Accent Reduction: Mindset Tips for Successful Communication (Part 1)

Is this you?

Are you in this situation?

  • You’ve been hearing people ask you to repeat yourself for far too long
  • You realize that your accent is interferring with your effective communication
  • Conversing with people is inefficient and effortful
  • You’re ready to learn the accent techniques that will deliver your message the FIRST TIME  say it
  • You want others to focus on WHAT you say, and not on HOW you say it

Mindset for Accent Reduction Success

Congratulations!  Accent reduction will help you achieve your goals.  Here’s the caveat.  While learning American accent techniques are critical in order to successfully communicate, adapting a mindset will jumpstart your progress in the beginning stages and it will boost your progress as you’re continuing in your learning.  Here are a few of the ways that mindset does this:

  1. Allows you to practice when practice doesn’t seem to fit into your schedule
  2. Makes it more fun.
  3. Gets you through times of doubt.
  4. Keeps you connected to your heritage and culture

Follow these 5 of 10 accent reduction mindset tips to enhance  your accent training and effectiveness.  Your trainer may or may not focus on these mindset tips.  Embrace them and own them as yours.

Accent Mindset Tips

  1. View your interactions as a partnership.  If you wait for your communication partner to give you signs that he or she is not understanding, you may not get those signs. Consequently, you may not be able to identify and subsequently repair communication breakdown.
  2. Realize that your communication partner most likely will not tell you that they are having trouble understanding you.  Many people are uncomfortable directly stating that they are having trouble communicating with someone.   Instead, watch the nonverbal signs that may indicate that your communication partner has experienced comprehension breakdown.
  3. Embrace the fact that it takes a lot of courage to speak a non-native language.  Celebrate your courage when you feel doubtful about your communication skills.
  4. Extend yourself patience with the skills you’re learning for speaking in your American English accent.  It takes time, effort, practice, and more practice.
  5. When you’re contemplating investing the time into practicing your accent techniques, remember that in the long run, you will see the payoff.  You won’t have to repeat yourself as frequently.


Many students of accent reduction learn effective techniques.  However, they encounter problems when their mindset is not supportive to the overall accent reduction journey.  By following these mindset tips, you will maximize the effectiveness of the accent techniques you learned in your program.

To your accent reduction mindset,



MatejaSeptember 3rd, 2014 at 7:07 am

Thank you your blogs are always so helpful! Here in S Fla many people could use your services since it is a melting pot. It is sad that sometimes I still feel discriminated at times; was even denied a job, because of my accent even though I am highly educated.

Bonnie NussbaumSeptember 3rd, 2014 at 7:50 am

I love your tips, Cher. Helps to normalize this transition for people.

SangitaSeptember 3rd, 2014 at 9:57 am

Thank you for sharing these tips Cher, I went through language problem and accent issues when I first came to USA , since I speak Gujrati, Hindi and English. Now still practicing and learning ways to handle situation in a better way. Love your tips and practicing them as well 🙂

Jill GreinkeSeptember 3rd, 2014 at 7:50 pm

You offer such wonderful tips and services Cher! Having the proper mindset is so important when working on these skills.

Tina GamesSeptember 3rd, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Another fabulous blog post, Cher – with some really helpful tips! ~ I’m curious about those who are American, but who have strong regional dialects that interfere with certain speech patterns. Do you work with them? Or is your work primarily focused on those who speak English as a second language?

Kailean WelshSeptember 3rd, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Mindset is so important in everything we do. With your tips, you take communication to a whole new level of positivity and effectiveness. Thanks for the post!

VeronicaSeptember 3rd, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Wow Cher – I recall these issues myself living in Germany and Italy most of this past year. I finally became courageous enough to just ask how to pronounce a word and listen to the distinction between similar words. In Italian, as in many languages, all it takes is a slight derivation or accent and the meaning is entirely different. I think courage is an important part of the mindset – and knowing others appreciate your attempts to learn and pronounce their language. Thanks Cher.

Cher GundersonSeptember 4th, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Veronica, you’re very welcome. Thank you for sharing how this impacts your own life specifically in regard to Italian and German compared to English. Yes, courage is a huge player in repairing communication breakdown 🙂
To courage in all aspects of life,

Cher GundersonSeptember 4th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Kailean, you’re so welcome. As you indicate, communication is more complex than what appears on the surface. It’s getting at those complexities that when broken down, are amenable to offering opporutnities for greater impact and expression of people’s unique experiences and personalities. That’s what I love about this work-it doesn’t seem like a “job”. 🙂

Cher GundersonSeptember 4th, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Tina, I work with clients who speak in regional accents whose communication interferes with their functional lives-either through stereotypes that negatively impact them or through strong accents that hinder the ability for others to understand them. As you know, I also work with speakers of English as a second or in some cases, 4th or 5th language who experience barriers due to difficulty being understood (and in many cases as a result, being passed over for job promotions and other professional opportunities in addition to experiencing social stigmas).

Thank you for your question 🙂 Have you encountered people with regional dialects that interfere with effective communication?

Cher GundersonSeptember 4th, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Thank you. You said it! I see the most gains when clients increase their awareness of the power of mindset and adjust/grow to fill their potential 🙂

Cher GundersonSeptember 4th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Thank you for sharing your own experience of speaking English as your non-native language. You are proof that my services are needed and valued, and practical-since you are practicing these tips, which is so fulfilling 🙂 I learned Hindi to speak to a group of physicians from India at a presentation I did. I also learned some Urdu from our foreign exchange student. Hindi and Gujarati are common languages my clients speak as their native language 🙂 I look forward to offering you more valuable tips Sangita.
To your full expression,

Cher GundersonSeptember 4th, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Thank you. You word it succinctly when you say “normalize” the “transition.” It’s about opening up to the possiblilities that effective communication creates-accent is the title on the book-we don’t know what’s inside until we open it up.
Cher 🙂

Cher GundersonSeptember 4th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Mateja, yes, this is what I speak of when educating people about my services-that both ignorance and negative stereotypes, and lack of courage exist in communication exchanges between two speaker with different language backgrounds. This unnecessary scenario impacts both parties. I’m glad you find my blogs helpful. Thank you for your own courage and perseverence amidst the challenges you encounter speaking English.

When I speak to people whose native language is English, I educate them on the strategies and mindsets for opening up to communication between people of different language backgrounds. In many cases, the problem is due to lack of experience, courage, and honesty to share with the person speaking in a non-native language that there is a barrier. Many times, discrimination and sterotypes are created to mask uncomfortable feelings… This is a whole different blog-thanks so much for your comments and prompt for a blog post… 🙂


PatriciaSeptember 4th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

I love your tips Cher! Mindset is so crucial for everything we do! Thanks for sharing your knowledge in such a positive way! 🙂

TeenaSeptember 5th, 2014 at 7:18 am

Cher this is inspiring and so supportive for shifting someones mindset for success! Practice, have more fun, release the doubt, and stay connected to your heritage and culture! Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

Cher GundersonSeptember 10th, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Teena, you’re very welcome 🙂 Great summation you give. And yes, my goal is for my clients to have fun and uplift at the same time as they’re working hard. I believe both are possible.

Cher GundersonSeptember 10th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

You’re very welcome. I’ve realized that people are so much more receptive when information is framed in an encouraging practical manner to which they can relate.
Cher 🙂

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