Could your voice be the missing key to authentic leadership?

Since a few months I coach entrepreneurs and managers to create a bigger (vocal) presence. While working on the sound of their voice, we search for more impact and authenticity. My inspiration for this work is The Lichtenberger Institut in Germany, where they do research involving the possibilities of the voice and the larynx (throat). The research is focused on the function of the larynx and the resonance of the voice/sound inside the body. How can you use your entire body as an instrument?

How much pressure do you use?

In my office I train entrepreneurs and managers to keep the sound by themselves (to use their body) instead of giving their voice away. Too often we are enthusiastic and/or want to make our point so obviously during speaking that we use a lot of breath and pressure. Of course you need an amount of air to be able to speak and let the vocal chords vibrate (which creates the sound). Nevertheless, too much pressure can harm the sound of our voice. It will become more sharp, louder and higher, but at the same time it will resonate less with your body and your audience. The ears of the audience will shut for sharp, loud, high sounds. The less pressure (in the breathing), the louder you will become, the more connection you can make with your public and the more warmth you will have in your sound. This is a truly wonderful insight.

An insight that reaches far further than just the use of your voice…

Can you voice settle the deal?

During one of the coaching sessions, we discussed the topic ‘negotiation’. Can your voice be the lead instrument in closing a deal or setting a compromise? We translated the ideas of the Lichtenberger method to a professional negotiation setting. It worked! The more pressure you set out, the more you will give your voice away, the less impact you’ll have and the less space you give to the other. ‘What’s wrong with that?’, you might think. On the short term there is nothing wrong to put pressure on your opponent. Only when you look for the long term commitment, freedom and openness will create more flexibility and a more sustainable contact with your client, employee or businesspartner. You will draw and attract the other into your sound, into your idea.

It is basically very simple. For example: if you put out pressure, you will probably be sitting close to the other, in front of your seat. In this position your voice can not resonate very deep in your body, so you won’t produce a present, solid sound to impress this client, employee or businesspartner.

How much control does a leader really need?

A crucial instrument in speaking with impact and public speaking is your breath. You breathe more than 20000 times a day and yet you do not have to control it. Your body does this automatically and the breath can organize itself without your external coördination (f.e. you do not have to think every few seconds of your breath in order to keep on breathing).

Your voice and its sound works exactly the same. Although you think you have to control it, the magic is in its self organization. The more awareness and freedom you give to your voice, the more it can resonate in your body. The more resonance in your body, the more solid, louder and present your voice will become. Just like that, your body does this autonomous.

At the same time this trust in your body and its resonance, will give you more confidence. The more you can relate to your body (incl. your intuition and inner voice) and trust the principle of self organization, the more calm you will be and the more impact you will generate. Translating this to your management skills means that you do not always have to/ can control everything. You do not always have to be on top of things. Sometimes a moment of reflection can make you see a broader perspective, which makes you more creative and flexible… A self fulfilling prophecy!

For more information on self organization in your company, I would recommend the book Reinventing Organizations of Frederic Laloux.

How about you?

Working on your voice on the outside, is also working on your voice on the inside ( personality and social skills). Voice coaching put things in a new perspective and a new awareness. You can create more impact, self confidence, authenticity and leadership, just by listening and discovering your own voice. Good luck!

Sparklin’ voice let you sparkle in voice, in work, in being the authentic you.