Tone of Voice and Effectiveness

When asking reflective questions, be sure you don’t shout them. The adage, “What you are doing speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you are saying” rings true here. Your tone of voice communicates almost as much as the words. It reminds me of the following poem:

It’s not only what you say
But the manner in which you say it.
It’s not only the language you use
But the tone in which you convey it.
“Come here!” I sharply said,
And the child cowered and wept.
“Come here,” I gently said. He looked and smiled
And straight to my lap he crept.
Words may be mild and fair
But the tone can pierce like a dart.
Words may be soft as the summer air
But the tone can break my heart.
Words come from the mind
And grow by study and art.
But tone leaps from the inner self,
Revealing the state of the heart.
For if you want behavior to change,
Of this you must remain aware:
As much as the words you use, it is the tone of your voice
That communicates how much you care.
                                             (Author Unknown)

The message is simple: Only the actual asking of reflective questions in a caring tone will improve your effectiveness.