3 E’s to getting people to listen to you

We can all agree that we want others to listen to us.  At work, when you are working with others on a project you want them to implement your suggestions.  At home when you are talking to your spouse you want them to agree with you or you want them to do something based on your suggestion as well.  When you are meeting with a colleague or a friend, inevitably something will come up that you will know something about and you will make a suggestion.

Your hope is your friend/colleague listens to your suggestion for two reasons.  The first reason, you sincerely believe what you are suggesting will work.  And secondly, you want them to come back and tell you later how it worked and thank you for the advice.

I am not the only one that feels this way am I?  Yes, I want to help people and I will share whatever resources I have to do so.  But we all like to know that whatever resource we use a suggestion, a process, an actual physical object, etc., we want to know that it worked, and like to be told that it worked.

So how can we get others to listen to us?

Earned the right:  You cannot speak of something that you don’t know yourself.  You must have experience in dealing with whatever you are suggesting.  Now there are many ways to earn the right.  It could be you have first hand experience with something, worked with someone once before on something similar, or have completed something totally opposite but the same rules would apply to this scenario.

For example:  If you have a friend who is seeking to quit smoking. If you used to be a smoker and quit.  Then you have the earned the right to suggest some ways to quit smoking.  But what if you have never smoked before.  Lets say you had an addiction to soft drinks that were caffeinated.  Smoking and caffeine are similar kinds of habits that you would apply the same processes to quit either of them.  So in this case you have earned the right to make a suggestion.

Excited:  To get someone to listen to us we must be excited and enthusiastic about whatever it is we are trying to convey.  The examples I used above would obviously be something a person most likely would be excited about since they have had direct experience with doing it as well.  You cannot get someone else excited about something that doesn’t invoke excitement in you.  So if you want someone to listen to you, your excitement must be apparent and be articulated to whatever it is you are speaking about.

Example:  Have you ever met a small business owner that actually invented the product that they are telling you about?  Or a small business owner that hasn’t invented their product, but their life has been impacted by the product?  Either one of these examples are great examples of people who are excited.

Eager To Share:  Lastly, if you want others to listen, you have to be eager to share your experiences and stories with them.  Using the example of the small business owner.  We agree that they are excited?  And they are eager to share?  They are so willing to share, that you know that if you start talking to them you will be in that conversation forever.  Now sometimes they may be overeager to share. Regardless, we as listeners appreciate their passion and willingness to tell us about their product, even if we aren’t interested.  If we are interested, we are definitely willing to listen as long as we have to.

So do you have the 3 E’s in your daily communication with others?  Look for ways to incorporate the 3 E’s in your daily communication today and let me know how it works for you.

To your success and your future.

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