October Program Recap: Why Won’t They Listen to Me?

“How would your work be different if people listened to you?”

Tom Cooper, of Brighthill Group, posed this question to the attendees at the start of our October program. Some responded “It would be easier.” Others said “I could get things done faster.” or “I wouldn’t be working so late.” No matter how you put it, I think everyone would agree that listening is a key component to positively influencing others in the workplace, and life in general.  


The good news is that we can learn how to get people to listen to us. Tom says “if you can communicate these three questions, people will follow you anywhere.”

They are:

  1. Do you care for me?
  2. Can you help me?
  3. Can I trust you?

Do you care for me?

There may be instances in the workplace where not everyone gets along with one another, and, in defense of this, many say “Well, I don’t have to like them; I just have to work with them.” But, if we want to be influencers, is this statement really true? Tom explained the juxtaposition between the limbic system in our brain and our cerebral cortex. Our limbic system is responsible for all of our feelings, while our cerebral cortex controls our logic and reasoning. The thing is that all of our logic and reasoning must first pass through our limbic system, which is where our body language comes into play. Because it takes a lot of our brain’s energy to portray a false feeling, our true feelings are often leaked through our body language – tone of voice, stance, facial expressions, etc.

So, what’s the solution? Find SOMETHING you do like about the person. When you can focus on the traits that you genuinely like in a person, your brain chemistry changes, and your interactions with the person will come from a much more positive place – You will listen to them. You will hear them out. In turn, they will listen to you. They will hear you out.

If you’re having trouble connecting or communicating with someone, Tom suggested the acronym F.O.R.M.

F – Family

O – Occupation

R – Recreation

M – Message or Mission

Each of these topics are avenues to learning more about a person beyond the surface. When asking these questions, be open to what they are saying, listen without distraction, and be curious to learn more.

Can you help me?

When someone needs help, go out of your way to try and help them.  Even if you don’t know the person very well, or there is no direct benefit to you, it’s always great to help someone in need. Use your network and connections – 6 degrees of separation is a real thing!  You never know when you’ll be in need of something and the person you helped those many months, or years ago, will remember what you did for them.

Can I trust you?

There are four cores of trust:

  • Integrity
  • Intent
  • Capabilities
  • Results

It’s important that we do all things with integrity. When we act with integrity, people will trust us.

You can find more information about Tom Cooper and the Brighthill Group at the following links:

Email: tom@brighthillgroup.com
Twitter: @BrightHillGroup
LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/in/tcooper
Podcast: Becoming a Geek Leader


– Contributed by Kim Fowler, CPSM, Marketing Manager, Falcon Engineering


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