Example on the tone importance
A great example of the importance of the tone is a study on surgeons—surgeons who had made serious errors with their patients. And they were trying to figure out why is it some of them get sued and others don’t?
So they listened to five minutes and went to see, could they predict who got sued. And they could.
Then they tried one minute. And they could.
This is the surgeon talking to the family of the person who is damaged. They then found that in 30 seconds, not only could they tell, but when they muffled out the words and you only heard the voice tone, you could predict what surgeons would be sued and which ones would be not.
It came down to a voice tone of contempt which they could hear the condescending. And if you think about leaders who have spoken to you in that voice tone, you probably know what that’s like.
So if there’s one thing you can really take away from this is voice tone is key. It creates the environment where people are listening to you, so you can make them feel better about themselves, anxious, worse about themselves, so much not by just your words, but the voice tone you use when you’re speaking with them.
So think about that. What environment do you want to help create?
How we need to set the tone
- When you’re conveying an important message to someone else, you want to create an environment where he or she can take in what you’re saying without being distracted.
- To create that environment, you need to adopt a relaxed tone and focus on your message, not the impression you want to make.
- To adopt a relaxed tone of voice, take in enough air and breathe from your diaphragm, avoid making each sentence sound like a question, and avoid sounding condescending toward or contemptuous of the other person.
How we can apply this
- The next time you’re seeking to convey an important message to someone, work to create an environment in which he or she can take in what you’re saying without being distracted.
- To do so, adopt a relaxed tone and focus on your message, not the impression you want to make.
- To adopt a relaxed tone of voice, be sure to take in enough air and breathe from your diaphragm. Avoid making each sentence sound like a question. And avoid sounding condescending toward or contemptuous of the other person.
- Learn more on “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell
- Learn how to do “1-on-1 conversation for managers”
- Learn “how to win friends and influence people”