Hear Your Voice before You Speak

Speak in a way that you wouldn’t mind listening to if you had to.  If you had yourself as a parent, do you think you would be able to respond positively to your requests and directives?  The way our voice sounds has a lot to do with eliciting voluntary compliance.  If we sound terrible, it’s not really contributing well to the end objective.  If we can try to sound pleasant and not harsh, then we stand less of a chance that the way we sound will end up being the wedge that separates us from having things done when and how we would prefer.  Sometimes we need to be direct and firm.  Sometimes we need an edge in our voice to move things along.  But this doesn’t have to (or need to) be our default.  Save it for when you need it.  And we need it far less often than we think.  Persistence and consistency are much more hefty tools for what we are trying to accomplish.  So use the sound of voice that you’d be more likely to respond positively to, and chances are that your children will respond in kind.  Try to hear what you want to sound like before you open your mouth to speak.  This takes a split second but is worth so much in the long run.  Hear yourself first.  Then speak.  Echo the pleasantness you hear in your head.  You don’t have to reflect the negativity (or indifference) you may receive in response to your request.  You don’t have to copy anyone else’s way of being.  Just stick with the voice that you want to use.  That way, you can know that how you are sounding is not the problem, to the extent that you can control this.

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