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Navigating The Symphony Of Voices

Jocelyn Fleet
May 20th, 2024
Have you ever felt the frustration of an unproductive conversation? Let me share some of my own experiences of what not to do when you need effective communication.

Example 1: The Meeting Maze

In a previous role, my team gathered for a day to set yearly priorities. What ensued was a frustrated team, who felt they had wasted time and still didn’t have clarity on the year’s goals. The proposed solution? Another meeting.

Why It Failed:
The Absence of Bridging Voices. Throughout the meeting, voices were abundant, but the absence of clear bridging voices led to chaos. Questions, ideas, and solutions flowed, yet the lack of
articulation of critiquing voices meant no clear link between them. Solutions were given to different problems than the one described.
Example 2: The Root Cause Roadblock

I have experienced many ‘root cause’ meetings, where clear meeting purposes were set, agendas were sent out and the meeting gained full attendance, but the root cause wasn’t found and worse still, employees left feeling disengaged and annoyed.

Why It Failed:
Overusing inquiry-style questioning led to individuals feeling interrogated. Too many questions without listening to responses and intense interactions created an atmosphere where people felt they were being blamed, rather than listened to.

Example 3: My Journey with My Symphony of Voices

In my learning journey, I have realised I find comfort in using the questioning voice, as it can save me from conflicts. however, avoiding overt opinions, I realized a subtle voice doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. At times, my ideas and opinions were overlooked, leaving me feeling undervalued.

A Journey of Personal Growth:

Initially, I doubted myself, but with time I realised that those people probably didn’t realise I was sharing my opinions, as my approach was so subtle. I’ve learned the importance for me to strike a balance between the familiar questioning voice and beginning to use my suggesting and telling voices in equal amounts.

Conversations are complex, you need to recognize the impact of different voices if you want to master effective communication.
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