Wednesday, August 12, 2009
A shrill tone
Your tone is a big part of nonverbal communication. It can seriously interfere with your message being accepted by an audience. You may unintentionally sound shrill, whiny, condescending, or dismissive.
Tone may be a problem for people who serve others: teachers, librarians, social workers, nurses, and claims adjusters. When you are overworked, it’s hard to remember to soften your tone when you are not “on duty.”
Sara Marks discussed the importance of tone recently in blog posts on June 26 and July 15. (She is the Instruction Services Librarian at the Fitchburg State College Library). Becoming aware of your tone will lead to changing it, as she mentioned earlier in a post on Sara’s way or the highway.
The classic movie example of shrill tone is the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz: “I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!” There is a very dismissive teacher in the Pink Floyd video nightmare Another Brick in the Wall.