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The human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but it is the most difficult to play

Richard Strauss

Your leadership voice makes a significant contribution to your leadership impact.

Many people like to think that they have a naturally “polychrome” voice and that they adapt their volume, rhythm, speed, pitch and intonation to the situation.

However, many people are more “monochrome” than they would like to think.

Some of us have a dominantly “Red” voice; all about urgency, with a fast tempo, a pressing rhythm and a vocabulary of “action” words – deadline, milestone, deliverables, now, urgent, results ……

The Red voice is the “Captain of a sinking ship”; focussed, determined and concerned – not to be confused with the “Drill sergeant”, shouting, bullying and ordering.

Typical phrases could be:

“It’s clearly the time to act”, “I urge you to …” or “We mustn’t miss this opportunity”.

Some of us have a dominantly “Yellow” voice; all about inclusion and participation, with a varying tone, short pauses and a vocabulary of “inclusive” words – us, together, cooperation, we, everyone, combined ……

The Yellow voice is the “Talk show host”; welcoming, convivial while maintaining a certain distance – not to be confused with the “Clown”, shrill, piercing and over excited.

Typical phrases could be:

“Collectively we will succeed”, “Our challenge is to …” or “We are all in this together”.

Some of us have a dominantly “Green” voice; all about understanding and empathy, with a low volume, slow speed and a vocabulary of “supportive” words – help, support, share, feel, understand, care ……

The Green voice is the “Therapist”; listening and supportive without feeling sorry for the person – not to be confused with the “Passive”, hesitating, docile and insecure.

Typical phrases could be:

“I am there with you”, “I understand how you feel …” or “How can I help?”

Some of us have a dominantly “Blue” voice; all about authority and knowledge, with a low and conclusive tone, medium pace and a vocabulary of “authority” words – facts, studies, analysis, research, theory, calculations ……

The Blue voice is the “Teacher”; clear and concise without being dismissive – not to be confused with the “Robot”, cold, monotonous and devoid of humanity.

Typical phrases could be:

“Numerous studies have shown”, “Having compared my findings with …” or “The analysis takes into account …

Clearly, very few people are completely monochrome; however, we all have a voice we are comfortable with (our dominant voice). Some people are uncomfortable with phrases such as, “I feel your pain”, others with, “This is awesome”, others with, “Facts clearly show” and others with, “We have discussed enough, now we have to decide”.

If the ability to use the full spectrum is important when operating face-to-face with others; it becomes paramount when working screen-to-screen – when the body language, gestures, eye contact, etc. that would normally support what you are saying are less perceptible.

Be a voice not an echo

Albert Einstein

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