Don’t raise your voice improve your argument


Funny isn’t it that sometimes as a parent you over compensate. Let me explain, my father, who I love, is a shouter!  His version of attempting to explain something is to say the same thing, exactly the same thing, slower and LOUDER! Its comical in their house, as when they help out the local foreign language school, and have foreign students staying in the summer, meal times is like a dated episode of “Allo Allo.”

I remember my father trying to teach me to sail in Cornwall as a child, it always ended in tears of sheer frustration – mine not his! It didn’t help that I was trying to learn the capsize drill in the middle of the River Fal, the day after I’d seen Jaws the movie for the first time, all i could hear was the famous Jaws music, you know the “der dum der dum” and I was convinced my time was up! Don’t get me started on driving lessons – suffice to say my mum taught me to drive, passed first time!

My father was a marine engineer and spent many years in very noisey engine and boiler rooms. He does not think he shouts, but maybe this explains why he raises his voice to be heard. He is 75 now, still shouts to be heard and hears about 50% of what is said – i think he works that to his advantage sometimes!

So I grew up in a house when shouting was the normal, and I vowed not to be the same, so have always said to my girls, as soon as you raise your voice you’ve lost control and lost the argument / debate. So improve your position and communication skills. As a result they are funny, intelligent girls who can hold a great debate / argument… but it came back to bite me.

I did, I am ashamed to say I lost my temper, I shouted. I cannot even remember what it was about. I could make excuses that I was tired, frustrated – but that is all it would be – an excuse.

Imagine it, cute as anything, defiant and bright as a button, hands on hips with the classic comment “mum don’t raise your voice improve your argument!” grrrrrrr! That’ll teach me…the only solution? To laugh my head off, apologise profusely and acknowledge that she is absolutely right.

I love to listen to Chris Evans on Radio 2 in the morning, he makes me laugh out loud and one day last week he had a great speaker for Pause for Thought who shared the brilliant quote from Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu:

“My father always used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.” Good sense does not always lie with the loudest shouters, nor can we say that a large, unruly crowd is always the best arbiter of what is right.”

 Desmond Tutu

So how do I take this forward? To consider that when faced with challenge, frustration and a situation that makes me feel uncomfortable, in all elements of life, home, work & family. Then its about positioning and raising my game, the bar, setting the standard and improving my argument – not the volume of my voice!

Linda xox

This blog has been written as part of the I AM WOMAN 30day blog and Linkedin challenge

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5 Responses to Don’t raise your voice improve your argument

  1. paulgreen says:

    So very true Linda. Volume does not a case make!

  2. paulgreen says:

    So very true Linda. Volume does not an argument make – might lead to one though!

  3. This is brilliant. I am teaching a communications course soon and I shall be borrowing your story.

    I agree it’s best to breathe, try to be controlled and find the best arguments, but you know sometimes losing your temper is also a good. It’s good for you to ‘get it out’. However, you must as you did be prepared to say sorry.

    Saying sorry is very powerful.

  4. Maya Northen says:

    I can be a shouter as well. I have learned to control it, but there are times that I just get so frustrated I kind of “lose it”. It’s a never ending battle. If I really need to “get it out”, as Jacqui mentioned, I try to go someplace where I am alone, and can shout at a pillow or some other inanimate object, and then am able to more calmly talk to the person that I’m arguing with. Most of the time….

  5. I loved this Linda and like Jacqui will be using it when working with people within my charity.

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