It can be very difficult to know how to deal with people that don`t listen. One of the most frustrating things for anyone is to be talking to a family member, a friend, co-worker or an audience and find that those you are talking to are not listening. Sometimes it is like you are talking to a wall, with no response.
When people do not listen to you, especially when you are trying to say something important, and they don`t listen you may well become aggravated. However, that does not help the situation.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to deal with people that don`t listen.
1. Pause while talking
This is especially important if what you have to say will take some time. The average adults attention span is relatively short and their attention can wander to other things while you are talking.
Bring their attention back to you and what you are saying pause every so often by pausing. This gives the other person an opportunity to process what you have said and ask questions. Pausing while you are talking opens the door for the other to become involved in what you are saying. Make the conversation an interactive one if at all possible if you want people to listen.
2. Minimize distractions for the listener
If you need to talk to someone one-on-one about something important, find a place, like an office or a separate room, where you won`t be bothered by other people. There is almost nothing worse than to have people constantly walking in and out of a room while other people are trying to listen to you.
If you are talking to a group of people, like when making a presentation or doing a lecture, be sure that the room you use has few distractions and that people are not going in and out while you are speaking.
Also, use props like charts or slide projections to keep your audience focused to the front and on you. Before you begin your presentation advise your audience that you would like them to turn off their cell phones and put laptops away. Both cell phones and laptops can be a huge distraction for people and can keep them from listening to you.
Ringing cell phones and conversations on them will distract more people than just the ones using them. Any distraction will interfere with peoples ability to effectively listen.
3. Use appropriate language
What we are talking about here is using language that your audience is familiar with.
You may be well educated and have a great command of language, but your audience may not. If they do not understand what you are saying you will most certainly cause them to wonder what the heck you are talking about.
If they can`t figure out what you mean they will lose interest and you lose the attention you need from them and they will become distracted with other thoughts.
4. Give people a reason to listen
Most people listen and listen better when they know they will benefit, in some way, from what you have to say.
Sales people use this technique with customers all the time because they know that the customer is only interested in what will benefit them. Before starting to talk, tell your audience why their attention is important and how what you have to say will be beneficial to them.
When people don`t listen to us it is frustrating and sometimes aggravating. But because we are the ones talking, the responsibility for their listening often rests on our shoulders. The next time you are faced with someone not listening to you try some of these techniques to help you deal with people who don`t listen.