Do You Want People To Listen To You?

There are times I call someone just to see if there is actual sound coming out of my mouth. I think I am speaking, but as no one seems to listening, I have to check for myself. I imagine other parents experience the selective tuning out kids are capable of. What about speaking to other adults? Do you know that people are not only listening to you, but that they are hearing you?

According to sound and communication expert, Julian Treasure, we need to avoid these seven deadly sins of communication.

  1. Gossip – If you are prone to constant chatter about others, people will learn to tune you out.
  2. Judging – No one wants to pay attention to someone they feel is always passing judgement on them.
  3. Negativity – Can’t find the good in anything? People will protect themselves by not listening to your opinion.
  4. Complaining – Whining and moaning is a great way to send people off in another direction.
  5. Excuses – Be a “blame thrower” and people will start to ignore you.
  6. Lying – It isn’t just outward lies that will deafen your audience; it is employing hyperbole in your storytelling. Your listener can likely see right through it.
  7. Dogmatism – Is everything black and white to you, leaving no room for real discourse? Unless you are the world’s expert on the current topic, this makes you a bore.

You probably thought of someone you know who is guilty of these “sins”, someone who either makes you feel badly while you are speaking with them, or whom you try to avoid altogether. Of course, we are all prone to the above sometimes, but the important take away is to try to put yourself in the listener’s shoes. If you are speaking in a way that would make you cringe or run away if you were on the other side, it may be time to change your tune.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.