So, if you find yourself regularly being ignored and tuned out, here are some possible reasons (and solutions):
Too many words. If you go on and on to convey a simple idea, people will stop listening. It’s as simple as that. Think of ways to keep your message compelling and concise to keep their attention.
Speaking with negativity. If you’re known as a leader who’s always talking about problems, complaining and stuck in negativity, people will become discouraged when you speak. Soon they’ll begin tuning you out to keep your negativity from spreading. Be aware of negativity and eliminate it when you can—or if not, keep it in balance.
Unclear messaging. When people have a hard time keeping up with you, they stop listening and their attention wanders. Make sure your messages are clear and on point.
Too dry. If you can’t hold people’s attention, find more interesting ways to say what you have to say. Think about the message, then think about who you’ll be saying it to and what communication style they might respond best to.
Touching a nerve. We sometimes forget how powerful words are. But people have parted ways when one of them felt they’d been called out. It’s always embarrassing if you unwittingly touch a nerve in your listener. If it happens, apologize at once and then move on.
Bad timing. If you have something important to say, make sure to tell it at a time when people are prepared to listen. If you find that you’ve come at a bad time, leave. Don’t butt in and say, “This will only take a second.” Work out the details of rescheduling later, not on the spot.
Trying too hard. When people see you try too hard, it makes them uncomfortable and stresses them out on your behalf. The secret here is to establish rapport. Be personable and sincere. Everyone can tell when they are being softened up, so don’t do that. You know you’ve established rapport when the other person smiles, uncrosses their arms, meets your gaze and looks relaxed.
Too much information. Don’t overload people with too many details. Keep your message simple and focused on the point. Along the way, look for signs that the other person heard you. If they appear lost or distracted, stop and ask, “What do you think?”
Lack of respect. When you don’t give people the respect they deserve, they will disrespect you in return. The best way to gain respect is to give it.
Lead from within: There is only one rule for being a good speaker. Leaders learn to listen.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: iStock Photo
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.