How to Increase Your Odds of Being Heard
Posted July 10, 2012on:
We all have those conversations. The ones where you are trying to get a point across and the other person is standing in front of you, but not really there. This is especially prevalent in long term relationships where you keep having the same conversation over and over again. It is important to notice when what you are doing is not working and look for new ways to communicate.
What Usually Doesn’t Work:
- Repeating yourself to be heard
- Using more words or talking a long time
- Accusing them of not listening
- Asking them to repeat what you said in a challenging way
- Fighting or storming off
- Playing the I am right – you are wrong game
What Might Work:
- Timing the conversation when they are not busy with other things
- Creating an intention of being safe for the other person
- Asking for a few moments of focused time
- Keeping your voice and energy as neutral as possible
- Inviting them to engage by asking a question every few sentences
- Keeping them connected with frequent questions
- Using what and how questions to help them open up
Samples of Questions that Can Support Engaged Communication:
- What do you think?
- How am I doing at describing this?
- What feels right to you?
- How did this feel to you when it happened?
- Were you aware of this at the time?
- What was your intention?
- What questions do you have?
- What would you prefer?
- What do you think made this happen?
- How would you like it to be?
- What do you need from me?
- What is it about this that we keep getting stuck here?
- What ideas do you have?
- What do you think we should do next?
- How can we support each other through this?
- How can we make this work better next time?