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I work with a lot of couples, helping them navigate the waters of money, marriage, and the mix of ours and mine. A large piece of our work together is getting both partners on the same financial page, with a united vision for how they want to move forward. This is the easy part.

The more challenging part has to do with the “stuff” (we all have our stuff) that comes up between couples that side tracks them from staying on track with their united vision. One of the pieces of stuff that comes up that needs to be addressed is TONE. Voice tone that is! It is one of the biggest “blind spots” couples live in…which is how they are coming across to one another…how what they say verbally might not be matching what they are saying with their body language (which voice tone is a part of) and we all know the body is the truth teller of how we feel, right?

Tone can create connection or derail a conversation in seconds. My husband and I know this firsthand! It took us weeks and months of practice before we came to our money meetings relaxed and left relaxed. It is the same for many of my clients.

Talking about money is stressful when there is a dance of snarling, blaming, projection, activation of unconscious emotional triggers and looping communication dances (the ones that go round and round and never end with a good result) that live in the problem instead of the solution. Whew!


Here are some pointers my husband and I practice to keep our TONE OF VOICE in check, so we BOTH experience money meetings that are fun and productive!

(1) Speak without constricting your voice. Constriction can occur when we are in an agitated or frustrated feeling state. If you feel agitated, take deep breaths to relax yourself.

  • Practice a deeper pitch to your voice (that sexy deep voice pitch), slow your pace, take pauses, breathe, breathe again
  • Think about what a “friendly tone” sounds like to you and practice that tone in your money meetings
  • Soften your voice volume
  • Relax your upper body…this will make your voice sound more gentle and pleasant. Do shoulder rolls, neck rotations and allow your belly to soften

(2) Smile at your partner rather than remaining tensed up in the jaw area

(3) Drink water to keep your throat area hydrated and to flush through feelings

(4) Be mindful of the words you place emphasis on…for example:

  • “What do you see as a solution to help us stay on track this month?”
  • “What do you see as a solution to help us stay on track this month?”

(5) Get out of “parent | child” communication dynamics and shift to an “adult | adult” communication dynamic. Check out this article to better help you with this shift.

(6) Record yourself with your smart phone and listen to how you sound. Honestly evaluate yourself. Do you sound bossy? Critical? Loving? Friendly?

(7) Attitude comes out in voice tone. Do a body check and feeling check. If you feel defended and upset, take deep breaths until you create a more positive feeling state in your body. Taking deep breaths brings more oxygen to our cells and helps decrease the stress hormone of cortisol in our bodies.

(8) Gather your breath from your belly area before you speak rather than from your throat or nasal cavity.

What other ideas do you have on how to be in check with your TONE! It really does matter!

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