What is Intrapersonal Communication? That Job Skill That Can Catapult Your Success !


Intrapersonal communication is communication with oneself, that positive self-talk improve our work performance, help us cope better with stress & maybe extend our life !

5 Seconds Summary

  • Intrapersonal communication is your inner head voice, simply defined as communication with oneself, unlike interpersonal communication which is between two or more persons.
  • Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness & self-compassion can lead to reduced stress levels and increased well-being, ultimately improving our ability to handle work-related challenges.
  • We may make conscious efforts to develop our intrapersonal communication skills, just like any other skill, so that we can be the greatest versions of ourselves and the best teammates.

Picture this: You’re poised to share your creative concepts for a new project as you stand on the verge of an important meeting. Your heart rushes as excitement fills the air, and self-doubt begins to set in. Your confidence starts to waver as doubtful thoughts creep in, hinting that you’re not up for this kind of challenge. Your boss’s previous unanswered questions in the past casts a shadow of uncertainty.

But wait! Amidst the self-doubt, a powerful voice emerges from within—the voice of your inner cheerleader. It reminds you of the truth: your boss’s questions pushed you to think deeper and sparked new ideas. With renewed determination, you remind yourself that you are capable of greatness. The tide turns, and your thoughts become positive, energizing you for the impending presentation.

This anecdote perfectly exemplifies the impact of intrapersonal communication—the conversations we have with ourselves—on our daily lives. It shapes our mindset, determines our emotional well-being, and influences our actions. Intrapersonal communication, often overshadowed by its more recognized counterpart, interpersonal communication, plays a crucial role in our personal and professional growth.

Consider the aftermath of negative self-talk: stress, sadness, and a decline in coping mechanisms. Conversely, positive self-talk has been scientifically proven to enhance mental wellness, improve physical health, and boost work performance. The way we communicate with ourselves matters more than we realize.

While it may seem challenging to control our inner dialogue, perceiving intrapersonal communication as a skill opens the doors to improvement. Just like any skill, it can be honed and refined over time. Here are a few strategies to empower your intrapersonal communication :

What is intrapersonal communication? — Definition

Intrapersonal communication is communication with oneself, as opposed to interpersonal communication, which takes place between two or more persons. Self-talk, internal monologue, inner speech, inner experience, and internal discourse are only a few more names for the same idea. They all essentially convey the same idea: the voice inside your head.

Although intrapersonal communication mostly occurs internally, it can take the shape of spoken words, such as engaging in a conversation with oneself, rehearsing thoughts aloud, or audibly recall a piece of information. Or via the written word (e.g., note-taking, writing in a diary or journaling).

Beyond the medium of expression, intrapersonal communication weaves itself into countless scenarios, both within and beyond the work. It accompanies us during multiple process such as: planning, problem-solving endeavors, conflicts resolution, evaluating situations, judgments, and much more. Though unique to each individual, it is the manner in which we harness our inner voice that shapes its profound impact on our lives and livelihoods.

Why intrapersonal communication is an important job skill ?

Although almost everyone has an inner monologue, only 30 to 50 percent of people use it frequently, argues intrapersonal communication experts Russell Hulburt.

Did you know !

Some people don’t actually have an inner monologue; instead of “hearing” their thoughts as internal dialogue, they process information in an abstract, non-verbal way. For those of us whose minds spew verbal narrative 24/7 throughout the day, this is rather mind-blowing.

While some people don’t care about their inner voice, others listen carefully, analyze situations & communicate with themselves mentally.

One’s inner monologue can range from being positive and hopeful to negative, struggling with insecurities such as perfectionism, self-blame, and imposter syndrome.

The distinction lies in how we respond to the negative thoughts; experiencing both sides of the coin is typical and very normal. It’s the same as talking to someone else in this situation.

Because we are aware that being upbeat fosters healthier relationships and higher performance, we carefully consider the words we use when providing feedback to our coworkers, choosing terms that are encouraging and constructive rather than critical or embarrassing. So why don’t we take the same approach when communicating with ourselves?

Focusing on the negative can be harmful to our health and hinder our productivity at work, but switching to more upbeat intrapersonal communication has a variety of significant benefits.

Benefits of positive self-talk

According to experts at The Mayo Clinic

Risks of negative self-talk

According to experts at BetterUp

Better coping skills during times of hardship and stress Chronic stress
Better psychological and physical well-being Poor mental health
Increased life span, better cardiovascular health, and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease Low quality of life
Lower rates of depression and distress Low self-esteem

When we are physically and mentally feeling good, we have a better work performance. Studies indicate that using positive self-talk can improve job performance, especially during stressful times like big meetings. Positive self-talk can also help increase focus, decrease anxiety levels, and foster more empathetic relationships with colleagues. It is not surprising that many of the successful leaders and high achievers possess strong self-awareness and have excellent communication skills, both with themselves and others.

