I speak very loudly & am very abrupt when I speak. I would like to speak in a softer tone but still be taken seriously. I work in Construction . . . can you Help???
If your construction work environment is loud, this might be a considerable factor. You might need to speak over the noise or you might even be losing your hearing because of it. People who are hard of hearing often speak too loudly, although it would not explain why you are abrupt.
Do you feel rushed to get things done? Are you especially quick at perceiving issues and identifying solutions, and is it hard to wait for others to take the time they need to catch up with your understanding? Do you feel fatigued by long answers or trivial conversation?
In all cases, you need to breathe, speak on a lower pitch, at a slower pace and at a lower volume. Be more gentle in the way you form the sounds and words in your mouth. Meditation, yoga or martial arts would be awesome to help you develop balance and calm. You could also work with a coach.
If you are going to make a change you might need to work on your personality as well as your voice, and you might want to seek a little help from professionals in both areas.