Effective Communication: Be Mindful of Your Word Choice and Tone of Voice
Our lives have changed due to COVID-19. We have found ourselves in different, difficult, and uncertain times with our jobs, careers, families, and finances.
How we work, socialize, and live with one another has changed.
How we communicate with each other has also changed.
Limited is the face-to-face interactions with bosses, co-workers, clients, colleagues, customers, extended family members, and friends.
Increased, however, are the bonding moments with immediate family members, such as children, husbands, wives, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, and significant others.
The way in which we communicate with each other has become more than the type of medium we use (i.e. face-to-face, Zoom, FaceTime, Duo, Marco Polo).
The way in which we communicate with each other has also become a reminder about what we say and how we say it.
The need for adequate, respectful, and loving communication is important to have right now. The reason I say this is because in the past few months, I have noticed a shift in television commercials. More often now I see commercials about suicide prevention, mental health, domestic violence, child abuse, and stress management.
These types of commercials are a sign that people are experiencing more stress and conflict in their lives than ever before.
These types of commercials are also a sign that people are feeling stressed out to the point where they are causing harm to themselves and/or to others.
When stress heightens and we feel like we cannot take it anymore, we lose the ability to effectively communicate. Instead of honestly and directly asking for what we want and need, we lash out, call names, put down, or say nothing at all. We limit our chances of a healthy, results-oriented conversation.
Now – more than ever before – is the time to make sure we pay attention to how we communicate!
Our communication skills must be used in a healthy way to save our lives, maintain our relationships, and positively contribute to the lives of others.
During this time, we must become mindful of our word choice. Choosing our words carefully when we speak will allow us to become conscious of what we actually say. Saying the right things when we speak will allow us to maintain valued relationships with our loved ones. Using the appropriate words when we speak to ourselves will boost our self-confidence and start to eliminate some of the frustrations we feel.
During this time, we must also become mindful of our tone of voice. We have heard the saying over and over again, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Saying the right thing – to others and ourselves – can be compromised by using the wrong tone.
A conversation with my boyfriend recently reminded me of these two lessons.
He and I were discussing an incident that had occurred a few weeks ago. He informed me that during that time I had been mean to him. As I listened and thought back to the incident, I realized, he was correct. I had been mean to him.
And it had all occurred in my word choice and tone of voice!
Although he told me he forgave me because he knew I was going through something at that time, I must admit, I was not proud of myself to realize I had slipped up and used the wrong word choice and tone of voice with my honey.
I was disappointed. For you see, these are my trouble spots. I struggle with keeping it together with my word choice and tone of voice in frustrating situations – especially with my loved ones.
Over the years, I have gotten better at using the appropriate word choice and tone of voice in frustrating situations. Unfortunately, based on the conversation with my boyfriend, I realized I had a relapse and my trouble spots had resurfaced.
Instead of beating myself up, I thanked him for being honest with me. I apologized to him with a hug and kiss. Then I acknowledged the incident as an opportunity for growth.
I made a mental note to myself to be mindful of how my frustrations influence my word choice and tone of voice. I made a promise to myself to practice effective communication no matter how frustrated I may feel.
How about you?
Have you recently said the wrong thing to someone you love?
Have you allowed your tone of voice to ruin your conversations?
These are frustrating times that call for the effective use of our communication skills. We must be conscious of the words we speak and the tone in which we speak them. We can use our word choice and tone of voice to ask for help; resolve domestic issues without violence; lovingly raise our children without abusing them, and speak power and positivity into our lives and the lives of others.
The next time you find yourself frustrated in a conversation with someone, I ask you to do as I will do, become mindful of your word choice and tone of voice.
This will help you to have a healthy, respectful, and results-oriented conversation in which you will not regret.
Cassandra “D.I.V.A. of Dialog™” Lee is a champion for the education and empowerment of professional audiences worldwide. As a self-development expert, inspirational speaker, corporate trainer, published author, and career coach, she uses “Divine Inspiration Vocally Applied™” to provide strategies and solutions for personal growth and career success. Whether in her live seminars, workshops, keynote speeches, training sessions, coaching sessions, published articles, or virtual training, she is committed to providing you with down-to-earth practical solutions you can use for personal and professional success. To book her to present at your upcoming live or virtual event, visit http://www.divaofdialog.com/invite.
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