Tri-City Ledger -

By Lou Vickery
Guest Writer 

The Sunshine Report


May 16, 2019


Do you realize that every time we speak, we speak twice? I don’t mean that we speak with a “forked tongue.”

What I mean is that the words that come out of our mouths convey our thoughts, while our tone of voice reflects our attitude. What we say is important, but the way it is said is more important, wouldn’t you think?

Think from your own experience. You sense when someone is telling you something, and the tone of voice isn’t backing the words up with feelings, don’t you? Sure, you do. How often have you been on the other side of the equation where your body language didn’t quite measure up with the words?

Research has shown that as much as ninety percent of friction in our lives is caused by the mere tone of voice. Most of the time, in our conversations with others, the effect of the tone is separated from the effect of the words spoken.

Therein lies the rub. Unless the tone of voice and the words spoken are in accord, the communication process is compromised.

I hope you hear me saying that the tone of voice is just as effective as the words in communicating with others. There is little to gain, much to lose when the voice tone is out of line with the words used.

Keep reminding yourself that words serve little genuine purpose unless they are backed up by the tone of voice. When these two are in accord, the ability to communicate is greatly enhanced.

While the voice tone is an expression of attitude, it obviously is caused by attitude. Attitudes of disinterest, indifference, disagreement, resentment, and the like, are chiefly the reasons for a negative tone of voice.

These feelings may have a right to exist. But they do little to boost the message we are trying to get across when the tone grinds with bitterness or even shows accents of attempted politeness.

How are you doing in this area of matching your tone with your words? Not something that is always easy to do, is it?

When we are constantly aware of the importance of the tone of voice in the communication process, we will be more cognizant of its role. You will begin to discipline yourself to deliberately adopt a more agreeable tone.

The ability to get our points across or heal a brewing feud can be more effectively accomplished when our tone and words are in accord with each other. We *all have done it before. Just think of the persuasive tone used to make up after an argument or when we wanted to obtain something from a difficult person.

What did we do? We intently focused on ensuring that the tone of voice matched our words, didn’t we? Makes sense that we incorporate these same qualities in our speech all the time. Makes sense, doesn’t it?


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