Why Don’t They Listen? A Universal Problem-Part III: Some Answers!

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Some Answers to the Question:   Why Don’t They Listen?

Jim Murphy & Beth Boynton

There are many reasons why “they don’t listen”.   In the case of a child or student, there could be a development disorder.   In many settings people become too distracted – increasingly by cell phones, tablets, and other devices – to listen to what is being said to them: consider the amount of technology in a hospital ward  and it is hardly seems surprising that patients complain “they don’t listen”.


Every organization has its own culture, and communication both impacts and is affected by that culture.  In a healthy organization, people work together and listen to one another; in an organization with a toxic culture cooperation and listening are absent.  Commonly, however, top management feels that its communications are insufficiently heeded, whereas line workers feel that no one listens to them.

The root of the “not listening” problem can be seen from the two-fold natures of such complaints. Parents complain about children not listening but children complain about parents not listening; teachers complain about students not listening, but students complain about teachers not listening; management complains that employees don’t listen, but employees complain that management doesn’t listen.

Clearly, if “we” don’t listen to them, they don’t listen to us!

What do you think causes us not to listen?

If you missed parts I & II

Jimjim murphy Mu
rphy has a solo consulting practice called Management 3000, focusing on organizational development and change management. Being semi-retired, Jim is willing to provide very reasonably priced consulting, coaching or  project work for organizations aspiring to improvement in organizational culture, effectiveness and employee engagement.

Formerly he led the Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group, was Human Resources Director for the City of Boston Assessing Department, and served as a consultant with the Boston Management Consortium.  His consulting practice includes management coaching as well as research and writing on employee relationships, leadership, healthcare and collaborative practices.  Having produced newsletters for several organizations  and being a frequent content writer for the”Confident Voices in Healthcare” blog, he is interested in writing and research opportunities, as we all consulting and coaching.

www.manage2001.com   jim@manage2001.com

BB closer Headshot 1-13 CherationsBeth Boynton RN, MS is a national speaker, organizational development consultant, and the author of the award-winning book, “Confident Voices:  The Nurses’ Guide to Improving Communication and Creating Positive Workplaces”.  She specializes in communication, collaboration, & emotional intelligence for healthcare professionals and organizations and is trained in the Professor Watson Curriculum for Medical Improv through Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She offers medical improv training for communication, emotional intelligence, culture change, and teambuilding efforts. Her video, “Interruption Awareness:  A Nursing Minute for Patient Safety” and blog, “Confident Voices in Healthcare” have drawn audiences from all over the world.  She is currently writing a core text with F.A. Davis Publishing Co. tentatively titled Successful Nurse Communication:  Safe Care, Positive Workplaces, & Rewarding Careers, practices as a Per Diem RN in a LTCF for folks with dementia, and a student of improv.  Her complete CV is online.

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What are your thoughts?