Friday, August 24, 2012

Can Your Voice Be Holding You Back at Work?

38% of our communication is conveyed through the sound of our voice and on the phone our voice accounts for 84% of our message. That’s why having a voice that conveys confidence and enthusiasm is so important.

People form an opinion about us within 2 seconds of meeting us. Most of those opinions or impressions are formed in a primitive part of our brain; the same part of the brain animals get their “animal instinct” from.  Like animals, we listen for tones in the voice that tell us whether the person we’ve just met is trustworthy, confident, honest, intelligent, enthusiastic, positive and safe to be with.

Because we instinctively evaluate and judge the sound of the communication before we evaluate the actual words being said, women, with higher pitched voices are often at a disadvantage. I believe there are two reasons that higher pitched voices are not taken as seriously. First of all, since all children start off with adorable high pitched voices, a high pitched voice makes us seem young and inexperienced. And second, in the animal kingdom, higher pitched sounds are often used to give off warnings of danger or to express fear, anxiety and disapproval. So a woman who does not work to modulate the pitch of her voice either comes off as childlike and insecure or shrill and anxious – not particularly effective qualities in the workplace.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

From Shy to Shining!

I recently had someone ask me on twitter: "How did you get from Shy to shining?"

I decided to answer that question on my blog so I could easily share it with everyone. Below is an excerpt from the introduction to my soon to be published BOOK which answers this question. Of course overcoming any ingrained habit is a life long challenge but there are ways to do it.

So... how did I go from shy to shining"  I made a very deliberate choice.  Somehow I knew that I did not want to continue being type cast as the shy background player in the movie of my life. I yearned to step out of that role. It was suffocating me but I didn’t feel capable of being anyone else. Shai was familiar, she was comfortable, she was well liked, respected even, but she was driving me crazy!  If you are reading this book, chances are there is a quality or habit that you feel locked into that you would like to release. That’s just how I felt.  So, I made a choice. The deliberate choice I made to step out of my shyness wasn’t premeditated but as soon as I made it, I knew it was right. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blank, Blocked or Too Scared to Share!

I knew I wanted to do a blog post but nothing was jumping out at me. (I also stubbornly refused to look at the list of possible topics I had written months ago- go figure!) Instead I sent out a tweet about staring at a blank page. I very quickly got a reply from @systematizeme. “Blank page… many fear a blank mind when preparing to speak… I think you are off to a great post” and of course that got me thinking.  (Thank You Latosha!) What is it that stops us from speaking, writing, and sometimes even thinking what’s in our hearts or on our minds? Are we really blocked or are we just too scared to express ourselves?