In case you’re wondering – no, I do NOT agree that 90% of conflict is due to the wrong tone of voice. Here’s why.
Do you know some of those people who are always in control of what they say, how they say it and when they say it? Have you ever wished that you could be like them? Have you ever visualized a meeting with someone important, rehearsed all your speech and actions, and had it go exactly the way you wanted it to? Was it exhausting? Why? Many people tell me that they find it exhausting when they need to engage with people for various purposes three, four, five days in a row. I’ve always wondered why. There is a difference being tired and being exhausted. We may feel tired physically but inwardly feel just great. On the other hand, we may be ready to go the proverbial six rounds physically but quail when we think of it.
One aspect of engaging with people is to “use” the “appropriate” tone of voice, or so I have been told by various others. Is that what you understand as well? How do you do that unless you’re acting? Now, let me differentiate that from projecting cheerfulness into your voice even if you’re not feeling cheerful. The first connotes putting up a false front. The second speaks of a deliberate choice towards a higher plane of existence. What’s the difference? As always – motive. As physical beings, our bodies have been designed to function in certain ways and respond differently to different stimuli. That is the basis of how lie detectors work. Whenever we speak with intent to deceive, or to show even a slightly distorted picture, our bodies will exhibit tell-tale signs. You know what they are – perspiration, accelerated heart rate, pupil dilation, even certain chemicals appearing on the skin surface. We cannot control these things. Even if we were able to, we will not be able to control fully all of those tell-tale signs.
It is the same thing where the “use” of an “appropriate” tone of voice is concerned. If we dislike someone, people can always tell even if we project pleasantness into our voice. There will always be a hard or icy edge to it. Try sounding angry when you feel joyful! The tone of voice we project will always be a manifestation of who we are on the inside. If we have issues with someone in the room, it will show in one way or another no matter how “professional” we try to be. The right way is to develop our inner being so that we need not expend energy being who we are not.
Be true to yourself. It is especially important for a business leader. If your business truly delivers value to all stakeholders, and is not existing merely for the purpose of exploiting the market, then you would be having a high level of congruence, and not have to invest so much in “Public Relations”, “Image” and “Branding”. Not that these aren’t important, they are! Just make sure that these three things enhance your overall standing, not rescue it! Now you understand why I said I don’t agree with the picture at the beginning of this post?
So, here’s an adaptation of WYSIWYG – WYHIWYG. What You Hear Is What You Get! Go well!