Transforming Talk at Work | January 2017


Dear Reader,

A couple of weeks ago, a business deal I really wanted to go through . . . fell apart. It was a project I’d put a lot of time, money and personal effort into. And in the end, what I wanted and what I got did not match. At. All.

I should have been seriously bummed out (like the picture of my daughter when she was a baby).

But my rational mind played a nasty trick on me.

My rational mind started telling me things like:
“I didn’t really want that deal anyway.”
“It would have been a lot of long hours.”
“Now I have time to focus on [insert any shiny object] instead.”

What was going on?
What was my brain doing?

I was experiencing what communication researchers refer to as “cognitive dissonance,” where what you know or wish to be true and what really exists do not match. The human brain doesn’t like differences like these and tries desperately to self-correct when they occur.

When we experience cognitive dissonance, our instinct is to avoid similar situations so that we don’t experience the uncomfortable difference between current and desired states.

But if I am straight with myself, I realize that my rationalizations about this business deal are not true. They are a result of my cognitive dissonance.

I’m taking the straight road with myself on this one. I acknowledge the disappointment. I mourn for the lost deal. And I look to the future for the next similar opportunity.

Shoot me a quick email with the cognitive dissonance are you are rationalizing . . . and then let’s kick it to the curb!


New Video Series Launches

New for 2017 – Every week a new video with a communication tip, tool or technique will be released.

Check out the first Working Minute video, where I answer the question “Why is it that sometimes something feels “off” in a conversation — like something is out of sync?

A new (short!) Working Minute video comes out each week. Sign up here to get them in your inbox every Friday.


From the Blog:

6 Ways You Are Crushing Your Own Dreams

Self-talk can be a powerful tool when used intentionally. Most people, however, have a running dialogue in their heads that does more harm than good.
Here are six ways you might be crushing your own dreams with negative self-talk.


Nuts and Bolts

Things I’m nuts about.

The Instant Pot! How else is a busy mother in a family of five supposed to get a hot, delicious meal on the table every night?! I’m loving my new pressure cooker — it takes the pressure right out of cooking!

Here’s one of my favorite recipes:Korean Beef Tacos. It’s easy to make in the Instant Pot or in a slow cooker, as the recipe suggests. Yum!


Happy New Year,

Janel Anderson, PhD
Workplace Communication Expert and CEO of Working Conversations

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