Most professionals have at some point in their careers experienced a situation where they feel that they are not being listened to.

How about these for example?  ‘I’ve gone to my manager so many times and told her, we just don’t have enough staff but she isn’t listening’!  ‘Last week, I told my supervisor that the IT system doesn’t have the capacity for the type of work that we are expected to complete but he isn’t interested’!

Despite again and again expressing anger, frustration and making repeated requests for additional resources nothing is forthcoming.

Remarkably, the same skilled professionals repeat the same process again and again, growing more frustrated with each failed attempt and poor outcome.

Okay, so here’s the deal. Its time to stop repeating the same patterns that are not serving you well. Take ownership of the influence that you hold. Instead of complaining that she/he isn’t listening to you. Try something new.

Instead of saying ‘I am not being listened to’, ask yourself, why is the way in which I am communicating to my boss/manager/supervisor currently ineffective and how might I change it?

Are you providing them with objective data as opposed to emotional drama? What time of the day or in what type of situation are you approaching them? Is it when there is adequate space for a calm and rationale discussion or is it when the company is in crisis and everyone is under pressure?

Also, have you fallen into the trap of only approaching them when there is a problem? Do you engage with them in meaningful ways when you have something positive to report? If not, then they may well be less receptive to your approaches as it comes across as ‘more of the same negative narrative’.

One more important point on this topic. Do you genuinely offer real and practical potential solutions to problems or do you push ownership and responsibility away to others?  If you do, then you are relinquishing the ownership of your influence.

By taking ownership of the actual influence that you hold you will regain real respect from others and will more then likely be listened to.

An important footnote here is to acknowledge that yes, some managers, supervisors and bosses are just plain awkward to deal with. However, if they do repeatedly fail to listen to reasonable requests for assistance or consistently turn down practical solutions offered by others, then they will ultimately fail themselves and may well end up reporting to you.