Raising your voice in business can be tempting when you are trying to make a point or position says Marsha Egan

We have all done it. Raised our voices to make a point. To express opposition. To win an argument.

And sometimes it happens without our being conscious of it. And sometimes we intend to turn up the volume. Regardless, this tactic is not useful. In fact, it is harmful.  And completely unnecessary.

Here are several very good reasons why people avoid raising their voices in business. Or anytime.

1. Diverts attention from the message

Raising your voice turns attention away from the argument and towards the messenger – you. Instead of focusing on the context of what you are saying, people may become more focused on the fact that you are shouting and may be less likely to listen to your message.

2. Audience becomes defensive

It can be seen as aggressive. When people feel the need to defend themselves, they focus on their defense rather than the points being made. Their thoughts turn inward rather than remaining present with the discussion.

3. Causes Offence

In addition to turning attention away from the argument, raising your voice can also offend people. Shouting can be seen as confrontational, and it can make people feel uncomfortable, disrespected, or threatened. This can lead to a breakdown in communication and can even damage relationships within a business or personally.

This can be especially true if you are in a leadership role, as people may lose respect for you for not controlling your emotions.

Quite simply, saying something more loudly doesn’t help anyone “hear” it more clearly.

On the other hand, using a controlled, friendly voice can be effective in making your point. A calm and measured tone can convey confidence and help you get your message across in a more persuasive manner. It can also make people feel more at ease and more open to hearing what you have to say.

There are several advantages to using that controlled, friendly voice in business.

1. Builds Trust and Rapport

When you speak in a calm and friendly manner, people are more likely to perceive you as approachable and trustworthy. This can be especially important in building long-term business relationships.

2. Avoid misunderstanding and conflict

By speaking calmly and clearly, you can make sure that your message is understood. This can help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts from escalating, which can be especially important in a business setting where time and resources are often limited.

3. Project a professional image

When you speak in a calm and measured manner, you come across as confident and competent, which can be especially effective in resolving issues. This can help you gain the respect of your colleagues and clients, which can lead to better business outcomes.

Maintaining a cool and calm voice

  • Smile
  • Be conscious of your voice.
  • Take a breath.
  • Smile
  • Avoid interrupting.
  • If you feel an emotional reaction or response coming on, let it pass before speaking.
  • Smile
  • Maintain respect for other opinions.
  • Seek resolution rather than winning.
  • Smile

In conclusion, while raising your voice may feel like an effective way to make a point or defend your position, it is important to remember that it can turn attention away from the argument, offend people, and damage relationships. Instead, using a controlled, friendly voice can be much more effective in making your point, building trust and rapport, avoiding misunderstandings and conflicts, and projecting a professional image. And don’t forget to smile.

Marsha Egan, CPCU, PCC is CEO of The Egan Group, a Florida-based workplace productivity coaching firm. She is the author of Inbox Detox and the Habit of E-mail Excellence. She can be reached at MarshaEgan.com, where you can also read her blog. To listen ... (Read More)

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