Who’s Responsible for the Toner?

When I’m standing at the copier and noticing that the black and white copies are beginning to fade into nothingness,  my first question is always, “who’s responsible for the toner?”

When I am communicating with others, guess what? I am responsible for the toner!  My vocal inflection and tone will color everything.  Even if I’m not upset specifically with the person in front of me – they may think that I am because of my tone of voice.  

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The Voice of an Email

Warning: Reading email on your smartphone can cause miscommunication.

The size of the screen seems to impact the “voice” of an email. At least it may impact what we hear when we read it to ourselves.

Have you ever read an email on your smartphone and assumed a certain tone? Then, upon re-reading it on your laptop or desktop computer, you realize it has a completely different tone?  Usually, it’s not quite as abrupt or curt as we had originally experienced. (more…)

Jot Notes

JOTNOTESHave you ever been on the receiving end of having to decipher Jot Notes?

Jot Notes are similar to improvisational music. You are probably wondering right now if I have completely made up this concept.  Jot notes occur when you know what you are thinking.  You know the circumstance. You have details in your mind and a carefully well-thought out plan of action and then you write a few notes.

This is what I call Jot Notes.

Jot notes are great when they are meant for you.  They become difficult communication when you have intended them for someone else.  It isn’t fun, and it can cause someone to feel inadequate if you truly expect them to understand your intended meaning.

Next time you are tempted to jot a few notes, ask yourself:  could another person understand what I wanted from them?  Is there enough detail? Will I even know what I wanted if I had to read the notes next week?  And if the answer is no to any of these questions, you may need to jot a while longer in order to communicate more effectively.

Written By Robin A. Miller, Ph. D.

Your Thinking Voice

Your Thinking VoiceSometimes when we are thinking as we are answering, we use a different voice.

To the listener, it can sound as if you are “in your head”. Your voice may not have the full warmth and emotion that is usual or expected.  It can be a bit tight, tentative, and restricted sounding.

Good to remember: if you are thinking hard about something and want to share it, you need to consciously shift to your whole voice. As we have written about previously, you need to adjust to use the full stereo sound – bass and treble – keeping in mind the warmth of the vowels with fuller breath flow.  

On the phone, we can hear if someone is “in their head.”  In person, we can see it in their eyes and sense it through other non-verbal communication as well.  It’s expected to have a “thinking voice,” and it is advantageous to be aware of this vocal code habit and to adjust it for better landing with your audience.

Written By Hilary Blair

Take a Bow

Take a Bow by Robin Miller, ARTiculate: Real&ClearHave you practiced your communication bow? When people give you praise or a compliment, are you able to gracefully receive it or do you shrug it off?

Rehearsal is a very important part of performance in the musical world. Hours are spent learning the music and then practicing with our accompanist or conductor. Knowing all the facets of our music is so important that many a nightmare is created from the subconscious mind asking if we really do, in fact, know it. When the singer takes the stage, they have practiced the music, the body movement, and the bow. Yes, the bow. It is the symbolic acceptance of praise from a grateful audience.

If you dismiss the audience’s praise, you are dismissing their opinion.

Take this month to resist the impulse to say: “Oh, that was nothing.” or “Oh this thing, I just bought it at…” Instead, practice saying a simple, “Thank you,” or “I appreciate you noticing.”

Watch and you will notice your audience being wowed with your bow!

Written By Robin A. Miller, Ph. D.