“I know you’re trying to tell me something, but I can’t make out what it is.” This is what my sister kept saying to me as she watched me grow more and more frustrated trying to get her to understand words that had no sound. Experiencing the worst case of laryngitis I have ever had, I tried with all my might to push my voice beyond a magnified whisper. Yet, recognizing my sister’s growing frustration with trying to hear me, I gave into the reality that I had lost my voice. So, I stopped trying to speak. I gave up…and settled into silence.
If you’ve ever had a case of laryngitis, you know the frustration I am describing. You know how it feels to have had the ability to speak, only to now go through the motions of speaking, but without sound. Defined as, an inflammation of your voice box (larynx) from overuse, irritation or infection, laryngitis takes away the sound of voice.
But, here is a question for you – Have you every experienced workplace laryngitis? I mean, have you ever felt the exasperation of wanting to speak-up at work, but nothing would come out of your mouth? Have you felt the frustration of wanting to speak your mind and your heart, but there were no words? And…even if you tried to speak, it seemed nothing you said was even heard? Has the sound of your voice been taken away?
Well, if that’s you…you are not alone! Workplace laryngitis is a prevalent phenomenon. It just doesn’t get talked about.
Just like the physical causes of laryngitis, here are the three causes in the workplace:
- Overuse – This occurs when you’ve used your voice to speak to anything and everything. You have something to say about all things at all times. If you think it…you’re going to say it. You talk, and talk, and talk some more. I associate this overuse as too much voice. Here’s the thing – the overuse of your words, over time, could cause you to ultimately not be heard at all.
- Irritation – This occurs when you are in a constant state of being annoyed, angry, impatient, aggravated, and the like. Irritation occurs when you are challenged with maintaining the right attitude and disposition and being consistent in mood. While irritation is associated with emotions, words emerge from these emotions that are often toxic, mean-spirited, rude, or simply unkind. Here’s the thing, when your voice is irritated, it becomes an irritation to others. And, when that happens…others simply stop listening.
- Infection – This occurs when you pick-up something from your environment or from someone else. In other words, you become contaminated by the opinions, beliefs, feelings, and/or actions of others, while allowing this high level contamination to influence your entire system. Here’s the thing, when you allow other people, places, and things to infect you, your mind, your will, and your emotions become sick. As a result, this kind of infection will shut down your voice.
So, allow me to encourage you to conduct your own self-examination of your voice. Have you overused it? Has it become irritated or an irritation? Has it been infected? If you answered “yes’ to any or all of these – it’s time to get your voice back! Don’t settle into silence. Instead, make the choice to address the causes, give yourself a moment to heal, and in the days ahead, commit to maintaining a healthy voice. It matters!
Be back soon!
Image courtesy of Tharakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net