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5 Ways to Get a Man to Listen

June 17, 2010

1. Get Their Attention

Trying to discuss a topic with your spouse when he is watching the most exciting part of the football game, the last hole of the golf tournament or is in the middle of some project he has been working on, is totally ineffective. Trying to discuss an issue with a male boss or coworker when he is stressed or working intently on his computer or BlackBerry is equally unproductive. If you want then to listen, choose a time when you can get their undivided attention. For your spouse, try over dinner or after their program is finished or whenever the distractions have reduced.

If you want to talk to your male boss, schedule personal time in his office so you won’t be distracted or interrupted. In any case, get their attention by announcing “I’d like to discuss something with you” and make sure they look up and acknowledge you. Call them by name as people automatically listen more when their name is called. Many men (and women) get so engrossed in what they are doing, that they don’t pay attention to what is being said to them. They just nod their heads or say “okay”. Later on they have no idea what they just agreed to. Make sure you have their eyes as well as their ears to get the best communication.

I do have to admit, this applies to men and women. Even though female, I am guilty of becoming so intent on what I was reading or writing, that I really had no idea what someone was saying to me. My children learned the best way to get me to pay attention was to say “Mom, your hair’s on fire!” When I looked up, they’d say, “Now that I have you attention….” So whether it is a man or a woman, get their attention before you start the discussion.

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