The ways our voices sound can actually bring on a lawsuit if we are not careful. Conversely, the way’s our voices sound can also lead to sales, win a business argument, help us when making presentations, and elevate our leadership skills.
What we are discussing refers to paralanguage. Paralanguage refers to the non-verbal elements of communication. It goes beyond the actual words we say to the sounds of our voice such as the pitch, volume, articulation, pace, and emotions. As a result of paralanguage, we can persuade others to our point of view – or why they should select our product or service – and build a trust and loyalty between us and our customers.
In essence, these non-verbal elements determine how people “feel” about us as a person and a professional. It call comes down to what May Angelo once said about public speaking, and that is:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel”
So why would someone get sued because of their voice? A few years back, a study was conducted of doctors that had never been sued and those doctors that had been sued at least two or more times. All of the doctors were considered skilled physicians working at or associated with leading hospital and medical organizations.
Snippets of the doctors conversations were tape recorded. The content of the recordings were filtered out so that all that remained was the vocal dynamics of the conversation – the pitch, volume, pace, etc., mentioned earlier. What was discovered was that those doctors whose vocal dynamics were judged to be more dominant or too dominant tended to be sued more frequently than those doctors whose vocal dynamics were softer, more caring, and more concerned.
So what does this tell us? First of all, most of us will not be sued by the sound of our voices. But our voices convey much more than words….and it is these non-verbal elements of our voices that can make a big difference as to how effective we are in business.