Articles

The Power of Tone

11/10/21

John Stonestreet

Kasey Leander

In 2017, Yale researcher Michael Kraus discovered that the best medium for communication was voice-only. Scientists have a couple of theories as to why.
 
First, voice-only is just less distracting. Especially in the age of Zoom, virtual communication means bombardment by images, web problems, and front-facing cameras. All of these make it harder to focus on people – and therefore empathize with them.
 
But second, whereas visual clues can be misleading, it’s harder for speakers to disguise how they’re feeling in the tone of their voices. This suggests it’s the tone we use, not our facial expressions, which are our biggest non-verbal giveaways.
 
That lines up with how Scripture tells us to advance the Gospel, sharing the good news “with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
The beauty of the Gospel is that it doesn’t just train our minds how to think, but our hearts how to feel. Christ’s love lets us love others, in what we say as well as in how we say it.

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