When the Male Voice Literally Undermines Leadership

Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on

Rarely have I had a workshop where constructive feedback did not include some aspect of the participant’s voice. In the case of males in leadership positions, this criticized voice quality is usually of a compensatory nature: Loud and demanding or commanding.

Worse yet, it’s what that voice quality symbolizes that undermines the person’s credibility. It appears the person in question cultivated the “act” of leadership through his voice. An ”act” is this case is the antithesis of authenticity. It also robs the audience of a meaningful human connection, all because the listener feels “talked at” or “talked to.” When people experience a voice talking “with them” rather than “at or to them,” they get to feel connected. Only then do they feel compelled to support the leaders’ directives.

Cultivating a fire-side chat voice when one on one is what I’ve recommended for years as the “cure” to this brand of undermining voice.

While some women also suffer from using this loud, commanding tone of voice, there exists yet another distinctive quality some younger adult females use. Stay tuned for next month’s blog to discover how this “voice” can hold back even the most aspiring females.