Three Meter Zone: Common Sense Leadership for NCOs. Welcome to the world of the noncommissioned officer, the ultimate in hands-on, front-line leadership: the three meter zone where the work of the soldier occurs. ... a full fledged study of leadership for NCOs, by an NCO.
Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal



Paul Schneidmill


“You need to lower your voice some.  You sounded so loud I started to move to the back of the room.”


I had just finished giving a presentation to my fellow seminar members at the good old Army Management Staff College (week #3 down…9 more to go) and was receiving critiques from the students winding their way through this course with me. 


“Paul, you were good,” emphasized one.


“It was good.  I can tell you like doing this,” said another.


One person let me know that I’d gone over my allotted time of 10 minutes (several of us had done this and the instructor told us our initial series of presentations (like this one) was practice for us to hone our skills in this area). 


I admit I’m comfortable (for the most part) in being in front of and talking to people…after all, I am a preacher (a word to the wise: If you ever meet a preacher who is afraid to communicate either in general or in conveying the life-giving, health-restoring Word of God (Proverbs 4:22), make sure you’re not on or near a body of water – see the first chapter of the book of Jonah).


However, this submission’s opening reference was the critique that had the greatest affect on me, and stayed with me.  (Isn’t it amazing how we human beings can so easily concentrate with remarkable awareness on things we view as negative?  Just ask the folk at many of America’s mainstream media centers…they’re professionally proficient at doing this.)


I didn’t respond either way to the observation (right away) and rather than readily accept what I initially “felt” was an unjust analysis; I began to justify the level of volume with which I talk, in my mind.


Here’s some of the “rationality” that rolled around in my “grey matter”:


“This is the way I talk.”

“I was a soldier and a Drill Sergeant in the Army.  I have a command voice.”

“I’m a preacher and my voice naturally projects.”

“This is my character, part of my make-up.”

“Nobody else had a problem with it.”


Then God inserted Himself into my private, “all by my self” conversation.


“You can adjust the volume of your voice when speaking to others” He spoke to my spirit, “You have control over it.”

My justification efforts began to evaporate like light raindrops hitting a bonfire (there’s a visual for you) and I realized rather than endeavor to justify my observed loudness, I could take that observation for my betterment and make some “adjustments” as needed in the future. 


I’m so very glad God loves me so!  No one can get me (or you) straight like He can!


Well, my friends, you can believe that from now on I intend to be more sensitive to other’s observations and constructive criticism of me, and make adjustments as necessary.  After all, I am a representative of my Father (2 Corinthians 5:20).  I don’t want to discredit Him and I don’t always have to be loud (even if I am) to be heard.


…but as I close, let me make one small public service announcement...if you ever hear me preaching…in church or otherwise…consider the volume of my voice to already be “properly” adjusted.


Paul Schneidmill © Copyright 2005