Turn up the volume! That may be what we want when we listen to a song we love. In our workplaces, or in society, does louder make it better?
You must wonder, “Why do people get louder?” We notice it with the cell phone talker, in the drive through lane, or whenever verbal information seems just a little unclear.
Angry people do it, someone with a point that they believe was not heard.
Distance makes people do it, down the hall is different from in the cubicle area built for two.
Impatience can cause people to do it, and they’ll likely get faster too.
We can even do it when we type. “PLEASE come to my office NOW.”
When there is confusion, our assumption is that volume will make a difference. Then we do what comes naturally. We turn it up.
It seems that it is easier to gain attention when we get louder. The question is, “Does louder make it better?”
Certainly, in some cases, it does make it better. When we turn up the television or our car radio, it may allow us to hear more clearly. The pitch, tone, or the speed of delivery doesn’t change, just the volume.
Interpersonal communication may be different.
Is Louder Better?
In our personal verbal communication typically, volume isn’t the only adjustment. Angry means we’ll talk faster. May we use different words to convey meaning. Does this improve the communication?
The lesson with louder is that it doesn’t mean you’ll always be heard. It certainly doesn’t mean that what you’re trying to communicate is more valuable or clearer. It may create attention, but noise doesn’t imply clarity.
Being heard often comes with more clarity not volume.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.