Are They Listening? 4 Effective Ways to Make Yourself Heard
“Being listened to is the psychological equivalent of air.” – Stephen Covey
Everyone wants to be heard. We love the sound of our own voices. We often care more about what we have to say than what anyone else in the room — or video call — has to contribute.
So, how can you be heard in a world that only wants to speak?
1. The key to being heard is listening
Sounds counterintuitive, right? No one wants to be ignored or interrupted. Think about a time you were interrupted during a meeting. Did you care about what the person said after interrupting you? If you want people to listen to you, they have to feel heard and validated first.
2. Ask questions
If you want to be heard, people need to care about you. The easiest way to get people to care about you is to care about them. How do you show someone you care about them? Asking questions. Getting to know them. Learn about their family, hobbies, favorite books, etc.
3. Take an interest in others and what they have to say
Take a genuine interest in everyone — even the coworker you can’t stand. It’s difficult at first, but you’d be surprised at how taking a genuine interest in someone you despise can soften both their heart and yours.
4. Remembering and being intentional
Taking an interest in everyone around you and remembering the details they share about their lives is challenging — especially if you’re not a people person (like me). Fortunately, you don’t have to remember!
Dale Carnegie kept a notebook with information on every person in his life from his doorman to critical business partners (birthdays, anniversaries, families, interests, etc.). People were stunned and touched by how much he remembered and how intentional he was about checking-in on them. I use Trello to keep my own version of Carnegie’s notebook.
It is better to spend 5 minutes being heard than to spend 60 minutes being tuned out.
So, how do we become better listeners?
There’s an app for that! TeamSpirit, sits below your webcam and helps you improve your listening skills by showing:
- talk/listen ratio to help you monitor how well you’re listening and making others feel heard
- friendly reminders when you’re not letting others contribute to the conversation as much as you
- elapsed time to help you stay on track during discussions
I challenge you to use TeamSpirt on your next video call — you may be surprised by your talk/listen ratio.