It’s important that you are able to communicate with the people you work for, with, and over; and a big part of this is ensuring that your points are heard. Let’s go over a few strategies and techniques that can help you ensure that those around you are apt to listen to what you have to say.
Listening is very much a two-way street. The better you’re able to actively listen to the other participants of a conversation, the more likely it is that they’ll act in kind and return the courtesy.
Be attentive, processing and absorbing what your collaborators in conversation have to say. When appropriate, briefly give your opinion and ask questions to help clarify what they’ve said. Above all, resist the temptation to start taking over the conversation and turning the attention back to you. Instead, maintain eye contact and engage with what the other person is saying.
Speaking of listening, did you know that people spend about 75% of their day communicating with others, and of that time, 55% or so is devoted to listening? How likely is it that they want to hear you say more, when you could get the same points across with fewer words?
By keeping your words brief, you save everyone time. Plus, you make them more inclined to listen to you the less you tend to prattle on and the more value your words have.
It’s also important to recognize that your voice is far from the only way you communicate. You get quite a bit of your message across through non-verbal communication, as well. Everything from your posture to your tone of voice can communicate how passionately you believe in what you are saying. This has a direct impact on how confident you seem, and how drawn to listen to you the people around you will be.
Finally, there’s no rule that says that you can’t use additional forms of communication to better get your messages across. Only about a quarter of what people listen to ultimately sticks in their minds, so providing those you are speaking to with a written summary of your key points when you are able can make a significant difference in their retention. Naturally, this won’t always be practical, but it can be a handy addition when the circumstances allow.
Hopefully, these tricks will help you ensure those you are speaking to, listen.
About the author
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.