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“Lack of Listening” Is Misplaced Blamed for This Workplace Communication Problem

“Lack of listening” is often among the top complaints about communication in the workplace.

Just as often it is misplaced blame.

This “lack of listening” is identified as the reason people do not follow through on requests.

Parents, you know what I’m speaking about, don’t you?

When our children don’t do what we tell them to, we tell them to “listen to us this time.”

Chances are they “listened” last time. Or at least they heard us.

They just chose not to act.

You have to stop blaming a lack of follow through and action on a “lack of listening.”

Chances are your employees or team members heard you, too.

They, too, just chose not to act.

If this is a problem for you, this is a problem that needs fixing.

The only way to solve a problem is to find its cause.

The cause of people not following through on your requests is not a “lack of listening.”

  • The cause may be a lack of trust and respect with the requester.
  • The cause may be an inability to effectively fulfill the request due to a skill deficit or an attitude problem.
  • The cause may be fear of reprisal for making a mistake.

If this is a problem for you, how can you identify the cause?

If this is a problem for you, what do you have to do to build higher levels of trust and respect with these individuals?

Something to think about?

Have you ever blamed “lack of listening” for someone not following through on your request?

Leave a comment below to continue the discussion.

’til next time, Communicate With Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

There are 2 comments. Add yours.

  1. Lisa

    I really like this topic. As a person with multiple roles – corporate citizen, wife and mom – I see endless examples of people who appear to not ‘listen’. Your article really puts it into perspective. Now, how do we change those habits?

    • Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert

      You change habits by deciding their important enough to change.
      Define the habit in specific terms that you want to change. Define the behavior you want to incorporate and begin taking action.
      Getting help by letting others know you want feedback when you engage in the undesirable behavior and will be open to hearing it and taking it in a positive manner, will allow people to hold you accountable to it.
      I coach people all the time to become better leaders in this way and it is quite empowering.
      Thanks for asking and being inspired to leave a comment here, please come back again.

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