I was in Minneapolis a few weeks ago with my high school senior. We were visiting potential colleges and universities. Thus it was that I came across a column in the Star Tribune by Rick Nelson and Claude Peck called Withering Glance that had me laughing. This is definite bulletin board or team meeting material. They humorously chronicle one of a QA analyst's worst nightmares, which is the atrocious way many people converse in today's culture:
CP: So, like, Rick, you know what? I like, um, really like like our little talks. They are so amazing.
RN: No-yeah. Um, like, bee-otch, you know, huh? Wait, dawg, what were you saying?
CP: Speech pathologies, señor. Trying to weed out repetitive, unnecessary, inane, trendy and annoying tics of speech is not child's play. I'm, like, talking well is really hard. But so worth it, don't you think?
Having, like, just spent, like, an AMAZING weekend with my, like, high school senior, the column, like, hit the nail on the, like, proverbial head.
Along with voice tone, speech pathologies are sometimes difficult to coach. The QA coach is often faced with the retort "that's just the way I, like, you know, talk." What's worse, others in management will often defend that excuse. Our voice and our speech are learned behaviors. The same way a CSR can learn to control their fingers on the qwerty keyboard, they can learn to manipulate their voice and vocabulary to speak clearly and professionally.
The real question is whether, or not, it is worth the time, energy and resources to do so. I know some call center managers who would rather take someone off the phone rather than training them to change the way they speak and converse.
Have you had success coaching people regarding their tone or speech pathology? What worked? What didn't?