No matter what industry you work in, you’re probably going to come across a manager or supervisor who will not listen to you. Whether you’re trying to offer feedback, have great ideas to implement, or simply want their input on something, it can be frustrating when your manager just won’t listen to what you have to say or take it seriously. Having your ideas listened to is important, especially as you try to advance your career, so here are a few tips to better communicate with your manager.
Consider your message
If your manager is consistently not listening to what you say, but seems to listens to others, it’s important that you measure your message and make sure what you’re saying is actually worth your manager’s consideration. You might think you have revolutionary ideas for the company, but you might need to put more thought into them.
Plan what to say
If your supervisor doesn’t respond well to what you’re saying, make sure you’re sufficiently planning it out. Instead of simply popping into their office or stopping them on the way to a meeting and randomly sharing your thoughts, plan out what to say and how to say it. Make sure your tone is open and thoughtful instead of critical or too forward. Giving careful thought to what you’ll say and how can make a huge difference in whether or not your manager listens to what you’re saying.
Respect their time
When you do try to talk to your manager, remember to respect their time. If they’re responsible for a team or large groups of people, they’re going to be busy and have a tight schedule. If you truly want your ideas or concerns taken seriously, make sure you find a time when they’re less busy and are available. If you find your manager isn’t listening to you, it could be that you’re approaching them at inconvenient times. Consider actually scheduling a meeting when you can talk and make sure they’re available.
Offer clear actions
You could present fantastic ideas or have valid concerns about something, but if you do not have a clear action plan to follow up with, your manager will likely not be too interested in it. If you want what you’re saying taken seriously, you’ll need to also have actionable steps to take after the fact. Your supervisor will truly value you, your ideas, and your feedback if you show a tangible way you can help improve the company and make a difference.