Mastering Self-Talk: 4 Intrapersonal Communication Exercises at work

Although sometimes it may seem impossible to control our thoughts, it is possible to improve our inner communication, just like we improve any other skill. It might require some self-awareness, being honest with ourselves, and changing some of our thinking patterns, but it can be achieved. By changing the way we think, we can positively impact our emotions and behavior, which can consequently improve our personal and professional lives. This is basically what cognitive behavioral therapy is all about.

If you want to enhance your intrapersonal communication skills and enjoy the benefits that come with it, taking these exercises can evaluate your current skills and aid you in improving them for the future.

1. Self-witnessing

Think back to a recent stressful work situation where you used positive self-talk to boost yourself up, such as before a presentation. Then, recall a moment where you were critical or negative towards yourself, like when you said, “I should have known better, that was such a careless mistake.”

While thinking about these scenarios, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Did the inner monologue happen on its own, or did you purposefully say something to yourself?
  • How did you feel when these thoughts came up?
  • What was the outcome of talking to yourself that way?
  • Did the situation turn out positively or negatively?

If it didn’t go well, what could you have done differently to improve the outcome?

Reflecting on how your self-talk has impacted you at work in the past can help you become more aware of negative thoughts in the future and shift towards a more positive mindset for better results.

2. Front-page headline

Visualizing the direction of your career, in the same way a company creates a vision for its future, can help guide your actions and lead to success. Take a moment to imagine a future where an article is published about your career achievements. What would be the headline of that article – one year from now, five years from now, ten years from now? Making this vision a reality will require effort and skill-building.

Often, people focus only on hard skills like technical expertise or management tactics. But how might strengthening your intrapersonal communication help move you closer to your goals?. By controlling your inner voice, you can overcome hurdles and gain the confidence necessary to make that front-page headline a reality.

3. The Johari window

To utilize this model, first, go over a catalogue of adjectives, then handpick around five or six terms that accurately depict you. Afterward, your colleagues will also take part in the activity by choosing the adjectives that they believe best describe you. Finally, plot each list on a four-quadrant matrix, which resembles a window with four sections – hence the name “Johari Window.”

word image 37585 1

By arranging the adjectives in their respective quadrants, you can identify the qualities that you and your colleagues agree you possess, the ones they observe, but you don’t, and those you notice, yet they miss. This information assists us not only in enhancing our performance, but also in forming deeper bonds with our colleagues.

4. The triple-column technique

Dr. David D. Burns, a clinical psychiatrist, has developed self-talk techniques that, when used alongside other therapies, have been proven to be highly effective in treating anxiety, stress, and anger.

Here’s how it works:

Recall a recent work scenario that caused you stress or sadness. Create three columns on paper or in a spreadsheet. In the first column, record the automatic thoughts that came to mind during the situation, with each thought on a separate line or cell. The second column should indicate the cognitive distortion present in each of those statements. Some of them may be negative, but that’s OK.

word image 37585 2

Source: Modern Therapy Group

In the third column, you will write your “rational response.” This refers to the logical and reasonable answer you would provide to someone else facing the same situation, or advice you would give yourself when in a less upset mood. An illustration can be, “After my team had worked tirelessly for two years towards launching a new product feature, few customers complained after giving their feedback. Feeling disappointed and frustrated naturally set in.”

Automatic thought Cognitive distortion Rational Response
“I knew they were going to complain. I should have spoken up more about my concerns.” Should-thinking


“No feature is going to be perfect right when it’s launched. Customers will always have feedback, and we can fix it.”
“I never should have taken this role. If they had someone with more product experience, this wouldn’t have happened.” Blaming

Magical thinking

“I contributed a lot to this product, and there are a lot of really experienced people around me who were involved too.”
“People hate the product now.” Overgeneralizing

Emotional reasoning

“There were only a handful of complaints in the feedback, along with several compliments. We can fix the bugs and add some ideas to the backlog for improvements.”

By observing how frequently our instinctive thoughts are skewed, we can better recognize them when they appear next time and shift to the rational response faster.

The Journey to Self-Improvement: Embracing Kindness and Growth

Various aspects of psychology, coaching, and inspirational literature often emphasize a comparable idea: we cannot control our initial thoughts, however, the responsibility of the second thought and consequent actions lies on us.

Recognizing our inherent biases and altering our thinking patterns can be difficult.

However, it can be achieved by treating it as a crucial task and slowly making progress. By doing so, we can enhance our communication skills with ourselves, and improve our overall mental and emotional well-being. This way, we can confidently tackle any challenging situation that comes our way.

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