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Getting Attention Or Paying Attention? - Grasshopper

Getting attention is easy; paying attention takes work.

Want to garner attention? Go up to the microphone at any public event and announce that you're a raspberry salesman. People will perk up.

 

Paying attention is giving attention to the responses you get from your announcement. You'll be able to tell, instantly, whom you connected with and whose radar you're not on.

 

Giving attention is the glue of communication. Listen more than you speak is the mantra of the attention giver. 

 

Problem solvers all have the right message but the ones who get through have the glue of giving attention.

 

Letting your gaze wander during an interaction is a telltale sign that you're not paying attention and, by doing so, you communicate that something else is more important than the person in front of you. (Remember, if you can, George H.W. Bush repeatedly looking at his watch during his debate with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot in 1992).

 

It's my experience that the person who wants attention doesn't give attention. They're too busy focusing on what they want and remain in the dark about what you want. That strategy has a high rate of failure.

 

Reminds me of a story told by Dr. Dave Dobson. He was in sales at the time and was calling on a supermarket manager. The manager told Dave he had three minutes and turned over an egg timer and said, "Go." Dave sensed this person wasn't going to pay attention so he did the following instead. He said, "I could never possibly tell you all the benefits of what I have to offer you in that time, so with my three minutes, I'd like to ask you how you got started in this business." The man went well past the egg timer deadline and Dave was paying attention. You may have already guessed that he left with the sale.

 

Getting attention is like the headline of a story. It may be effective in capturing attention but if your story is "all tell and no ask," people will wander away.

 

Practice giving attention. Buy an egg timer and pay attention to any one thing for three minutes. Then notice how much more you know about the person or subject you're giving attention to.

 

Paying attention is the currency of communication. If you leave your wallet at home, you'll wind up paying the piper.

 

All the best,

John



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