Wednesday, June 20, 2018

3 Ways to Get Others to Listen to You When They're Distracted

I think we can all agree that there are a lot of distractions in our lives. But what you may not realize is that those distractions are hurting your career.

The biggest problem is that when others are distracted, they're not listening to you. If they're not listening to you, then it's going to affect your ability to get your job done, to impress the people you need to impress and to ensure they don't drop the ball and get you into trouble.

Here are some ways to make sure others listen to you:
1. Pick the right time. Don't try and talk to someone who is rushing for the elevator, has just had a difficult meeting or is eating lunch and watching cat videos. If you're not sure, just ask.
2. Be specific. "Hi Dan. I need five minutes of your time to discuss why the new deadline for the project won't work, and give you three other options. Can we talk now or is it better in about an hour?" Chances are good he'll pick to talk to you now since he knows you've got some solutions and won't take more than five minutes.
3. Get attention. Yes, it does feel disrespectful when the other person keeps glancing at his or her computer screen or phone when you're trying to talk. So, pause and say "Is this not a good time for you? I just wanted to talk about this because the customer is so upset and I'm concerned it may cause a problem with...." If the other person still isn't listening, say, "OK, I can see this isn't a good time. I'm going to come back in 30 minutes when you're free to talk." You've sent up a warning flare -- but let the person know you're going to keep at this until he listens to you. The odds are in your favor that he's going to give you the attention you need.

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