Finding my voice

I have been reflecting on the development programme I attended last year. It was a rich learning experience – really good to get ‘back in the classroom’ and oil my brain cogs, particularly as I am usually the facilitator…

The first afternoon of the five-day programme (which was delivered over four months) was spent reflecting on different ‘voices’ that we use in conversations. In the “Voice Print” model, there are three broad categories of voice we deploy in any conversation: the exploring voice; the controlling voice; the positioning voice (each one is then broken down into three sub-categories).

We completed a self-assessment diagnostic tool in advance of the session and used the afternoon to understand the model and explore our individual Voice Print reports. These helped us to identify and better understand our voices which we tend to rely on most/least, and gave the opportunity to consider how they serve and impact on our OD practice. We explored how to flex all of our voices, and not just rely on those that feel most comfortable and familiar.

My report indicated that my strongest is the ‘exploring’ voice, which makes sense to me; in my professional life I spend a lot of time in the realm of curiosity: asking questions, probing for details, and diagnosing problems. As an OD professional and certified coach I have had years to refine this approach – it now feels like my ‘comfort zone’!

Nonetheless, since that afternoon I have started to notice my own and others’ voices more and now remember (with greater frequency) that I have agency and choice in the voices I express and share with the world. I am using different voices and gradually exercising those which are quieter.

My words, attention to body language, the clarity of my intention – these can all evoke different responses in those around me, and may lead to different (hopefully better) outcomes. I can use my voice to sustain, break or shift both my own patterns and those around me.

Check out Voice Print if you’d like to learn more about this model.

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