Most of us have been on a lot of video meetings lately and I'm sure, like me, you've had the experience of talking away about something only to discover that you're still on mute. You've tried to convey your message, but nobody heard you.
Unfortunately, this also can happen with in-person conversations. It's easy to feel ignored and that despite your best efforts, you're not getting traction with the people you're trying to engage. It's like talking on mute.
Being ignored in many ways feels worse than being rejected. If people are willing to hear you out, consider your idea and give productive feedback, then you have the opportunity to tweak your ideas and bring them back for a second consideration. This is a lot more positive than if they're not even willing to listen at all. We all like the chance to be unmuted from time to time.
The etiquette of video calls is that you can unmute yourself while you speak, but when you're finished, you need to mute yourself again and listen to the next speaker. The same applies to real life interactions. If you find that you're being ignored, the first step is to stop and listen.
Talking on mute is a waste of everyone's time, but muting ourselves to listen first, before we take our turn to speak, makes it more likely that our message will be heard.