… and Let Me Lean In

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who’s speaking just below a normal speaking volume?

You leaned in. You paid close attention—not because the subject was fascinating, but because you had to, just to hear.

Weeks later, you remember that conversation more than one you had yesterday at the office, and you know what? It was kinda fascinating, now that you think about it.

Speak Softly

Sheepishly, I admit to you that I’m known for forgetting my volume. This story is not a cutely disguised pat on my own back.

“Speak softly” is a classic persuasive technique that I’ve read of, but I’d never seen it used in business. Then a few days ago I saw it done to perfection, by a colleague I know who’s usually a much louder person.

Wow. He had his listener locked in.

While I can get quiet in personal conversations, I sure can’t say it’s in my nature to do this in business. But my colleague turned a difficult situation around almost instantly with his quiet authority—and I stashed it in my bag of tricks right then. I’ve had plenty of complex or awkward conversations where this would have been a big help. Now I’m dying to give it a try.

How about you? Ever tried it—or had it tried on you? Does a soft voice force you to concentrate more, and remember the message better?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson