• User AvatarMiriam
  • 13 Apr, 2024
  • 3 Mins Read

Tone & Communication – It’s not what you say but how you say it.

15.4.24 Tone & Communication – It’s not what you say but how you say it.

Sarcasm, irony, contempt, excitement, shyness, boredom, irritation, tiredness…the list is really long as to what we carry in our tone of voice. 

In general work places when there’s a bit of stress around, we can easily let contempt climb into our voice, facial expressions and body language. 

According to Dr John Gottman, contempt is one of the worst communication blocks because it implies a complete lack of respect for the person being spoken to. Sighing, eye-rolling, tsking sounds, and lip sneers are all contemptuous signs and have no place in an effective workplace.

Being tired and impatient can really affect our tone of voice. Sometimes we end up sounding angry or grumpy when all we want to do is say what we have to say and move on. This manner of speaking can be widely mis-interpreted as ‘she’s in a bad mood’ or ‘she really doesn’t like me because she’s always speaking to me like that’. 

Frustration can creep into our tone when we feel what we are trying to say, for us, is really simple and the other party is just not picking it up. Or, we can feel we’ve said this a million times, why is it still  not being done! This tone, and possibly if there are ‘filler words’ in there too, can very easily be picked up as, ‘man, wish she’d calm down’, ‘what’s her problem?’ At its worst, the recipient of tiredness, impatience or frustration on a regular basis can be interpreted as bullying. When in fact, it’s just a case of not ‘toning your voice down’ 

Like many things it’s better to start training your voice early on in life, but it’s never too late. Here are a few simple exercises to develop your tone of voice

  • Yawning
  • Humming
  • Saying this sentence, drawing on the M sound – ‘many moaning men making music to the moon”. Get faster and faster as you say this.

My course “Find Your Voice, Find Your Words” covers this in full. The course itself has had a re-fresh to include aspects of voice that I’ve been asked to cover from other women, mainly – how not to sound grumpy, how not to sound like I’m going to cry, how to get rid of the voice wobbles before I speak, how to be heard and not spoken over, how to shut-down a man-xplainer. 

That’s a fair few ‘can you help with this?’ in there which is why I have taken the 6 week course and made it evergreen so you can pick up whatever it is you want to achieve and work on it first. The course is easy to follow with clear explanations, short videos with techniques and exercises to watch and follow along with as well as written explanations. 

The book of the same name is on Amazon, which you can buy as an ebook to print off or a paperback manual that you use to work your way through depending on your objective.

This book or manual is FREE inside the online course (put the FREE in caps and bold so you don’t miss that part)

Links are below for the course and book so take a look. There are free exercise examples you can check out if you just aren’t too sure if an online coaching course is for you. 

PS – just in case your question is what is tone? Here’s a short explanation – 

The tone of our voice is what we sound like. We can train aspects of our voice to develop a warm tone that is easily listened to but we might not ever be able to develop a voice like Dame Judy Dench*, for example, or Mike McRoberts. The purpose of our tone of voice is what message we are wanting to convey and also how to use the correct tone effectively. 

*Dame Judy Dench is considered to have one of the most perfect voices in the world according to a study from the University of Sheffield.

Here’s to a great week working on our tone, Miriam.

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