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“When we raise our voice it’s a sign of weakness. When we lower our voice it’s a sign of strength.”

Have you ever been in a room with someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about, but they want to be heard? What do they do? They raise their voice don’t they? Remember the classic scene from Anchorman where Brick Tamland screams, “LOUD NOISES!” If you haven’t seen it, you can view it here.

What makes that scene so funny is we’ve all probably encountered an individual acting like Brick before. There’s no doubt you’ve encountered them at work. It could be a client, co-worker, or boss. If you’re on social media or read through message boards, they’re in abundance. When you’re feeling annoyed, stressed, or overwhelmed just remember this:

The loudness of their protest is proportional to the weakness of their position.

I first heard this quote from a retired teacher a few weeks ago. He used this quote when dealing with an emotional student or parent who would try to argue their incorrect position loudly. Most people feel they are more likely to be heard and understood as the volume of their voice increases. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

The louder someone feels compelled to make their argument, the higher their level of insecurity. Raising the level of our voice is an intimidation tactic. When people raise their tone, use the quote in bold above. The person won’t have a legit comeback, and will resort to some form of personal insult. Just laugh and walk away.

When we encounter people like this we feel as if someone is attacking us for something we did or said. In today’s world, it happens a lot. There are a lot of internet tough guys out there. It’s like the person who has the car windows rolled up picking their nose. You can’t see them because the windows are up, right? Same with the internet and social media. People think, “If I didn’t say it to their face, it doesn’t matter.” (If you think like that or know someone who does, watch this PSA clip and share it with them.)

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How do you handle people and situations like this?

Always remember the loudness of their argument is directly proportional to their insecurities or level of ignorance. You cannot control how others think. You cannot control what influencers are present in other people’s life. Don’t fall into the trap of getting into a heated argument. That’s what they want. State the facts, repeat the quote from above, and it will end.  (The more I read and study others, the less I feel compelled to lash out; especially on social media.) I find reading material on leadership helps in dealing with heated situations.

Haters are going to hate, do what you do.

What if you’re going after your goals and dreams and get mocked? How do you handle that? The key to effectively handling a person or situation like this is to keep this in mind: criticism is a good thing. It means people are paying attention to you. Your voice is being heard. Many will want to prove you wrong or for you to fail. Why? Because you’re doing more than them and it’s intimidating. You make them feel bad.

When this happens you know you’re on the right track. You will have many more people who believe in you and what you’re doing than the loud naysayers. Continue to work hard and bust your butt. Prove them wrong. People too weak to follow their own dreams will criticize those who do.

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Does yelling work in coaching?

For some this may work and feel natural, but I would strongly argue no. Now, every coach will raise their voice from time to time. It’s an attention grabber. I will do this to emphasize a point or grab attention, but I am rather calm and cool on the sideline. However, if a coach is constantly yelling, they will lose the players quickly. I believe in the old adage, “Shout praise, and whisper criticism!” What I observe too often in youth sports are parent-coaches who yell and think it’s coaching. It’s not. Just because you see a coach do it on TV, it doesn’t make it right. Again, the more a coach yells or screams, the quicker they are tuned out.

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!

Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.