Corporate Self-Talk — How do your people talk about your company?


“People need to realize that their thoughts are more primary than their genes, because the environment, which is influenced by our thoughts, controls the genes.” — Bruce Lipton, PH.D.

We are all Water

A Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto spent fifteen years researching the effects of human speech, thoughts, and emotions on physical matter. Dr Emoto’s team measured how over 10,000 samples of water responded to words, music, prayers, and blessings. He and his research assistants spoke to, played music for, and even had monks pray over the water.

The water samples were then frozen, and the resulting ice crystals were examined under a microscope. The results were astounding.

When scientists treated the water “kindly,” by saying such things as “I love you” and “thank you,” the resulting water crystals became clear and beautifully formed. However, when Emoto and his team talked negatively to the water, saying “I hate you!” or “You idiot!” the crystals formed dark, ugly holes!

One sample starts out as a dark, shapeless blob, but is completely transformed after a priest prays over it for just one hour. The ugly crystal turned into a clear, bright-white hexagonal crystal-within-a-crystal.

We Are What We Self-Talk

Self-talk is the act of talking to oneself, either aloud or silently and mentally. It is essentially the endless chatter that goes on in our heads and has a profound effect on our behaviour and how we operate in the world.

You often see self-talk with sportspeople when they are taking goal kicks, penalties or about to take a winning putt. More importantly, we all know what I am referring to here, we all have that voice in our head, the key is to control the message.

Several of my friends have difficulty in getting in the physical shape they desire. They constantly repeat “I just can’t shift the weight or “I am not disciplined enough”. The reality is they will never lose the weight if they keep telling themselves they cannot. They are reinforcing their lack every day more than focusing on what they want to be.

The inner voice is not necessarily a bad thing, it is there to keep us alive, it is our caveman instincts. It wants to ensure that we are fighting fit should we need to escape from a man-eating lion or ensure we are not wasting valuable brain cells upskilling or launching a new business, but instead we are remaining vigilant should we be attacked unexpectedly.

We Are What We Mentally Eat

The great Bob Proctor describes how we feed our minds as follows. We make a decision to what information we feed our conscious mind every day. This is why if we listen to doom and gloom news stories all the time and then repeat them all day to anyone who might listen, this will have an effect on how we see the world.

The term birds of a feather flock together comes to mind. We often see negative troupes spending time together, most likely most of us have been there at some stage. It can feel good having access to an ear who will listen to our rant, but by doing this on a consistent basis we reinforce negativity in our lives. We reinforce a negative view of what we may want to change.

The key thing to remember is that your subconscious mind does not have a choice as to what information it is fed. The subconscious mind stews on those thoughts (good or bad) all day long, even when you sleep.

We have a Choice

We can choose what information we feed our conscious mind. This is why what we feed our minds influences who we ultimately become. This is why as parents we must be hyper-vigilant of what our children watch, read and indeed who teaches them. This is why we can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. This is why we can tell a lot about a person by the habits they keep.

Corporate Self-Talk

At IBM each morning, the sales team would gather to sing the company anthem to the tune of “Singin’ in the Rain”.

“Selling IBM, we’re selling I. B. M., What a glorious feeling, the world is our friend, We’re Watson’s great crew, we’re loyal and true; We’re proud of our job and we never feel blue. We sell our whole line, we’re there every time, To chase away gloom with our products so fine, We’re always in trim, we work with a vim, We’re selling, just selling, I. B. M.”

While such a morning ritual may feel slightly cult-like, it galvanised and aligned a team just before they went their separate ways for the day. It made the individuals feel part of something bigger than themselves.

In stark contrast, in many Global corporations, there is a distinct lack of a meaning. Not that a company anthem is an answer, but a company WHY is truly compelling.

Have a think of what your company self-talk might be. What does your own self-talk about your company sound like? Many people say things like “Sure nothing will ever change around here!”, “This place? We will never innovate”, “The problem with this place is the people”. Such corporate mental chatter reinforces the unwanted reality. Unconsciously, the people in the company suffer from confirmation bias to confirm what they already think, as if they seek it out; as if they attract it.

No matter what, we should not add to the corporate problems. By complaining, we are adding to the problems. It is fully understandable that so many people are “stuck”, they may have been institutionalised like a Shawshank prisoner, unable to get a role anywhere else. However, there is always the option to seek “True Meaning, A Why” in what a company does.

If the company does not have the wherewithal to define a resonant meaning, then we can do this at a departmental level, at a business unit level or on a personal level.

Our response to both perceived and real events amplifies dysfunctional organisations. At a personal level when you change your self-talk you change your life. At an organisational level, when you positively change what your people self-talk you change your company. You change how your company is perceived and you change your future for the better.

Most companies set out to change their strategy, but the reality is you cannot change your strategy without changing how you think.


On this week’s Innovation Show EP 66: “Rising above a Toxic Workplace — Brutal Bosses. Poisonous People. Soul-Crushing Cultures”, we are joined by Dr Paul White, psychologist, speaker, consultant and author whose passion is “making work relationships work.” For over 20 years, he has assisted businesses, government agencies, schools and non-profit agencies. Paul talks to us about the challenges of a toxic workplace and how we can deal with it. We talk about corporate self-talk and how a narcissist boss can negatively affect a workforce.

If these are questions you can answer yes to, this is a good show for you: Are you operating in a toxic workplace? Is your boss a narcissist? Do you have a black walnut tree in your midst? Is it worth risking your health for financial gain? Do you know what to do?

The show is broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 extra 3 times weekly and is on iTunes, TuneIn Stitcher Player FM and Google play. The website is here and below is Soundcloud.

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