Steve Cockram Explains the 5 Voices

What are the five voices?


How aware are you of the way others perceive you at work, at home or in your community? What if you could better understand yourself, and others, in order to build more trusting and successful relationships? That’s what this video is all about. Steve Cockram, co-founder of GiANT Worldwide and author of 5 Voices, teaches and consults with organizational teams all over the world and is committed to “Applied Leadership Learning”—the practical side of leadership development.

Steve’s primary goal through the five voices model is to help people fundamentally understand: “What's it like to be on the other side of you?” The more people can understand what people really hear when we speak and what they see in our behaviors, the more helpful it is in terms of how people can relate with each other. The most important thing to remember, Steve explains, is that each of us speaks all five voices; but some voices are more natural for us than others. Watch now and learn a quick description of each of the five voices – Nurturer, Creative, Guardian, Connector and Pioneer—and discover which is your prominent voice!

So when we're talking about five voices, we're trying to help people understand, fundamentally, what's it like to be on the other side of you? And the more people can understand what people really hear when we speak and engage in different contexts, the more helpful it is in terms of how people can relate with each other. 

So here are the five voices if you break them down. But the most important thing to remember is you speak all five. So when I listen to you or when you hear me speak now, you're not hearing pure pioneer or pure connector. You're hearing a complex mix, but some voices are more natural for us, and therefore, they tend to dominate what people experience. 

So nurturers. Nurturers are usually the champion of people, relational harmony and values. They're compassionate, kind, sensitive to the needs of others. 

Creative voice is the most future orientated of all the voices. They're always championing the future vision, the possibilities of what could be, trends and ideas, technology. They're always scanning the horizon. They also champion what we call organizational integrity. So they're kind of going, "Okay, let's make sure that what we say we do is fully aligned with what we actually deliver, both for our own people and ultimately for the clients and the people we work for." 

The guardian always champions the truth, due diligence, preserving the tradition, and making sure that we spend our money wisely. So the guardian's always the one asking the questions and wants you to keep asking the questions as long as you possibly can. 

Connector. Connector champions relational networks. So the connector is the one who knows everybody and always knows where to get the answer or where they can get a resource. They also champion, basically, the internal collaboration. So the connector voice is always saying, "How do we all play together? How do we all win?" It's much more exciting if we do that. 

And then lastly, the pioneer. So the pioneer is the loudest of the voices, certainly in terms of its forcefulness and dominance, if it's not careful, in any team environment. And the pioneer champions strategic vision, making tough decisions, winning, and usually aligning people, systems and structures to deliver the biggest possible win. 

So each voice in its own champions something specific, but all of us have what we call a voice order. So I am a pioneer, connector, creative, guardian, nurturer. And the rule of thumb is this: your first two voices are the ones that most people hear. So that's all the different voices and what you'll find is that everyone connects with different voices in different ways.

Steve Cockram

Steve Cockram is co-founder of GiANT Worldwide, a global company dedicated to leadership transformation through intentional apprenticeship. He travels extensively all over the world, teaching and consulting with senior executives and ...

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