Why don’t people listen? Oh, that’s easy:
- They start defending against what we say–often before we speak–based on how we say it,
- We tend to frame our messages in terms of what’s important to us: they listen in terms of what’s important to them,
- We speak past each other instead of taking time to understand, and
- We argue over our stands instead of collaborating to meet our collected desired outcomes.
The good news, of course, is that when you flex to meet their style, recast your message to appeal to what they think is important, listen to clarify and ask them to do the same, and work for win-win, they will listen. A lot.
Seems like a lot of work, ya? Maybe. But it’s a heck of a lot less effort than the repeated requests, defensiveness, aggression, rework, politics, lost opportunities, and hard feelings you have to deal with otherwise.
In your corner,