How to Be Heard: Is It Passion or Rationale?

How to Be Heard: Is It Passion or Rationale? image DATE: November 17, 2021

A few years back, a young woman heard me share the “earning the right to be heard” process in a communication skills course. Later she told me how she used the approach to successfully pitch an idea to her senior management team. 

Her idea? Eliminate her current — but unnecessary — management position, and create a more strategic role to help the company shore up weaknesses and seize opportunities for greater growth. A position that matched her unique skill set and increased her value to the organization. 

Bold and risky? Maybe. But she is certain knowing the questions decision-makers would ask and knowing how to respond to them made all the difference. It not only earned her the position, but it also earned her greater influence and opportunities for growth.

Fast Tracking or Frustrated?

But perhaps you’re not having the same experience this young woman had. Could be you’re feeling the way I did early in my career. Frustrated… VERY FRUSTRATED.

Try as I might, I just couldn’t seem to get my boss and other decision-makers to listen to me — or to take me and my ideas seriously.  I had LOTS of great ideas.  (In my humble opinion, of course!)  Yet, despite my off-the-charts enthusiasm and passion, I generally came away from presenting those ideas feeling disappointed, discouraged, and like I wasn’t being heard.

Can you relate?

Despite my best efforts, decision-makers didn’t mirror my enthusiasm.  Instead, they peppered me with questions. The same questions, again and again, with every new idea I presented.

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How to Be Heard by Decision-Makers

That is what my law enforcement friends would call a clue.  I was presenting my ideas with all the passion and emotion I could muster.  But decision-makers weren’t buying.  They weren’t influenced by my passion and emotion.  They were far more interested in whether or not the idea made logical, rational business sense.  

It took me far too long to catch on — it’s embarrassing to admit. But once I figured out the right process, everything changed for me. My results improved and my professional horizons became brighter and more hopeful. 

Did every idea I pitched win approval? No. But learning how to “earn the right to be heard” won me so much more.

And it can work for you too. 

At the encouragement of so many who’ve experienced great results using the process, I’m excited to announce Earning the Right To Be Heard: Sell Your Ideas, Build Your Influence, Grow Your Opportunities is now available. 

In it, I document — step by step — the process that captivates the attention of decision-makers, and in so doing, builds greater influence, and earns you bigger and better opportunities.

If you need help winning over decision-makers and gaining greater influence, the “be heard” process can help. If you asked the young woman in the story, I believe she would recommend it. Learn more about the book, the process, and how it can help you here.

About The Author:

Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE is committed to helping organizations transform their business outcomes by building engaged employee relationships. He is an award-winning keynote speaker and author on engaged leadership and communication. His most recent book is “Earning The Right To Be Heard," a primer for creating greater influence and opportunities. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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