for a greater impact. Experts also recommend saying them each day for 21 days to help reprogram your mind. 

Start self-love exercises

Self-love exercises are a great way to bring more love to your heart. Many people tend to give their all to others and end up with nothing for themselves. Instead, go explore and find things that make you happy and start doing more of them. Some examples of this include getting yourself a relaxing massage, taking a desired trip, treating yourself to a great dinner and a Broadway show, or taking time to simply relax. Your body will thank you if you start listening to it. 

When the negative thoughts kick in, learn to turn them into positive ones. Reject the negative self-talk by uttering words of kindness, love, and gentleness. Once you start your awareness and start speaking to yourself with love, it will bring you joy, which you will also start bringing to work with you. Both your team and your company will benefit from your positive mindset. Start believing in yourself, respect yourself, and be kind to yourself. 

Smile while speaking

Always wear your most important attire – your smile. Practice smiling from the inside out. It is a great way to self-reflect, and bring your spirit up. Affirm to yourself that you are grateful for your great life, your family, the house you live in, the food you eat, and the breath you take each day. We have so much to be grateful for. We should not focus on the things we don’t have or lack of.  

Once you master smiling, you start being excited, happy, and filled with daily gratitude. It’s important, as a leader, to recognize that your facial expressions are vital for your success and you can’t leave home without it.

Display integrity in your voice

Always be true to yourself and act with the most integrity with yourself first. Then start bringing this attitude with you to work. 

Speak with sincerity and humility. Open your heart and become sincere, have compassion, be humble, and erase your ego.

Practice nonverbal communication

Your posture must exude self-love and confidence. Love for yourself can be displayed in many different ways and the way you move your body is an important factor. Being too serious can convey to another person that you are not open to communicating.

As leaders, we have a life outside our work and we all have daily occurrences and stress, which might sometimes appear like a heavy mountain and we eventually experience burnout and overwhelm. 

Negativity and limiting beliefs can form and sometimes we are not aware of it. Practice self-development and ask yourself: how am I feeling today? Become aware of your self-talk and you will be in great shape to talk to anyone at work.

Exercise: Answer the following 6 self-reflective questions to help you increase self-awareness and positive self-talk.

  1. How do I communicate with myself daily? Do I practice self-love and kindness? And am I being true to myself?
  1. What is working well in my life and what can I improve on? What situations make me feel terrible and how can I improve them?
  1. Am I aware of my nonverbal communication? Am I smiling from the inside out every day?
  1. Do I say daily affirmations of gratitude? If yes, how often?
  1. What are my daily affirmations? Make a list of 20 daily affirmations to help you be grateful for what you already have.
  1. Am I always practicing being in integrity with myself and others? 

Stay tuned for the next leadership bites with Zana Kenjar as we will be continuing with the same skill. But first, good luck in bringing love and joy to your life. 

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