By Todd Felciano
Have you ever wondered about the impact of your voice in the world? Every day presents new opportunities and ways to use our voices. How will you use yours?
Just as there are many forms of spoken communication, there are also various tones that can go along with the messages. Not to mention intonation, the rise and fall of pitch. Sometimes what is ultimately communicated has nothing to do with the actual words used. It could be a look; body language or the “unspoken” that says more than the actual words used. More on that “unspoken” stuff in a moment. In short, the tone and timing of what is being communicated can be as critical as the message itself.
What will be the very first thing you say today and how will it sound to the person to whom it is spoken? It may start with a single greeting, or it could even be an elaborate dissertation on a conference call. Whatever the case, the tone and use of your voice says more about you than you may realize. It conveys your mood, says yes or no without saying yes or no and can make or break a relationship in a single sentence or a single word. How can something like your voice carry so much influence? Just ask Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks or Neil Armstrong.
Now, back to that “unspoken” stuff. Or is it? As most in management know, one of the most critical elements to succeed in business today is to communicate effectively, both inside and outside the organization. While many senior executives and managers pride themselves on their self-perceived communication skills, it is also no secret that many recipients of those communications do not feel the same way. Just ask them. This phenomenon can be more clearly defined by noticing the difference between the intentions of the communication verses the actual impact. A discrepancy that is often noticed more by the person on the receiving end of the message than the person delivering the message. It always causes me to pause when a person I am speaking with says, “What are you trying to say?” I can’t help but stop and ask myself the same question.
The great thing about our voices is that we all have one. And, we all choose minute by minute how to use them. What will we communicate to others and how will it impact them? How will it impact the world? Every word we speak, with its tone, its desired intention and its delivery will have an impact. So the next time you speak to another person, get into a heavy conversation or just say hello, ask yourself, what is my voice saying?
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