insights on communication skills

Insights on Communication Skills and Relationship Building

Professional Communication Skills: Don't Cry Out Loudly

Posted by Kerri Garbis on March 13, 2012

Improve your professional communication skills by discovering if you're a secret "yeller".

The Free Dictionary by Farlex,, defines the word YELLING as:

“to cry out loudly, as in pain, fright, surprise, or enthusiasm”.

I whole-heartedly agree and I LOVE to yell.

While I prefer to yell in surprise and enthusiasm, there is an occasional yell in pain or fright. So what’s the problem? My husband. He has a life rule of “no yelling, ever, unless there is a fire”. This is a challenge for me because, as I mentioned before, I love to yell but I have made great efforts to control my yelling. I thought I had a good handle on it.professional communication skills resized 600

Just last month I was in the car with a friend while on the phone with my husband. I was passionately explaining my point of view. My husband, as he so often does, very kindly said “please stop yelling”. I quickly turned to my friend (who was doing the driving, fyi) and asked “Am I yelling?” to which he quickly answered, “yes”.

I was shocked. I didn’t feel like I was yelling. My volume wasn’t anywhere close to yelling volume. I felt like I was speaking positively….passionately….and emphatically. “It’s not that you are really yelling” my friend articulated “it’s just that your tone makes it sound like you are yelling”. Huh.

My friend was right. My husband was right. I can sound like I’m yelling even when I don’t feel like I’m yelling. And this all can be controlled by slightly adjusting my tone.

To control my yelling tone (and make my husband a little happier) I put a process in place for myself that is helpful to anyone in business and in life.

#1 – Stop!- When you begin speaking emphatically or your volume is rising – stop talking.

#2 – Breathe- A few seconds of silence while taking in air will give you time to think about what you want to say next and how you want to say it.

#3 – Adjust - Just lowering volume and pitch, even slightly, will allay the dreaded “yelling tone”

How do you keep your “Yelling Tone” in check?


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Topics: Building Relationships, Communication, General