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At Work: Communications (9) (工作)

by super(学霸) ⌂, 2014-10-07 23:28
edited by 学霸, 2015-03-13 20:45

published on wuwei.ca at 2014-10-07 23:28, topic link: http://wuwei.ca/index.php?id=32

first published on rolia.net, 2010-12-13

Good conversation is like a good song: elegant and touching.

I once listened in on my wife's phone interviews. Her English is good and so are her technicals. However, in my opinion, she didn't do well in these interviews. Why? Because she talked too fast and her voice was too loud, often high-pitched.

Many of us have the same problem. We talk fast to show we're good with English or good with the subject. We talk loud to "emphasize" our points. Unfortunately, neither is good.

Talking too fast or too loud could easily leave the impression that we're not confident or we're nervous. This weakens our effectiveness as a communicator.


The best way to emphasize our points, ironically, is to lower our voice. In the classic movie "The Godfather", the big mob boss always talked in a low voice, sometimes even hard to hear. Yet he never failed to intimidate his opponents.

It's the same with his son Michael, the heir designate. The scene where Michael argued with his older brother Fredo is a great example that power doesn't need shouting: Fredo talked the most, yelling and screaming, while Michael only said a few words, almost like whispering.

In communications, our power comes from the strength of our arguments or the strength of our position, not from the strength of our voice.


Good communicators emphasize rhythm. Like a good song: sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes in between. They go slow with complicated logic. They go fast to dramatize a point. They pause to give their audience time to chew. They deliver the conclusion one word at a time, leaving no room for misunderstanding.

We should also let other people have rhythm. Many of us habitually interrupt people. I do this even now, after years of telling myself not to. Lately, in the middle of writing this article, I paid closer attention to the issue. I made an effort to let other person finish. Not only that, I pause after he finishes. I smile and I nod, but I say nothing. The result? More relaxed atmosphere, better understanding, less friction, less arguments.


I'd like to conclude this post, and this series on communications, with the song << 风生水起>>. It's a song from the latest "Super Boys" competition in China. I like it a lot. It's a good example that power comes from words, not from how they're spoken. "金戈铁马,弹指一挥,黄昏白首孤烟炊". How vivid. How poignant. It's also a good example that being cool, paced and reserved, touches people more than being hot, rushed and exaggerated.

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Tags:

职场, 心态, 沟通, 自信, 华人在北美职场

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