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A Small Moment in the Power of Tone

Lance Cooper by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | on May 15, 2010 | about Coaching
A Small Moment in the Power of Tone

Yesterday, I was in a health foods store in Arizona - enjoying some R and R with my lovely bride and I began to think again about “The Power of Tone.”  Louise was the cashier at checkout.

This is a beautiful part of our great country.  I find an incredible strength and peace in the red rock formations.  I’m sure the landscape doesn’t provide the same impact for everyone. 

As for me, rest and relaxation begin early in our vacation

Along the roads, and in the merchant windows, I see signs for psychic readings and various ways to increase your energy and bring healing.  Outside and inside the health food store, people enjoy massages and organic foods for better health.

Which brings me back to Louise.

Lately, since the Delta stewardess experience, I’ve been increasing my focus on tone - the tone of my voice.  And, as Louise was checking us out I heard her say in a rather timid voice, “I think I will have to use another plastic bag to get the rest.” 

Any other time, I would have missed the intent in her expressed words.  I sensed pain - uttered at a level only I could hear about her inability to keep from using one more plastic bag.  So, I said, at the same hushed level, but with a smile, “That’s OK, whatever your pleasure.” 

I don’t think a crystal or energy vortex or massage could have created the instant change of expression and lightness for this woman.  She simply softened and smiled and then brightened, and said, “It bothers some when I use too many plastic bags.”

Hmm.

I’ll bet what really bothers her is the tone she has to endure from those whom are harsh and grating in their displeasure.  My son, while working his way through school, used to tell us horror stories of customers at the Walmart checkout.  He suffered all kinds of whimsical moods there.
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How do you express yourself?  Especially when you lead salespeople, serve customers, or talk to your children?  Do you guard how you say what you say?  It does makes a difference.

I’m not the best at this, but I am trying to get better.  For me, it begins with realizing that “a harsh word stirs up anger,” or, “a gentle tone can change even the smallest of moments.”  Lance.

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