Are you wondering what happened to those suggestions you sent to your boss? Most likely he put them in a drawer just with the rest of things that he doesn’t care about. Do you remember that feeling of him not even listening to you when you were talking? Well, it was not just a feeling. Bosses really do not listen to what we say. And science has an explanation to this.
The more powerful they are, the less they listen.
According to a study from the Ohio University, when people are in a position of power they are surer of their ideas and tend to ignore new opinions. They reaffirm their beliefs, regardless it’s positive or negative, and it’s difficult for them to take into account a point of view different to theirs.
This has a direct impact on business decision-making. Bosses act according to their ideas without questioning them and, the less they listen to other’s opinions, the largest the percentage of failure in their decisions is.
Maybe they believe following a suggestion is a sign of weakness or they are just not able to even look beyond their own thoughts. The thing is that bosses not listening or taking into account new opinions are doomed to take wrong decisions.
How do you get them to listen to you?
Do not panic. Your ideas aren’t doomed to never been listened to. There are ways of getting their attention, you just have to find the right time and place.
This study states that the best way of getting your bosses to listen to you is talking to them in a context that doesn’t remind them of their position of power. Take advantage of places and moments when they feel relaxed, that way they’ll be prone to listen to your opinions. For instance, suggest new working methods when you run into each other in a rest area. Any place different from their office will make them forget they are the boss and, therefore, they will be listening to your opinions.
Learn how to get them being interested in you and tell them something new that make them questioning their own ideas. Once you have their attention, let them now they are in charge so they’ll feel more confident when evaluating what you just said. As for anything else, with good ideas, it’s much easier to get your boss to listen to what you propose.
Image: Garry Knight