Which voice DOMINATES your business?

I’m not talking about the customer voice, or the managing director voice but the type of voice, not whose voice – that tends to dominate in your business and the damage that can cause when other voices are not heard.

In these heightened days of increased employee engagement, collaboration, and cooperation in business generally or specifically in problem solving, sharing knowledge, or creating innovation, it’s important that voices – all voices are heard.

Where voices aren’t heard or simply ignored; people feel misunderstood and undervalued, meetings become ineffective, the atmosphere changes for the worse, teams don’t function as well as they could, the gossip starts, the sick days increase, and people eventually leave! All of which diverts time, money, and resource away from you being able to lead the business in achieving its goals. 

Once you recognise your own LEADERSHIP VOICE you can start to learn how to value the voices of others.

I was introduced to the 5 Voices of Power by Dale Parmenter of DRPG, a business Dale set up over 40 years ago and is today recognised as a leading full-service presentation and communication group, employing 380 people in 10 locations across the UK, Europe and US. It’s a business that has successfully embedded 5 voices within their culture, to help bring out the best from everyone.

The premise of 5 voices is that

“everyone has a natural leadership voice, whether they know it or not, from the quietest to the most gregarious all have the ability to lead”.

Giant Worldwide

Our voice is made up of all 5 voices, some are just more natural to us than others, thus being aware of which of the voices are our primary and secondary voices can be extremely useful when speaking with others.

The 5 voices from quietest to LOUDEST are:

Nurturer – 43% of the population who champion people, relationships, values.

Creative – 9% of the population who champion ideas, innovation, integrity.

Guardian – 30% of the population who champion due diligence, resources, processes.

Connector – 11% of the population who champion networks, collaboration, communication.

Pioneer – 7% of the population who champion strategic vision, results, problem solving.

There are no right or wrong, better, or worse voices, this is simply a preference tool – like Myers Briggs, which if used responsibly can help you improve and enhance your internal communication.

You can follow the link below to discover your natural voice.

It’ll be no surprise to those I’ve worked with to read that my primary voice is Pioneer, and my secondary voice is Nurturer – spooky stuff eh!

And now for some practical stuff – examples where it has been applied in SMEs.

I recapped 5 voices with my peer2peer groups 7 months on from when they had first been exposed to it at a national conference, and the perception was one of “it’s something for the big companies with lots of employees, it’s not for our smaller companies” – it proved to be a tricky mindset to move, that’s until 5 slides in, a voice at the table said, “it works”.

Alexis runs a business with 8 employees in the south of England, she was pleased that she was the only Pioneer “there’s only room for one pioneer in my business and that’s me”. The process also flagged up that she had too many Guardians one of whom was in the wrong role and a Creative demonstrating “idealist perfectionist tendencies” when an 8 or 9 out of 10 was perfectly acceptable commercially. She now has a happier, more collaborative, and effective team AND at the other group meetings I dialled her in at slide 5 – as business people love hearing from other business people especially about what things have worked well for them.

During a round table discussion, I was frustrated at being unable to move the meeting beyond a particular sticking point and encouraged an individual to “work with me on this …” At the end of the discussion, I apologised to the individual before we all left the table for closing them down and for exhibiting a Pioneer trait – which led to a healthy discussion on using labels to excuse our behaviours… lesson learnt.

Peter runs a business with 15 employees in the north of England, he was initially disappointed that his primary voice was not a Pioneer, as often (and mistakenly) business leaders are expected to be Pioneers, aren’t they? Instead, he embraced his dominant Creative voice, understanding how it had helped him lead and develop his business over many years and then appointed an internal Pioneer to join the board, ensuring a potential imbalance was balanced. 

Reflecting on my own experience (post 5 voices) I recognised that bringing out the best in others had been in the “detail of my relationships” and not the broad brush strokes of a leadership address to the employees.

To discover your natural voice of Leadership, take the free 5 voices Assessment via this link   https://www.giant.tv/5voices/hq5v

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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Posted in Skill Sets, Company Culture, Engagement, Managing Meetings, communication, leadership
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