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Issue 231 - Tone of Voice Regarding Discipline

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 5 Issue 231
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



Sharon Williams looked up from the kitchen table as her husband Josh entered the room. “What's wrong Josh, you look horrible.” Josh, sullen and angry, replied: “My boss called me in at the end of the day today and read me the riot act about my sales figures.”
“What exactly did he say?” asked Sharon. ”I don't know”, replied Josh, “he was just yelling and blamed everything on me.”
Josh's boss had actually given him a very detailed evaluation and game plan, but Josh didn't hear it because he was too distracted by the tone of voice his boss was using.
There are three parts of communication: how you say things, what you are saying and why you are saying it. If your emotion and tone of voice is not under control, the person you are speaking to may not even hear what you are saying, much less consider why you are saying it.
In his book with Steve Jamison, My Personal Best, Coach Wooden put it this way: When discipline was required, I tried to dole it out in a manner that was firm but fair, with no emotionalism or anger attached. Anger prevents proper thinking and makes you vulnerable.
Coach Wooden’s assistant coach, Gary Cunningham, described Coach Wooden dismissing a player from practice without drama: “Frank, you’re not with it today. Take a shower.” No screaming, yelling. That was it, “Take a shower.”  He kept it simple—but intense; not emotional, just very intense.
The second challenge for a great communicator occurs when he or she communicates a disagreement or discipline to someone else with great self-control, but the person they are speaking to yells or elevates their tone when they respond.
It is at this point we have to make sure and maintain self-control, and not match the tone of the person responding to us.  If we match the other person's tone, emotions will be elevated and the chances for a productive conversation are greatly reduced.
The flipside of this is that in order to be a great listener, we sometimes have to be able to ignore the tone of the person speaking and concentrate on what they're saying and why they're saying it, without getting distracted by how they're saying it.
This excerpt from a favorite poem of Coach Wooden's: Tone of Voice sums up the idea nicely:
It’s not so much what you say
As the manner in which you say it;
It’s not so much the language you use
As the TONE in which you convey it.
Then, would you quarrels avoid
And peace and love rejoice:
Keep anger not only out of your words –
Keep it out of your voice.
So before you get ready to start that next unpleasant conversation, remind yourself to keep your emotions under control. Focus on the great three C’s of Wooden-like communication; Clear, Concise and Compelling.

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman
Twitter: @woodenswisdom




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Application Exercise

Favorite Poetry


Just for today I will be happy (Part Two)

 Just for today I will be agreeable.

I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticize not at all, not find fault with anything and not try to regulate nor improve.

Just for today I will try to live through this day only.

Not to tackle my whole life problems at once.  I can do things for twelve hours that would appall me if I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will have a program.

I will write down what I expect to do every hour.  I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it.  It will eliminate two pests, hurry and indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax.

In this half-hour sometimes I will think of God, so as to get a little more perspective into my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid.

Especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.

 Sybil F. Partridge 






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