What To Do If No One Listens To You At Work

by on November 28th, 2012

Today’s post is written by Laura Pierson, a Human Resources Recruiter at a large Fortune 500 company and blogger for FreeResumeBuilder.

You left a voicemail. You wrote an email. You left another voicemail. You wrote a second email, this time Cc’ing an entire department. What’s wrong? Why are you being ignored? How can you get people to listen to you at work?

Interface When Possible

If you have been emailing your advertising department for the last two weeks without a response, approach them by meeting face to face. If that’s not possible, find alternative ways of creating a human connection. Consider using video conference resources such as Webex or Skype. By meeting with someone in person, you let him or her know that you are more than a few words on a screen.

Develop Professional Friendships

Chat up the administrative assistant about the weather. Ask the IT guy about his kids. See what the project manager was up to last weekend. When you develop professional friendships, no matter how small, they can make your job a lot easier. People will be more willing to do favors for you when they feel you respect them as people, and take an actual interest in their lives. Just like children, people like those who listen to them and remember their experiences.

Stand Your Ground

When confronted with a bully at work, such as a manager or coworker, stand your ground. First, alert your bully that their behavior is inappropriate. Second, tell them how it has affected you. For example, you may say, “I feel your tone with me is a bit harsh. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed. I would appreciate more clarification but in a softer tone.” He or she may not like what you say, but if you don’t bring it up, you may never see a change. If nothing helps, approach your manager with the issue. You may also wish to raise the issue to your local Human Resources department, if applicable.

Clearly Define Your Expectations

If you are a new manager, arrange a meeting with your employees and clearly define procedures step by step. Lay ground rules and explain what happens when they are not followed. One of the biggest problems in one of our branches is dress code. Our HR department tells employees that if they do not come to work dressed appropriately, they will be sent home without pay for the hours they miss. When employees know they might lose part of their paychecks, they care more about following the rules.

Show Confidence

Would you rather take orders from a meek employee that apologizes for everything, or from an employee that stands up straight, speaks clearly, smiles with confidence? Part of the trick of convincing others to work for you is to make them follow you as a leader. Present your ideas with confidence: make others believe that what you have to say is important – that it’s the best thing since sliced bread! Sell yourself and your ideas. Believe that what you have to say is good, and convince others to follow you.

If no one listens to you at work, it can be very frustrating and discouraging. First try to understand why others are not doing what you want. Are you a good communicator? Do they know where you stand? Clearly define what you want to communicate. Present your ideas with confidence. And lastly, reach out to others with respect and a positive attitude.

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