Trying to stay in tune with things that impact the community and in turn, our business, can be overwhelming. Just keeping up with all the aspects of transactions and clients, while taking care of our own personal lives makes for a full day. When you add in keeping track of what is happening in the news, given how much is happening all the time and how many avenues of information we have bombarding us, it’s tough to keep abreast of what’s most important. It’s also very hard to know how to best have a positive impact on the things that matter.
A recent post about something in our local community really got under my skin, and wanting to respond, I felt at odds not knowing exactly how or who to contact. Someone else who is concerned about this same issue was discussing the approach with me. We both agreed that you have to be careful about losing your cool, your composure, because once you do, you tend to lose credibility.
We’ve all seen people yelling. Heck, maybe we’ve even been the ones yelling. The trouble is, once you get to the point that you’re yelling, it means you’ve lost the ability to control yourself and you’re now open to being perceived as the aggressor, or worse.
My friend said something powerful, which you might have heard before:
When you raise your voice, you lose the argument.
I flashed back to a time when I was a child. My sister and I were watching tv and we got into an argument. I can’t remember what it was about but I remember hearing her yelling at me, and I purposely made my voice softer and softer in response to each yell from her. I was almost to a whisper by the time she just about screamed at me and then gave up the fight. Talk about learning negotiation skills! Granted, I had more than one lesson to learn there, one additional one being to choose your battles and know when it’s okay to let it go, but I also learned that raising your voice isn’t a great solution.
I googled my friend’s comment, wondering how many others had said that, paraphrased it, or integrated it into their business ethics, and the results were wonderful. Here’s some of what I found:
* Once you lose your cool, your ability to think logically is severely hindered. You won’t win anyone over by shouting, you’ll just make them uncomfortable, or you’ll make them shout, too, and it’s all downhill from there.
* “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder” ~Rumi
* “Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.” ~Andrea Wachter, marriage counselor
* “Be calm in arguing, for fierceness makes error a fault and truth discourtesy.” ~George Herbert, poet
* “Arguing isn’t communication, it’s noise.” ~Tony Gaskins, motivational speaker
* “The volume of your voice does not increase the validity of your argument.” ~Steve Maraboli
And last, but not least:
* Don’t raise your voice; improve your argument. (Wise words, indeed!)
May we all be better at improving our arguments and smarter in the delivery of them!