October 5th, 2017

A Simple Method to Get People to Listen to What You Have to Say

How would you like to learn a simple formula you can use in your conversations that will cause others to want to intently listen to whatever you have to talk about?

Because if you’ve found that people didn’t seem too interested in what you have had to say in the past; they tuned you out, cut you off or changed the subject, I want to share an easy way to get people to want to listen to you.

To understand how it works, it’s necessary to understand giving and receiving, and the idea of reciprocation.

When it comes to social interactions, what we have to give and receive is something I call social currency. Social currency is simply the act of giving others our attention and listening to what they have to say. Whenever we listen to someone, we’re giving something to them. And whenever people listen to us, they’re giving something to us and we’re on the receiving end of their generosity.

Now, we as people seem to be wired to give back and return the favor when someone gives us something or does something for us.

As you may know, this is called reciprocity.

So if you want people to actually listen to what you have to say, first give them your listening ear on the exact subject you want to talk about concerning their own personal experience with it. You do this by asking them about it first. Then after you’ve listened to their opinion or account, shift the attention onto yourself and share whatever it is you wanted them to hear about to begin with.

Chances are now that they will be extremely receptive to listening to what you have to say and welcome what you want to share with a close listening ear.

Here’s how you do this…

When something comes into your mind that you’d like to talk about, shift your focus onto wondering what the other person may have to say about the very same topic. Then ask them about it. Listen carefully to their answer, and finally share your own perspective or account of it.

You’ll find most people will be quite willing to hear you out whenever you do this.

Here’s an example…

Let’s say you’re looking for a job and have had some interviews. You want to talk about your experiences being interviewed for various positions and how those interviews have gone for you. But instead of just starting in on talking about your experiences, ask the other person about their experiences being interviewed for jobs first.

You might say something like, “Hey, do you remember your last interview? What was it like? How did it go?”

If they’re interested in sharing, they’ll probably tell you a story about their last interview.

Listen to them without interrupting, unless you need clarification on something. This is a way of investing in the conversation and building goodwill, meaning that you’re building in them the desire to want to reciprocate and later listen to your experiences.

Then when they’re finished their story or account, then it’s time to talk about what you originally wanted to talk about, your experiences having interviews. So this is the time to start sharing those accounts with them.

With most people, what you’ll find is that now they will be highly receptive to hearing about what you have to say on the matter.

The majority of people don’t earn the “right” to speak. They just start in on whatever they want to talk about before they’ve aroused the desire in the other person to want to hear them out. They start by thinking about themselves and what they can get out of the social situation.

They’re focused on taking with little regard for what they may offer in return.

But when you take the time to invest in the other person’s need to be heard and understood first, and you ask them about the very thing you want to talk about before you start talking about it yourself, they’ll notice that you took an interest in them and you listened to their opinion, perspective or experience. Then they’re very likely to repay you by listening to what you have to say in return and to the same degree that you listened to them. If you listened carefully, they too will probably listen carefully to you.

Earn the right to speak. You do this by arousing a desire for the other party to want to listen to you. And you do this by investing your social currency in the conversation and the other person by asking questions and listening.

I encourage you to keep this simple formula in your thoughts over the coming days and start applying it in your conversations with others.

Whenever you think about talking about something, shift your focus and become curious about the other person’s perspective or experience regarding that very same topic, and ask them about it before you start diving into your own views and accounts. Listen to them fully. Then, when they’re finished, only then start in on whatever you wanted to talk about.

I’m sure you’ll observe for yourself that people will start listening to you and what you have to say much more intently and with greater interest than they probably did in the past.

I can guarantee you that if you make this formula a tool in your conversation toolbox, you’ll start connecting much better with the people you interact with. They’ll feel like their opinions and experience matter and be much more understood by you, and you’ll achieve what you want:

To make people want to listen to what you have to say.

 



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