Most people would agree that generating ideas is the precursor to creating solutions. It’s how problems get resolved. New business opportunities get created. And team members (and leaders) feel valued and heard.
But there are many times we don’t feel heard or understood because no one is listening.
What do you need to do to get your ideas heard? First, understand why your team members and/or leaders don’t listen to you. Second, share your ideas so that others will listen to you.
Why Are Your Ideas Not Heard?
Ego. Underneath all the excuses, it’s either your ego or the other person’s ego in the way. It can be due to your arrogance or to their skepticism, resistance to change, or because it wasn’t their idea.
You’re Not Listening! If you fail to listen to others first, they will fail to listen to you.
First Time Hearing It. Many times, you’ve been thinking about your idea for a while. But it’s the first time others are hearing it. They need time to think through it, especially if it’s outside the norm.
Thinking Style. People think and absorb new information at different rates of speed. It can be due to thinking at a slower pace than you talk. Or, they think conceptually and believe they’ve already heard it before … so they fail to ask probing questions to understand your point.
Lack of Authority. When your team has no authority, they feel helpless to do anything and will refuse to listen.
How to Present Ideas, So Others Hear You
Before You’re Ready to Present Your Ideas. Make sure to do your research and uncover the “elephant in the room” to get people’s attention. Then, using the facts, you found, outline your discussion points. Talk it over with your executive coach to expand your point of view. Now it’s time to present your idea(s).
Choose Your Words Responsibly. Team members will shut down if you rely on jargon, slang, or acronyms. Many times, it could be you’re not using them correctly. Or, they don’t understand and will not ask you to clarify. They’ve stopped listening to your idea(s).
Use Fact-Based v. Emotional Messaging. If you usually use one or the other, expand. For example, if you rely on “emotional messages” to get people’s attention, share facts and be a contrarian.
- Start with a contrarian statement: Did you know intuitive hiring is one of the causes of the Great Resignation?
- Then, follow up with a couple of quick facts. Studies have shown that over 90% of hiring is based solely on interviews. And the decision of “yes” or “no” is made within 4 to 15 minutes.
- Now, the emotional message of ‘why it’s important.’ This way of hiring is costly. Here’s an idea that may help us improve our bottom line and our bonuses. (Note: Hire Amazing Employees (Revised Edition): How to Increase Retention, Revenues, and Results! is coming in July! SeibCo.com/books/)
Use Graphics and Pictures. To get everyone on the same page, use easy-to-understand graphics and pictures to get your ideas across. Or physically show them the issue and how your idea will solve it.
Go Up the Chain of Command. Use this as a last resort. If you do this too often, everyone stops listening. If the idea is important enough, do your homework first. Then, practice presenting the material in front of the mirror before sharing it with others.
Be Open to Other’s Ideas. And build on them. Remember, listening is a two-way street. Get your own ego out of the way and allow others to offer their ideas to create a workable solution.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2022
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning international executive and family business management consultant, keynote speaker, and author for over 29 years. Her focus is to guide leaders to make a positive difference. Feel stuck moving your team forward? Want straightforward counsel on how to do it? Let’s chat! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.
A note from Jeannette about having your ideas heard: to create viable solutions, we all need ideas. But what happens when no one is listening? Read this week’s article for tips on encouraging others to hear you. Do you need an ear to share a concern? Talk through an idea to resolve it? Let’s Chat!
Self-confidence allows you to share ideas. Self-confidence encourages others to listen up. If you’re tentative or hesitant, people will talk over you or multi-task to avoid listening to you. Build your self-confidence by grabbing your copy of the 9 tips needed to develop self-confidence (FREE).