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Norton: The whispers of success

This past week I was reminded of something as I once again experienced the intimacy, joy and power found in a whisper.

Although it is just my wife and I who live in our home now, for some reason I paid particular attention to how we were saying goodnight to one another. I noticed that our voices were low as we whispered softly, “Goodnight, I love you.” This caused me to think about how we wake up together as well, another whisper and soft greeting of good morning.

No one else can hear us. Even if we raised our voices, there is no one in the house that could possibly hear what we say. Yet we whisper. It’s not because we are worried about anyone else hearing us, the whisper just seems to intimately connect us as we begin and end each day.



When it comes to effective communication skills, we know that there are several things that we can do to help people hear what we are saying. We can speak faster, which will have some people paying a little closer attention as they try and keep up. We can speak louder, and that sometimes helps bring others back to a conversation if they have drifted off for a moment. Or we can speak quietly, even whispering, which can help those we are trying to reach lean in more to hear what we are trying to say.

In addition to the shared intimacy that comes with whispering, there could also be incredible joy. It’s like when we have a really good secret to share with someone and we know that when we whisper it in their ear, we will see the joy shine upon their face. Or when someone shares something very important, and they want to make sure that no one else can hear them, but they trust us with whatever important or sensitive information they need us to know, it brings us profound joy knowing how much we are trusted.



Becoming loud or shouting seems to be the go-to for some of us when we are trying to exert power or make a point. There are some of us who do believe that the only way we can get anyone to listen is by amplifying our voice, both in volume and tonality. Those we are attempting to reach may have no other option as they listen to the shouts, however, that does not mean that they heard what was being said. When shouting and screaming cause others to shut down, become defensive, or simply walk away, the message goes unheard no matter how loud we become.

Some of the most respected leaders learned how to garner respect because of their ability to stay calm and focused when delivering a message or when they tried to influence, inspire, and lead those around them. As a matter of fact, they learned the power that comes from whispering. And that power comes because the leader is trying to transfer a feeling by intimately whispering their sincerest words of hope and encouragement. People who follow such leadership and whispered conversations tend to feel happiness and joy based on the flow and direction of the message.

When we start raising our voices, we are inviting people to turn us off. But when we lower our voices, talk to each other like human beings, even whispering just loud enough so others can hear our words and our intended message, we are inviting them to stay tuned. If you are looking for a better way to communicate, build winning relationships, lead, or inspire others, try finding the whispers of success.

How about you? Is there a message that you are hoping others will hear? Have you learned or experienced the intimacy, joy, and power of whispering? I really would love to hear your story of effective communication and how you have used whispering to make your point at mnorton@tramazing.com. And when we can start engaging others and turning them on instead of turning them off through whispering, it really will be a better than good year.


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