| 3 min read

Chatter: The Ethan Kross Blog (pt 2)

What is chatter? Do you use your own name when you talk to yourself?

What’s amazing about talking to a thought leader and award winning author are the insights you get when being able to ask whatever you want.

That was my recent experience when I had the privilege to interview Dr. Ethan Kross, author of Chatter. (I talked a bit about the experience in a previous blog post, you can read it here if you haven’t already.)

One of the most profound things I learned from both the book and our conversation was about the tools that exist to effectively change the way you think and talk to yourself.

First of all: why is this so important?

To quote Dr. Kross, “In the mind, there’s an incredibly tight link between names, second person pronouns and thinking about others. And that link is so tight that when you use your own name to think about your problems, it’s in essence activating the neural machinery that we use to think about others. And because of that, we have the distance, the space, the objectivity to weigh in on our own problems more effectively.”

He mentions Solomon’s paradox, the term used for the ability to talk to others and coach others in a way where we can assist them and change their lives, but we often don’t make those same choices for ourselves.

eliminating chatter by starting with using our own first name when non profit development coaching ourselves

But that’s the thing. By eliminating “chatter”, the inner voice that speaks to ourselves in a negative way, we can replace what we were saying, starting with using our own first name when coaching ourselves.

And this is just 1 of 26 tools listed in the book for how to overcome negative self-talk that is crippling our personal progress in life.

So what I asked Dr. Kross was about how he was able to prove this. It turns out he’s spent decades with scientific research all in the effort to have live data that we can use to change our thought processes using our thoughts.

Ok, but how do we use this tool in our nonprofit sector and fundraising?

Got an upcoming funder meeting that is making you nervous? Say to yourself, using your first name, that you’ve fully prepared for this meeting. Use your name to remind yourself there’s no need to be nervous when you know your assets and what you’re offering to your potential donor. Tell yourself that you have nothing to lose, because even a no answer is just data that you gain to use for your next try.

Say to yourself, using your first name, that you’ve fully prepared for this fundraising meeting

Not sure if you have what it takes to reach out to a large corporation for your next ask? Say your name when you tell yourself that you have a list of all the reasons why they’d benefit from supporting your organization. Tell you, yourself specifically by name, why you are going to show up in a larger way and why you are qualified to do so.

I’ve been using this single tool and seen massive changes in the ways I show up more confidently for my clients, and I invite you to make use of it too.

Make sure to listen to my upcoming podcast episode where Dr. Kross and I get into more details on his book and the tools that WILL change the way you fundraise… and live, for that matter.

Tell yourself specifically by name why you are going to show up in a larger way and why you are qualified to do fundraising

For more of my favorite fundraising tips and tricks, check out my Resource page! Here, you can find relevant articles, webinars, quizzes, etc. about fundraising in the nonprofit sector. In addition, you can subscribe to What the Fundraising for ongoing conversations about how you can fundamentally change the way you lead and fundraise. And to learn how to raise more from the right funders using the Power Partners Formula, you are always welcome to join one of my free Masterclasses at malloryerickson.com/free.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Mastering Donor Retention

Donor retention is one of the most important aspects of fundraising for nonprofit organizations. Since nonprofits constantly seek to expand

Scroll to Top


Just put in your name and email to let the magic begin….
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You're one step away from getting my favorite tools!

Just put in your name and email to let the magic begin….
This is default text for notification bar