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Assertive partnerships – relaxed and firm voice



People challenge me when I say this:

‘Yes, you can sustain the natural, relaxed quality in your voice while standing your ground and being firm.’

By ‘quality’ I mean a willing, open state in the voice with no emotive overtones.

The voice is ready and able to respond.

In this state, you are likely to be speaking in the vicinity of your optimum pitch with an easy rise or fall in vocal range available to you.

From here, your voice is able to fully support the message that you speak.

It is free of ambiguity in its tone and shifts in tonal patterns which potentially influence interpretation from the listener’s perspective.

When you find yourself in a conversation where you need to repeatedly support your point of view, it is useful to know how to place your voice in a willing, open state that works best for you.

Simultaneously, when ‘standing your ground’ and ‘being firm’ is necessary, using the same vocal strategy will help you to manage any emotional peaks and troughs in the conversation to reach an outcome sooner.

What you are doing in this context is speaking from an assertive position; one where you are relaxed, in control, able to express your feelings and willing to hear the position put forward by your communication partner.mouth

When you are being assertive, your voice moves expressively, flexibly and with variety when you speak. By sustaining this vocal style, you are communicating with strength and engagement.

Your voice is free of anger, frustration and irritation.  Neither is there defensiveness, lack of confidence and wavering uncertainty in your voice.

Vocal assertiveness, like assertive language choices are skills that can be learnt.  Get in touch to find out more.

3 comments… add one
  • Much good sense in the article Assertive partnerships.
    Vocal assertiveness – without shouting – a worthwhile skill to acquire!

    • Hello Rai, Thanks for commenting on this post. It is worthwhile remembering that ‘shouting’ indicates a loss of power either by oneself or by one’s communication partner. If you are doing the shouting – notice the behaviour – stop – breathe – think in silence – then speak in a firm, confident manner. If it is your communication partner who is shouting, manage your emotional responses to the shouting by – sitting or standing upright and acknowledging a change in heart rate. Then – breathe steadily – relax your neck, jaw and shoulders – consider your response. When the tirade runs out of steam, you will be ready to reply in a calm, confident manner. With best wishes, Sandra

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