Who doesn’t want to be wiser, improve decision making and see others’ perspectives more clearly? It’s possible, but the best way to make it happen feels quite ridiculous. If you want to improve decision making skills and the ability to see others’ perspectives, you should talk about yourself in the third person.
Heather is feeling a little bit discouraged. She is passionate about helping businesses and individuals become better advocates for themselves, their ideas, and their work. And she knows that they can use the tools of a trial lawyer to become their own best advocates. But she is worried that her message is getting lost in all of the content out there. She doesn’t know how to break through, and she is considering just giving up. What should Heather do?
The answer may be in the question. As I’ve mentioned here before, studies show that if you talk about yourself in the third person it reduces anxiety, improves performance, and reduces shame, negativity and rumination.
And now a recent study shows that talking about oneself in the third person increases wisdom, decision making skills and the ability to see others’ perspectives. It’s called “illeism”, and it works. When you talk about yourself and your emotions in the third person, you remove yourself from the equation. Everything becomes less personal, and you can see things more clearly.
This is why I always tell my clients to imagine they’re hiring themselves to advocate for them. You want a raise? Hire your inner advocate to negotiate. Want more time with your partner? Hire your inner advocate to explain what you need. And do you want to break through the noise on the internet? Hire your inner advocate to help weigh the pros and cons of next steps.
There’s a reason that Beyonce has Sasha Fierce. She has said that when she is nervous, her alter ego Sasha Fierce appears. LeBron James, Andre Agassi and Floyd Mayweather Jr do it too.
It works for them because it works. The evidence is clear. So Heather Hansen is hiring Heather Hansen to advocate for Heather Hansen. I can’t wait to see what she does!