How an unintended tone creates upsets

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Unintended tone can have a huge impact on communication. Your body language and your voice can both influence it in a statement or question. The question is whether that tone is intentional or not.

The question is whether that tone is intentional or not.

Usually, my reaction to something would involve a statement or a question which, when stated or asked in a neutral tone would be totally ok.

Often, my reaction would not be neutral.

When I started inspecting this, I put my attention on being aware of my reaction to things. To say I was surprised by a few moments is an understatement.

An example –

I’m talking with a mate on the phone and he starts eating and chewing in my ear (one of my pet peeves). I say ‘mate call me back when you’re done eating’ which by itself with a neutral tone would be ok. The way it comes out is with a tone of disgust that screams ‘I can’t believe you’re bloody chewing in my ear! F*(king call me back!’

The unintended tone creates upsets.

I know I’ve been there heaps of times. I’ve said something with an unintended tone in more situations than I care to remember. Every time it caused an upset.

This is a communication skill. Making a statement (or asking a question) with a neutral tone takes practice. It’s even more difficult when you are in the heat of the moment.

I was asked to do an interview with Radio 5AA in Adelaide regarding communication skills being taught in school. We spoke about the unintended tone during the interview.

In my experience, this affects everyone. We can all easily fall prey to this.

Actions you can take:
One thing is to make a commitment to yourself to be aware of your reactions. Be an observer of yourself and your communication. You’ll be amazed at what you observe that you may never have seen before.


Because Communication as a skill is the number one influencer of success or failure in every area of life.

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