December 15, 2017

Tone Matters

Lately, I've been thinking about what keeps us human in how we communicate.

I've rarely been in a position to have many people doing administrative work for me. As my work has almost always been a new position, new ventures, new departments and new offices it's been a lean operation for me for most of my adult life. The more often I do have support, I find that I'm reluctant to hand over things like sending off emails, posting things to social media, etc. This has nothing to do with the capable hands of those that are wisely able to streamline the work of others. In part it's just a new habit for me. But, also, I've just learned that it is hard for another person to assume someone else's tone on your behalf. And I've learned–the hard way–that tone matters.

I can't tell you how many times my wife has said to me, "I don't think you are hearing how you sound." It's true. My tone of voice does not always communicate what I hope it does and sometimes it betrays me, exposing what I'm not trying to let out. We all do this ... Some more than others (read: me).

Tone matters. How we talk to each other says just as much as the content. The way in which we say things–body language, facial expression and tone of voice, these things communicate just as much as the words we use. Once you become aware of this, it becomes a bit of your signature; it's a significant aspect of who you are and how you present yourself to the world.

How you say what you need to say to the world is just as important as what you say. Connecting with the heart (tone) is as important as connecting with the head (words).

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