This post is copied from an article posted by Diana Lowe on her blog Swtiched On Development. Do visit her if you get a chance, she’s always got interesting and useful thoughts on communication.
Please click here to view the article in it’s original location.
Have you ever engaged in a conversation where as you were talking to someone you got really annoyed with them? And then in response you snapped and you said something seemingly innocent but in a sarcastic tone. Does this sound familiar?
Your vocal tone has direct impact on how people perceive your message. I recently read a study, that said a whopping 38% of communication is tone!! If you can master your tone and your body language (which is 55%), to an extent it doesn’t matter what the content is.
Today, I would like to challenge you to change your tone. Try this exercise for one week and see if it makes a difference to your communication.
You may find that when you snap and say something like, “I’m fine!” in a sarcastic tone it can sound quite cutting. If you stop to think about the tone of your message you will find that you will get a better response from the person who you are speaking to.
Also, by changing your tone you can improve your relationships with your boss, colleagues, customers, clients, your spouse, children, other family, friends and even acquaintances.
When you are talking at work with a colleague, or if you find yourself delivering difficult news alter your tone or even try a variety of tones. Often making your voice softer sounding and lowering your voice at the end of the sentence will indicate a kinder message with a firmness and confidence. Personally, I find when I am travelling on public transport changing your tone and asking a question such as, “Would you mind moving down in the carriage” goes a long way. It’s also much nicer than being barked at!
Try this for a week and let me know the responses you get.