We’ve all heard the phrase, “You never have a second chance to make a first impression”, right? How often do you remember that concept as you are walking your path in your business world? Sometimes it is easy to forget that every smile, correspondence, and conversation has an impact on someone else’s life whether or not you ever see that impact. We need to pay attention to the impressions we make because we may not be aware of how powerful we truly are.
Attention has many definitions in the dictionary.
It is the act or faculty of attending, especially by directing the mind to an object; a capacity to maintain selective or sustained concentration. Attention is also observant care and consideration; a courtesy, awareness, and a military position of heightened awareness.
What each of these definitions has in common is that attention is an intentional focus.
From a professional perspective, attention is the ultimate multi-tasking tool. Notice how you can shift your attention from email to phone call to social media post to co-worker conversation in a split second today. There is a mysterious internal mental mechanism that allows us to shift perspectives with a blink of an eye. The trick is to remember that with your mental attention shift, you also bring your whole self to any interaction. How you interact with those around you could help you fulfill your goals more easily than you had imagined. How? By paying full attention to how you interact. Those interactions and peoples’ responses and reactions to what you communicate can make your world a smoothly running, fulfilling place or an absolute pit of stress and frustration.
When you pay full attention to someone, you are showing care, courtesy, and consideration. Those receiving your attention will respond accordingly. When you take the time to give your full attention to a question from a co-worker, it makes a different impression than if you were to answer the question while trying to respond to a text at the same time. That extra couple of seconds of attention changes the whole tone of the exchange. Your co-worker feels heard and that their work is important. Without full attention, your co-worker may feel dismissed, unappreciated or bothersome. That person may stop coming to you with questions because they feel that it’s not worth the trouble. Then a schism can easily erupt and discord may begin to worm its way into the workplace or your ability to work with this person. All because of a minute or two every once in a while of attention.
On the other hand, if your co-worker feels heard and appreciated, they are likely to be inclined toward cooperating with you beyond the scope of their job description. This can offer an extra boost to in the ability to assist propelling a project or idea forward and help create a more productive office. This also applies to working with strategic partners, vendors, and clients. Everyone you come into contact with is an important part of your business world. From the receptionist to the janitor to the c-level executives and industry relations. When you see them all as an important part of your business world at some level and give them your full attention when communicating, you will find yourself leaving a positive impression after every interaction.
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