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Ethan Kross | Leading Expert on the Conscious Mind | Author of Chatter
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you’re likely to be written off as eccentric—but the truth is, we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we hope to tap into our inner coach, but unfortunately, we often find our inner critic instead. Ethan Kross, an award-winning psychologist and the author of instant national bestseller Chatter, studies how the conversations people have with themselves impact their health, performance, decisions, and relationships. His talks help us harness the hidden power of our inner voice and use it to live healthier, more satisfying, and more productive lives.  

“Fresh and riveting, Chatter is a masterpiece—a landmark book that will change the way you think about human nature. Ethan Kross is one part sage, one part mensch, and one part world class psychological scientist.”

— Angela Duckworth, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Grit

In his book Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross reveals how our internal conversations can shape our lives in surprising ways—and it couldn’t have come at a better time. 2020 has been an emotionally and mentally challenging year for everyone, and giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk—what he calls “chatter”—doesn’t just lead us to feel worse. It can actually tank our health, strain our social connections, and even cause us to fold under pressure. In fact, the negative performance effects of rumination have been well-documented in many arenas, from sports stadiums to the corporate C-suite. The good news is that we have everything we need to make our inner voice work in our favor, says Kross.


In his expertly researched debut, he gives us the chance to change the narrative using tools we already have at our disposaloften hidden in plain sightsuch as the relationships we have, or the physical and digital spaces we inhabit. Using science-based techniques, Kross helps audiences use these tools to master their emotional-decision making, generate wiser responses to challenges, boost their productivity, and enhance success. Brilliantly argued and deeply compelling, Chatter has received early praise from leaders in the field, such as Angela Duckworth, the world’s preeminent expert on grit, and New York Times bestselling author Dan Pink, who declares, “Ethan Kross has written the definitive work on how to redirect our inner voices away from rumination and self-criticism and toward reflection and self-improvement.” In a recent Good Morning America appearance, Kross applied his insights to the pandemic, showing a national audience why mastering self-talk is also the key to overcoming anxiety and frustration stemming from the crisis.


An award-winning professor at the University of Michigan and the Ross School of Business, Kross is also the director of the Emotion & Self Control Laboratory. There, he explores how people can control their emotions in order to improve our understanding of self-control, and how to enhance it in our daily lives. Using an integrative approach to study these issues, Kross draws on multiple disciplines within psychology, including social, personality, clinical, developmental, and neuroscience.


Kross has participated in policy discussion at the White House and has been interviewed on CBS Evening News, Good Morning America, and NPR’s Morning Edition. His pioneering research has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New England Journal of Medicine, and Science. Kross completed his BA at the University of Pennsylvania and his PhD at Columbia University.


Speech Topics

Chatter The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It
The most important conversation we have each day isn’t with our boss, our spouse, or our friends: it’s the one we have with ourselves. When we’re facing a challenging task, our inner voice can motivate us and help us keep our focus. But more often than not, we come up against the nagging voice that tells us we can’t do it, or that people will laugh at us if we try. The million-dollar question, then, is how can we transform our self-saboteur, determined to undermine our success, into an internal life coach that will buoy us up and help us expand our potential?
Enter Ethan Kross. A world-class psychological scientist, Kross has written one of the most definitive guides to mastering self-talk in modern history. In Chatter, he uses a blend of cutting-edge science (from his own lab) and real-world case studies to help us harness the power of our inner voice. The tools are all around us—from the objects we surround ourselves with, to our relationships with other people, the physical spaces we inhabit, and the digital worlds we interact in. This talk is a lively exploration of how we can use those tools to make our inner voice work in our favour, and it answers some valuable questions along the way. For instance, why do we seem immune to toxic chatter when we attempt to provide other people with advice? What factors determine whether we receive—and provide—helpful or harmful social support? And how can we approach our decision-making differently, learning to control our emotions and reason wisely instead of acting on impulse? An expert story-teller, Kross brings his research to life in a way that is fascinating, accessible, and immediately applicable to our daily lives.