Selecting the Appropriate Voice by PamelaKay D. Griffin
Have you ever gotten to the office expecting to find a report on your desk only to discover that the person responsible for generating the data was at the dentist and wouldn’t return until an hour after your deadline for presenting or publishing the report content? Maybe you were the respondent who tried to explain with a Novocain numbed mouth that you weren’t aware of the deadline. Both positions are frustrating. Our typical unempowered response is to deduct points from our personal effective communication scores while blaming the other person for the confusion.
You can unravel these miscommunications with the pop psychology theory that divides the population into one of two types of “verts” — introverts and extroverts. The source from which we draw our energy is the criterion that distinguishes us as one “vert” or the other. Simply put, if you’re energized by being in the company of others, and your energy’s diminished after periods of alone time, you’re probably an extrovert. If you find that socializing drives you to crave a retreat into solitude for reviving and restoring your soul, chances are you’re an introvert.
Introverts often spend much of their alone/rejuvenating time preparing for the next social encounter. They’re inclined to “rehearse” conversations repeatedly over and over in their heads. Occasionally, introverts confuse the conversations they’ve had aloud with the ones that were restricted to the inner workings of their minds. Consequently, introverts can find themselves on a rant perceiving that what they’ve communicated repeatedly has been ignored.
So, if you recognize that others frequently appear to have ignored what you’re certain you’ve told them, consider that you might benefit from paying closer attention to the voice you use to communicate. The voices inside your head don’t inform anyone around you of anything. Select one of your outside voices — the ones that are audible outside of your head. Other people can hear your outside voices and can better respond in accordance with your desires.
If you’re often on the defensive because of information you never received, you might be dealing with introverts who honestly perceive that the information you needed was disseminated effectively. Resist the temptation to doubt your competence and to belabor what was or wasn’t said. The situation is what it is. The powerful response is to focus on getting what is to resemble what is desired as closely as it can under the current circumstance.
PamelaKay D. Griffin is a humorist and writer living in Tampa, FL. A former social worker turned writer to help inspire, enlighten and yes, make you laugh.