My Boss Doesn’t Hear Me When I Speak

Understanding your boss’ behavior could be the difference maker. 

“Listening is teaching and talking is learning.” Think about it. When we actively listen, we are really shaping behavior; in how we respond and react to what is being said and who is saying it.  But for those who are talking, all they are doing is behaving. A new study has been conducted and research findings suggest that bosses are not listening to what their employees are telling them. The study cites perceived power and control as the reasons that they are not heeding advice from those below them. It makes the claim that the more power an individual has; the less likely he or she will be to take advice from others, most notably their employees.

The thing that caught my attention though, was a comment stating that employees who worked under decision-makers who did take advice from them, perceived their bosses to be better. Employees need to know that there are ways to turn this around. Some may find it hard to believe but a lot can be explained by the amount or lack thereof of reinforcement in the workplace. I am convinced that if a boss is reinforced by his or her employees, he or she will be more adept at listening to and acting on advice. I’ve covered this topic before.  Praising your boss can work in your favor if done correctly. Now, I don’t mean manipulation. I mean finding ways to let the boss know that his/her decisions, support or other actions have made your job easier or better and made the work environment a better place in which to work. For tips and ideas of how to effectively reinforce your boss, read Other People's Habits  and check out these two articles:


Posted by Aubrey Daniels, Ph.D.

Aubrey is a thought leader and expert on management, leadership, safety and workplace issues. For the past 40 years, he has been dedicated to helping people and organizations apply the laws of human behavior to optimize performance.