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  • janellegsheen

Voice and Authenticity: are you perceived as authentic?

Our tone of voice is an incredibly important and powerful element of our communication. It is the depth, the smoothness or otherwise, of the sound that we put forth into the world and it is behind everything we say or express with our voice. It is colored by our thoughts, emotions and physical state.

When someone speaks to us we can hear the nerves, pain, or intensity of emotion behind the words spoken. It is what moves us to tears, anger or joy. Thus we even feel the impact of someone’s tone on our beingness. Likewise, others experience these same things from our tone whenever we speak or yell or sing or make any sound out into the world.

Because of the impact of our vocal tone it is not unusual for individuals to be uncomfortable with the power behind spoken words. Sometimes individuals don’t realise this is what they are having difficulty with; they just know they don’t like what they have heard.

When this happens. When you can’t find anything ‘wrong’ with the words they have used. Yet you know there is something not right, it is a good indication that it is the tone that you are uncomfortable with. More accurately it is the thoughts, emotions or other discomfort we experience from the tone we experience.

Discomfort may be due to the actual emotion or intent behind the words, or a lack of connection between the words and the tone. This last is especially true when we unable to identify that this is what is occurring. Misalignment between words and tone is often perceived as a lack of authenticity, an attempt to mislead, and thus a reason not to trust.

This misalignment is why I don’t encourage ‘fake it until you make it’. The truth is others will pick up the ‘fake it’ and it can be hard to ‘make it’ if they are unaware of the reason for the misalignment and as a consequence develop an underlying mistrust of you.

Conversely it is more powerful to acknowledge the reason behind the need to ‘fake it’; if the misalignment is understandable it may be wise to be up front with it. Perhaps you are experiencing first time nerves. Alternatively it may be that you’ll gain more credibility by dealing with the thoughts and emotions creating the misalignment. Do you really believe what you are saying?

Honest respectful candor is what one requires for alignment of tone and words. This means an alignment of your thoughts, emotions and words; such an alignment is heard and experienced as authenticity. This honesty begins with your self. From there you can explore what is appropriate to share in what environment and what best not to. Vulnerability is incredibly valuable in the right situation and yet can be dangerous in another.

To enhance your authenticity it is essential to tap into your true self, both your conscious and unconscious. Tap into your thoughts and feelings. Do not think your thoughts and feelings are not impacting your communication, they are. Others do detect an misalignment between your words and intention or emotions. Forget ‘fake it until you make’. Instead explore candid respectful honesty in order to develop your authenticity.

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