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It’s frustrating to feel as if you’re not being heard. You can express yourself all day long and communicate your message, or even contagiously communicate many messages and still feel as if no one had heard you. Why is that? Well there are many reasons, ten good ones in fact in a special report I’ll release soon, however, here are the top five. Want to “Fix” the fact that they might not be listening to your leadership message, consistently perceived to be clear communications, and the thoughts and feelings you share? See if any of the reasons and solutions below hold true for you.
What You Said Wasn’t of Interest to Them
If you tell your teenage child to empty the dishwasher or do their homework while they are watching TV, you’re likely not trumping the interest they have in that program. Do you make your messages interesting or merely expect everything you say to be of interest to others? Catch the attention of those you lead by being interesting, interested, and sometimes even surprising in what you’ve shared, asked or mentioned.
The Way You Said it Wasn’t in the Language they Speak, so to Speak
In Contagious Communication™ training, we spend a great deal of time talking about personality types. It’s not the oversimplified, everyone gets a nametag with an animal name, type of discussion, but more of an education on the concept that we’re all just different in what we need, what our tendencies are, and how we communicate those needs to others. Figure out what the base needs are of someone you wish to communicate with and use them in your language and you’ll fix the problem. Oh, that, and avoiding the temptation of believing that everyone communicates the same way you do, also helps.
They’re Listening Skills are Lacking
People are regularly taught to speak and be speakers, but rarely taught how to shush. And when they’re taught to shush, the focus is only on what comes out of their mouth, versus what also goes on in their head. Listening comes down to interest and focus and the ability to manage the voices in one’s head. If you’re talking to yourself, you’re still talking and you can’t talk and listen at the same time, now can you. Help them focus and they’ll improve their ability to listen. Of course, this also means that your message might need to be one worth focusing on for a while.
You’re Not Paying Attention
While it is easier to blame others for not listening to you, it’s far more likely that you are a significant part of the communication equation. If you’re not paying attention to what else is going on in their world, then you’re expecting you and your message to be all that they’re focused on. Pay attention to the distractions in their world right now. Pay attention to the “noise” level they may be experiencing. Perhaps your message is better shared at another time or place? Perhaps there is a different medium to communicate your message, in which you might be heard even better.
There is Too Much Noise
When you pay attention, what do you see or hear? Noise is all around us and it comes in three forms when we’re talking about contagious communication. There’s Decibel noise of the actual sounds we hear that distract us from listening to you or the sender of a message. There’s Psychological noise or the stuff we’re saying in our head. And then there’s emotional noise or the feelings that get in the way of our rationalization, ability to focus, and certainly our ability to retain. If you share a message that sounds like “Come see me in my office when you’re done!”, you have just likely created both psychological and emotional noise and there won’t be much room for your actual message to fit in their brain. Set the stage for listening and eliminate as much noise as possible.
We all know hearing is a gift and listening is a skill and that we have usually been bestowed with two ears and one mouth, to quite likely use in just that proportion, BUT… you play a role in whether others listen to you and saying “Listen because I said so” usually isn’t an effective method, but the five steps above could be more helpful.
Want more information or need help?
Go to www.ContagiousCompanies.com and look for the special featured Contagious Communication package in our store. There you will find a special report listing five more steps on How to Fix the Fact that Others Aren’t Listening to You. You don’t have to change your message, but you might find that changing its delivery will make all the difference in the world!