How to Make People Listen

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

 

It’s not how loud you say it, it’s what you’re saying that makes people listen.

Choose your words carefully and you’ll ensure everyone listens.

When you’re trying to get your point across, but no one is listening, it can be the most frustrating experience in the world. Plus, if you stoop to screaming, all you’re really going to wind up with in the end is a sore throat. Here are my top ten tips for making people listen to you without actually having to yell. 

1.    Keep it simple. In my experience, people have a hard time getting employees to listen to them because they make things overly complex or drawn out. When you keep it simple, you’ll be able to retain people’s attention much better.

2.    Make it clear. You might be losing people’s attention because your message is overly complicated or verbose. Get rid of anything that’s just embellishments and tone it down to just the facts.

3.    Speak calmly. Use an even, yet cheerful tone will get you much more attention than if you’re speaking in a frantic, raised voice.

4.    Use visual aids. People love to be able to see what you’re talking about, so if you hav the opportunity, use some visual aids to help your employees understand the message you’re trying to get across.

5.    Schedule time. If you’re tired of trying to fit your message into conversations, just make some time for it. Send out a meeting request for the right people and make time to sit down and talk about exactly what’s on your mind.

6.    Get it to the right people. If you’re talking to the wrong people, your message won’t even matter. Choose who you talk to and make sure that you’re getting your voice heard by the right people in your company.

7.    Choose your words wisely. Along the same lines as keeping your message clear, choosing the right words can make all the difference. Keep your tone positive and your vocab easy to understand.

8.    Reinforce good listening. When people are listening to what you have to say, make sure to reinforce that behavior by thanking them for their time and listening to what you had to say.

9.    Use positive body language. Don’t cross your arms or furrow your brow. Remember to keep your body position open and people will respond much more openly to you.

10.  Never raise your voice. I’m serious. Yelling doesn’t do anyone any good. Just don’t do it.

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