The other day I was reading a sales-related article but the point really translates back to any aspect of business – especially if you are a manager. The article talked about your voice and, more specifically, the tone of your voice.
So here’s a sales-related example first. You give a huge sales presentation and in the end your prospect asks you to get to the point. What’s the price? You hesitate. Your voice gets a bit softer. Perhaps you state the answer more as a question than a statement of fact. You seem unsure of yourself. The tone of your voice convinces your prospect that you aren’t sure your product is actually worth what you’re getting ready to charge. Suddenly, your prospect begins to question you and the value of your product. Maybe you aren’t the right choice.
As a manager, you have to be careful about the tone you use when answering employee questions – especially when it comes to matters pertaining to policies and procedures. Say, for example, an employee questions a time-off procedure and tries to get some time without giving proper notice. Are you going to hesitantly approve it (making you sound like a pushover), sternly warn the employee about not using the proper notice and give him one chance, or simply deny the request. What tone of voice will you use for each? Will you set a negative precedent? Will you establish your own level of authority?
The tone of your voice, from the beginning of your day until the end, will play a huge role in your success as a manager. Be calm, be fierce, and – most important – use a tone that is appropriate to each individual situation. Keep your mouth closed until you’re sure of what you’re about to say. The way you say it will make a huge difference!
(Image by StockImages at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.