The three Vs

I’m a member of a local women’s business organization and I recently attended a seminar on being diplomatic with difficult people at work. Actually, I’m fortunate enough that I don’t work with anyone who is truly difficult, so I’m not sure why I signed up in the first place.

It turned out to be one of those irritating seminars where the leader is overly perky and makes the participants engage in exercises with each other. Right off the bat, she had us describing a difficult person that we work with. I couldn’t think of anyone in particular, and I was actually tempted to start talking about my kids as they can be the most difficult people that I have in my life. But, I held back, because this really was about work and not my personal life.

As the seminar went on, I kept thinking about my kids and how I could apply the information to them. At one point, the leader covered what she called “the three Vs of effective communication.” According to her, the three Vs are: visual, vocals, and voice. Basically, she encouraged the attendees to think about how we interact with these difficult people. Then, to consider what we want these people to see when interacting with us, what we would want them to hear (our tone of voice), and the kind of words we would want them to hear. Once we did that, she asked us to try to act and speak in the way that we discussed.

It made me think about how I might be able to improve my relationship with my kids by adjusting my body language, my tone of voice, and the words that I use. Unfortunately, I haven’t made too many big changes yet. I tend to be a little cynical, so it’s sometimes hard for me to make shifts that involve “positive thinking.” It’s something that I’ll have to keep working on.


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