Strategies for Communicating with an Evaluative Listener

Bingo! You have an exciting new idea that you want to share with your colleague. But as you begin communicating and start to present the idea to them, they interrupt you with the following statement:

"We shouldn't go through with it. We've tried it before and it didn't work."

Your colleague is not purposefully being difficult; rather they are an evaluative listener. They tend to jump to conclusions before hearing the full idea and without giving it much thought.

Managing the challenges presented by colleagues who are evaluative listeners can be frustrating. Here are some suggested strategies to help:

  • Prior to meeting with this individual, design clear, concise messages. Be sure your presentation flows logically and includes facts and figures.
  • Supplement your oral presentation with a written one.
  • Anticipate your colleague’s objections and be prepared to answer them.
  • Ask your colleague to hold judgment until you have finished your presentation.
  • Use your active listening skills to probe for objections and reflect your colleague’s point of view.

Improving communication with your colleagues will lead to higher levels of productivity and engagement across your organization.

More information about dealing with this communication challenge can be found in Vital Learning's Essential Skills of Communicating course. We invite you to check out a free preview of Essential Skills of Communicating or contact us if you would like more information.

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