I’ll be honest, I tend to have Shiny Object Syndrome ~ SQUIRREL!

Did it ever get me into trouble with a manager or client? Yep. I’ve had to work hard over the years, to be present and hone my listening skills.

“Unfortunately most people don’t remember because they don’t hear it in the first place.” Cash Nickerson, author of The Samurai Listener.

There are MANY factors that can affect listening; way too many to list here. So, it’s no surprise that assumptions get made and conflict can occur when the listener’s mind starts to wander.

Here are 4 potential obstacles and tips to get your point across in a more productive and effective way:


  • You are taking WAY too long to explain. 🙄 Yep. More often than not, the listener is thinking about their own agenda and will stop listening if they find the information useless. What can you do? Get to the point – quickly.


  • The listener gets distracted. Gulp. Remember my confession earlier? Here’s what happens. When there are other events in their environment (or in their head), they tend to get bored and tune out. What can you do? Speed up. Be more interactive and engaging about what you’re saying or asking them to do.


  • Your tone is intimidating. This can be tricky, and where being self-aware can really help. If your listener feels uncomfortable or is fearful, you’ll see it in their body language. They may lose eye contact and shut down. What can you do? Slow down. Ask them if they have any questions about what you’re trying to convey.


  • You’re not making sense. Some people are born analysts. If what they’re hearing doesn’t make sense and can’t reach a logical solution, they will stop paying attention. What can do you do? Make clarity your goal. Have them confirm you were clear and didn’t confuse the situation further.


At the end of the day, we all want to feel like we’re being heard and our message is understood. But it’s important to remember for US to take personal responsibility for the conversation, and focus on our part in the communication process.

Want even MORE tips to improve communication that you can use TODAY? Get Your FREE Communication Style Guide






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