Solution Saturday: 12 Ways to Get People to Listen to You

Forget leading if no one’s listening.

The right to be heard is earned.

After a recent presentation, I was asked, “How do I deal with someone who isn’t listening to me?”

if you want people to listen to you listen to them

12 ways to get people to listen to you:

  1. Release the burden of knowledge. When you “know” the answer you feel burdened to share the answer. Open your mind by whispering, “I could be wrong,” to yourself. People don’t enjoy listening to a know-it-all.
  2. Invite people to talk about themselves. They’ll listen to you if you’re open to them as people.
  3. If you want people to listen to you, listen to them.
    • Slow down.
    • Provide pauses.
    • Relax your posture.
    • Say in your head, “What if they’re right?”
  4. Talk less. People listen when you talk less. If you have authority or position, it’s almost certain that you talk too often and too long.
  5. Ask questions before making statements. Try:
    • What would you like to know?
    • What’s important to you?
    • What are you trying to accomplish?
    • What do you know?
    • What don’t you know?
    • What have you tried?
  6. Soften tone and lower volume. Try a whisper rather than a yell.
  7. Get to the point quickly. Add explanations and reasoning after sharing conclusions. People stop listening if you’re slow at getting to the point.
  8. Stop talking when you realize people aren’t listening. Ask a question.
  9. Focus more on what others need to hear and less on what you need to say.
  10. Be confident. Avoid Arrogance. Be comfortable with yourself. Take a few breaths and ask yourself, “Who do I want to be right now?”
  11. Never lie. Don’t make things sound better than they are, but speak with a can-do approach.
  12. Be vulnerable. Share your story. Say what you really want.

Bonus: Avoid over-confidence. Be willing to change.

How might leaders get people to listen to them?