Is it Just the Illusion of Being Heard?

One experience that always makes me question my own sanity is when I come out of a meeting or conversation (whether with colleagues, friends, family, whoever) thinking we’re all on the same page regarding next steps, and a conversation like the following ensues:

Me: Hey (Jordan), do you have document X?

Jordan: What document X?

Me: The one we talked about last week. I told you I need it for Y. I asked if you could have it ready for me today, and you said you

Jordan: Oh, you mean you wanted me to do that? I didn’t realize that’s what you wanted.

(Or better yet–)

Jordan: Sorry, but I don’t remember talking about/agreeing to that.

Ah yes, watch my head spin…

This week I discovered that there’s a great term for that phenomenon.

Marc Brownstein, president and CEO of the Brownstein Group, a parent company including Brownstein Advertising, Red Thread, Public Relations and Nucleus Digital, a digital marketing agency, refers to that as “the illusion of thinking you’ve been heard.”

This week on Speaking to Influence podcast, Marc shared all sorts of wisdom regarding how to get your message across, as only a marketing expert could.

You may be familiar with the “marketing rule of 7,” i.e. that people need to be exposed to a product or service at least seven times before they feel like they are likely to purchase it.

Marc contends that nowadays it’s even harder to get your message (of ANY sort) heard with the perpetual inundation of social media messages, email, text messages and every app under the sun competing for everyone's attention.

No wonder we have the ILLUSION of being heard. We may have repeated ourselves or attempted to confirm understanding to the point where we think, “they MUST have heard me by now!” and yet… it still wasn't enough.

It's part of what creates the gap between “What you think you say” and “What they think they hear.” No one understands that better than marketers.

Marc also shared tips on:

  • How to decide when people need to come to the office vs. when to hold a meeting virtually
  • What he does if he doesn’t have an idea he really believes in
  • How not to have any favorites when leading a team
  • Holding everyone accountable
  • How to break past the illusion of being heard and
  • How YOU can assure your team and your clients that you are truly listening to them.

Listen to the full conversation here or watch it on Youtube here.

Congratulations to Rachael Jones, founder of Syntax and last week’s podcast guest – her Speaking to Influence episode jumped right up to #151 in management podcasts on iTunes/Apple Podcasts! In case you missed it the first time, catch our fun conversation here.