Outside a close circle of family and friends, the voice you respond in is rarely (just) your own – it’s also the voice of your project or organisation, or of your department or team.
These means that these questions about your tone of voice apply to the groups you’re speaking for too.
As far as it lies with you, how do you want your team to sound to others?
It’s also helpful to remember – especially in our organisations – that every time we speak within a culture we’re also speaking into the culture, and that our influence goes beyond immediate thoughts and feelings to expectations and norms, ultimately shaping our organisation’s identity. Our responses cause ripples in the pond.
As you think about your “default tone” – both personally and within your teams – try to think beyond the content of each particular message to the tone they set more generally.
Are the things you usually throw into the culture – and the ripples they make – compatible with the culture you’re trying to build?