8 Ways to Get Your Ideas Heard

Has the following scenario happened to you?

     My suggestion was great, but everyone continued as if I hadn't said anything.

     Worse yet, one of my colleagues brought up the same suggestion a few minutes later,
     and everyone loved it.

According to a recent study, women get interrupted more often, are receiving less attention when they speak, and are given less credit in comparison with their male colleagues.

Yes, this is a gender issue,
but it's not only a gender issue.

Anyone can have the same problem if they are perceived as less influential.

So what do you do when you have a fabulous idea,
but you know all too well that it may be dismissed?

It's easy to get frustrated or angry,
but chances are that will only cause others to dismiss you even more.

Here are 8 ways to get your ideas heard.

  • Be confident in your own influence.
    This is not only about self-confidence, but also about passion for your idea
    and belief in its right (as well as your own) to be heard.  

  • Use names.
    Making a conversation personal will get their attention.

  • Maintain eye contact.
    Speak directly to and make eye contact with an influential colleague.
    This will make them feel more accountable for what you're saying.

  • Speak clearly and with projection.
    A strong idea spoken about meekly will come across as a weak idea.

  • Use intentional pauses.
    The unexpected draws attention to it. 
    A brief but confident pause in speech can draw in listeners.

  • Support your argument.
    State the idea's value, supporting it with solid proof or reasoning.

  • Insist on others' attention.
    Ask for feedback.  Question what they think about specifics.
    Don't let conversation pivot without proof that you've been heard.

  • Don't accept dismissal.
    If someone is trying to push your idea aside without proper discussion,
    ask them to tell you precisely what they don't like about it.
    If the idea can be reworked to avoid the objections, state how.

Even if the idea isn't accepted, you'll know why
and you'll feel heard and understood.

If the idea is brought up later by someone else,
you can remind everyone of the details of the discussion,
and they'll be more likely to recall the idea as yours.


Dr. Nancy Williams is a Culture Consultant and Coach as well as a musician and educator.  Sign up for her weekly emails of inspiration and receive the free guide "3 Ways to Beat Imposter Syndrome."

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