It can be observed in many characters from movies and dramas that they tend to deliver their messages forcefully whenever they are trying to be serious. It almost seems that it’s more effective to shout out their messages with a straight face than stating their intentions with a smile. This observation is rather consistent in the movies that we watch.
When a coach briefs his or her team in the training room, it happens. When someone tries to advise a close friend, it happens. When a parent confronts a child, it happens. And in the movies, this form of communication almost always works. The team gets inspired, the close friend heeds the advice and the child listens. This approach has almost been subtly internalised within our mental communication systems over time such that most of us will probably feel that the equation “Shouting + A stern expression = Effective communication with desirable results”.
I think that this approach will likely fail in real life. Why is this so? This is because people usually steer clear of aggressive individuals and of being instructed.
Some of us may consider the abovementioned examples to be assertiveness but the line between being assertive and aggressive is very thin, and challenging to tread. In addition, being advised positively by people is good but being instructed is a different matter altogether.
A good approach to adopt will be to not only smile while talking but speaking in a softer tone, to the point of our voices being almost mellow, gentle and melodious. Although we sacrifice pitch variation (yes, I am suggesting that we go against the conventional approach of using pitch variation in speeches but not to the extent of our voice getting monotonous), we get effective communication in return.
Besides being gentle in speech, we should also adopt the use of the power of reasoning to increase the impact of our speeches. And to reason well, we need to place ourselves in the shoes of the other party. Mahatma Gandhi did this to great effect. I believe that in life, messages are successfully transmitted and issues are completely resolved primarily through verbal reasoning, not forceful assertion of oneself.
Being soft-spoken at times (while not being too soft) and being able to reason (while looking at issues from the perspective(s) of the other party), are two crucial skills that a good communicator must possess.