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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: Deborah Tannen

Rick Hanson PhD

Feb 04, 2013

Is your tone of voice blocking mindful communication?

Try using a softer tone…

When our kids were little, I’d come home from work wanting some peace after the daily roller-coaster and often walk into a living room full of stuff – toy trucks, tennis shoes, bags of chips, etc. Irritated, the first words out of my mouth to my wife would be: “How come there’s all this mess?” Understandably, after a day chasing children plus juggling her own work, Jan would feel unfairly criticized and sputter back at me. Then there’d be a quarrel or a chilly silence. Not good.

And it all began with the tone I used. Linguists like Deborah Tannen have pointed out that most communications have three elements, which I’ll illustrate with the example above: