WIN Book Club Summary

Posted: 05/05/2023

Didn't have a chance to attend the WIN Book club this April? Drs. Sangeeta Khanna and Barbara Yates have a summary for you. 

Welcome to the WIN Club and WIN conversations, your safe place! 

Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why it Matters, and How to Harness it is written by Ethan Ross PhD, Professor in University of Michigan’s Psychology department and Ross school of business, director of Emotion and Self-control laboratory. In this book, he reviews different tools that one can adopt to harness our minds when caught in negative destructive spirals. He does so by providing us evidence-based data and interesting anecdotes.

Our book club group agreed that this book made us more mindful of our inner conversations and we loved the toolbox he provides to change the inner conversations we have with ourselves when they become Chatter (cyclical negative thoughts) destructive to our decision making, performance, relationships. Especially when we screw up or have performance anxiety instead of finding our inner coach, we women find our inner critic. Key to beating chatter is not to stop talking to yourself but to do it effectively and Ethan Ross offers these evidence-based techniques which are summarized nicely in the final chapter of the book.

Some of the tools that resonated with our book club group include:

A. Zooming out/Distance yourself - that increases perspective.

  1. Distanced self-talk - use your name to address yourself. It improves performance under stress, lessens rumination.
  2. Imagine advising a friend.
  3. Time travel
  4. Distance self-view-fly on the wall/alien in the body: distancer versus immerser
  5. Clutch a lucky charm/perform a ritual-meditation.

B. Having a chatter board of people to go to. It is best to seek out someone who can address both emotional and cognitive needs or offer affectionate hug.

C. Engaging with nature, art, other awe-inspiring experiences which shrink ‘self.’


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