Fixing Another Workplace Communication Challenge, “A Lack of Listening” Isn’t Always What You Think

Last week a client wrote to me…

“What am I supposed to do if people don’t want to listen to me, which is a choice (I saw a clip of one of your seminars online), then they are not going to, right?”

It’s great when clients actual take to heart suggested strategies.

And it is very true.

As I say, “listening is choice, not a skill.”

So, what do you do if others are not “listening” to you?

Have you ever had a feeling others weren’t listening to you?

If so, you have two choices.

  1. Try other strategies to get their attention
  2.  Seek to understand the reasons behind the lack of listening.

The first option is dealing with symptoms.

The second option is dealing with cause.

Fixing a problem can only be accomplished by knowing the cause.

Therefore, if this “lack of listening” is a problem for you, which of the two options above would you choose?

There is a cost and benefit to each:

Option 1 costs include:

  1. Wasting time on strategies that will exacerbate the problem,
  2. Continuing to erode the relationship making it worse.

Option 1 benefits are:

  1. It can be implemented quickly,
  2. You may get short term compliance to move something forward.

Option 2 costs include:

  1. Investment of time and energy to understand the individual’s position,
  2. Having a difficult conversation about another’s behavior comes with uncertainty and fear, and it, too may make the relationship worse if not done properly.

Option 2 benefits include:

  1. Fixing a problem so you won’t have to deal with it any longer,
  2. Building a more positive, productive relationship and work environment.

It’s your choice, always.

Which would you choose?

What strategies do you have to fix a “lack of listening?

Please leave a comment below.

Next email in this series look for more specifics around addressing this “lack of listening” with Option 2.

‘til then, make it a great week!

2 thoughts on “Fixing Another Workplace Communication Challenge, “A Lack of Listening” Isn’t Always What You Think

  1. Keith Grossman says:

    Listening is such an important topic, and I love the phrase, “Listening is a choice, not a skill”.

  2. Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert says:

    Keith,
    Thanks for stopping by and being inspired to leave a comment. I’m pleased you love my take on “listening skills.” We have to want to listen and when we do we can, if not, we won’t. Thanks!
    Skip

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