[MUSIC] Hello I have a question for you. Are you ever aware of having an inner conversation with yourself, that's known as intrapersonal communication, the topic of this lesson. Communication scholar Stanley Cunningham defined intrapersonal communication as the unique process of message exchange and information transformation within the individual. Intrapersonal communication is expressed through thoughts, speech, or in writing. It can be intentional or unintentional. Workplace communication expert Amy Castro cited intrapersonal communication as a critical skill for leaders. She stated that intrapersonal communication allows leaders to analyze and challenge their thinking. She said that it can increase leaders self confidence. Later, I'll share more benefits of intrapersonal communication. For now, let's explore how intrapersonal communication works. We engage in interpersonal communication by using internal, talk or reflective thinking. We communicate with ourselves for many purposes. We make plans, set goals, solve problems, visualize the future, evaluate and judge ourselves and others, and resolve conflict. In addition, as we use interpersonal communication to let off steam, process feelings, and rehearse what we say or do in the future. Here's an example. Before I do a presentation, I usually give myself a little pep talk. I tell myself that I will do a good job because I'm prepared. After a presentation I evaluate myself. I used to focus mainly on what I wish I had done better. I'm trying to change that habit. Recently I presented a webinar on race and higher education. I put a lot of effort into researching the topic, and preparing the PowerPoint. Right before the presentation, I learned that I will be using technology that I wasn't familiar with. When I began, I had difficulty navigating the cursor to advance my slides. While I was speaking to the audience, I was talking internally to myself. You can figure this out, take your time. After hesitating for a few slides, I realized that I was getting too distracted. I needed to focus on talking to the audience. I paused and asked the technical assistant who was behind the scenes to please advance my slides, when I prompted him. He did, and the presentation went smoothly. Afterwards, I began to criticize myself. You should have figured that out, they probably think that you don't know how to use technology because of your age. That affected the flow of your talk. I interrupted myself and said, you can't control what they think of you. You know that you're quite good with technology. What's most important is, it wasn't informative, engaging presentation. Next time, check with the organizers about the technology they will use. If it's new to you, learn how to use it before hand. During the next couple of days my inner voice tried several times to criticize me, but I gently told her to back off. There are many benefits of intrapersonal communication. As my example shows, it can compliment self awareness. Recall that self awareness is an important element of inclusive leadership, conscious knowledge of ones own character, feelings, motives and desires. Leaders can use intrapersonal communication to reflect upon and improve their self concept and their self knowledge. After I became aware of my habit of negative self critique about my presentations, I began to work on it. Intrapersonal communication can help you to increase empathy for others. Trying to understand and treat yourself better can help you put yourself in others shoes. It can help you to be less judgmental. Related to our lessons on implicit bias and thinking under the influence, intrapersonal communication can help you catch yourself relying on stereotypes. One of my clues is when I realize that I've assumed something negative about someone based on their identity. For instance, during a meeting, a young person made a suggestion and I thought, wow, what a great idea. I asked myself why I was so surprised. I had to admit that it was probably because I didn't expect that from a younger person. In other words, I had an ageist thought. Thus, interpersonal communication can help you to improve the signature trait, cognizance of bias. Affective intrapersonal communication helps leaders to improve their listening skills. This is crucial for interacting with diverse groups and individuals. Therefore, intrapersonal communication can help you cultivate the signature traits, curiosity, cultural intelligence, and collaboration. Here are some recommendations for cultivating intrapersonal communication to be an inclusive leader. To quote executive coach Erika Anderson, it's enormously powerful to be able to recognize and shift how you're talking to yourself, about yourself, and your circumstances. Anderson has worked with leaders to reinvent their self talk. Some of them reported shifting lifelong mental patterns such as holding limiting beliefs about themselves or their capabilities. Here are some recommendations. First and foremost, be intentional and attentive. Monitor how you talk to yourself about yourself. Do you tend to be gentle or harsh? Notice when you feel certain emotions and how you respond to them with yourself talk. Look for positive and negative self talk habits. Work on strengthening the positive and changing the negative. Use techniques for feedback that I shared in another lesson. For example, show empathy to yourself, and give yourself feedforward advice. By feedforward I mean, to create ideas for how to improve yourself. Monitor how you talk to yourself about others. Leaders with whom Anderson worked identified patterns of making unwarranted negative judgments about people and situations. Try to analyze these types of thoughts and revise them to align with valuing and respecting everyone. Sometimes our judgments arise from inadequate information, identify relevant topics to learn about in order to improve your knowledge. In conclusion, intrapersonal communication is a fundamental aspect of inclusive leadership. Anderson noted positive outcomes for leaders she has coached. Saying they are mentally and emotionally available to become followable leaders and high payoff learners who can thrive through change and support their people to do that too. One final note. Remember the webinar where I had doubts about how participants might have viewed me. I'm pleased to report that the evaluations were quite positive. After I read the reviews I told myself, see there, you did a good job. Another more critical thought about how I fumbled with the technology tried to assert itself. I dismissed it. Next, we will continue to explore communication and inclusive leadership. By focusing on listening, see you then.