Tone of Voice

Your tone of voice is almost 40% of your communicated message. When we are talking on the phone, that number soars to 80%. Tone of voice will "tell on you" faster than anything else coming out of your mouth.

Notice saying something as (usually) offensive as "Shut Up" with the following TONES:

-With disbelief

Tone of voice is also determined by volume and emphasis. Speaking more loudly or softly conveys an obvious message. But emphasis is a little trickier. Consider the phrase, "Thanks for your help..." and say it with the emphasis on the bolded word.

"Thanks for your help."
"Thanks for your help."

The first one implies YOU were the only one helping. The second implies you assisted, but there is still no success to be seen. Both are a little insulting. And this is why it creates co-worker difficulties and stress.

The next time you rub someone the wrong way or are even flat-out told, 'I don't like your tone..." you can correct this with an apology ("I'm sorry about that...I meant to move us forward, not make things worse...") and try it again with the conscious tone that you DO want.

How do you handle tone on the phone? What do you do to ensure your tone is neither passive or aggressive when dealing with difficult co-workers? Answer below in the comment box.

More on dealing with difficult co-workers?
Word Choice
Body Language
Listening Skills

Another solution? 60 Ways to Deal with a Pain in the Butt @ Work. Quick, insightful ideas for dealing with a difficult co-worker or boss. Guaranteed.

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