Lately, there have been a few studies that have focused on how an individual’s voice pitch loses impact and changes in the context of different ‘power’ and ‘position’ relationships at work and in professional environments.
The key points of the studies put forward that, in the less-powerful speaker:
- the voice’s pitch becomes higher
- the voice’s tone and tonal patterns become compliant and pleasing
Recently, I was contacted by Amy Molloy, a professional writer and blogger. She approached me about this topic and asked me for my input on a series of questions that explored the drivers of this habit and how to manage it.
It turned into an illuminating exercise. One that forced me to delve deeper into the relationship between pitch and tone.
It is worthwhile knowing that, no matter where the pitch range of a particular voice is found, it remains possible to manage the tone (how the voice sounds) as you speak.
Also, it is incumbent upon the speaker to select, influence and choose how they wish to give tonal meaning to their message, as well as how they want their message to be interpreted by their listener. If the tonal message lacks clarity, the interpretation is lost!
Each tonal message illuminates the feelings of the speaker when delivering the message and how they position themselves in relation to the message that is being spoken at that moment in time.
As a result, I exposed a range of habits relating to pitch and tone. Habits that demonstrate that pitch and tone, as key components of any voice’s quality, compliment and compete with each other in a range of contexts.
In fact, this is true of all the partnerships on The Voice Wheel®.
The challenge for people, whether they are in positions of influence, leadership and power or not, is to be able to recognise when a habit is hindering rather than advancing the communication purpose at that moment in time.
Then, being able to stop the habit, release it and change it to one that supports rather than undermines the message and their presence as a contributor to the conversation.