I send and receive lots of information and correspond with a wide variety of people. I get feedback both positive and negative and field some very interesting comments and questions in my work as a speaker and author. I’ve learned a great deal from my own mistakes and from observing the less-than-effective communications of others about what short circuits being taken seriously. If you want to be quickly dismissed or ignored, do these things:
1. Attack the person you’re trying to communicate with. Nothing like a personal attack to get people to stop reading or listening.
2. Make disagreements personal. Don’t focus on what you disagree with and why; instead, suggest that because a person as a different point of view they are wrong about everything and probably were dropped on his or her head as a baby.
3. Offer no support to your viewpoint. Why would you waste time developing cogent reasoning to support what you’re saying? If you feel it is true and right, that’s enough. The reality: hunches, feelings and intuition won’t convince another of your point of view.
4. Suggest no reason for the communication. Let the reader or listener figure out for themself why you are contacting them. Ask no questions nor make no requests.
5. Misplace your aggression. If something happened or someone did something that upsets you, somehow connect it to the recipient. Example: You’re unhappy your boss made you attend a seminar? Then the person leading the seminar must be reason for your career woes.
6. Say something threatening or frightening. We live in scary times, and people are understandably hyper-sensitive to threats. You can’t bully someone into understanding and agreeing with you.
7. Show no interest in dialogue. Serious communication is about give and take. It is about seeking to understand and be understood. That usually can’t happen without interacting with the other person. Refusing to explain or respond to others stops dialogue before it starts.
You also get ignored when you ignore the other person. This kind of goes along with your last point but there are people who think they’re communicating when all they’re doing is talking and the other person can’t get a word in otherwise. Be willing to share the dialogue.