Attention Must Be Paid

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Are you getting the attention you deserve? Recognition starts with your story. So, how can you improve on the Story of YOU?

[box] An excerpt from FOCUS Magazine, by Chris Westfall – with modifications by the author.

Would you like to be acknowledged for your contribution? What would it mean to your business, your career and your relationships? Here’s how to make your message matter.  

It’s a curious paradox: if you want to be recognized, you have to start by recognizing those around you. Recognition is key in interpersonal communication – recognize your listener and you instantly create a positive connection. Think back to when you were a child, and you asked your parents a question beginning with “Why…?” What was the classic response? “Because…” Consider your because, if you want to connect with your listener. What’s the “because” behind your solution? What happens to people, profits and processes, because of what you propose?

Simon Sinek

I agree with Simon Sinek (the author of Start with Why): you have to Start with Why! But if you want to create a real relationship, and a profitable one at that, you have to make “because” an important part of your pitch. Make the Second Person First – remember in English class, when you learned about writing in the “first person”? “Call me Ishmael” was the classic example, from the first line of Moby Dick. First person is “I, Me, My”, and that’s where most old school stories begin. Are you focused on yourself – or the software, or the pricing, or the clinical results – before you consider the most important person in the room? The most important person is your listener. Focusing on the needs of your listener means making the second person first: technically, that’s YOU.

Getting the attention you deserve is all about YOU.

No, not you, exactly – but the “you” in front of you.  Your listener. In your company’s presentation, there are key elements and selling points that have to be discussed. But if you don’t phrase your results and advantages in terms of the person right in front of you, you’re making a huge mistake. Consider: what can your company do with, through and for this individual? What’s the impact on your listener – focus on that outcome, not on the history of your company. Don’t share a single fact, statistic or benefit until you connect it to what it can do for the person right in front of you. Connect with your listener, and you take the first step to getting the attention you deserve. Make up your mind to help your team to step out of the commonplace and into the rare. People are busy; is feature-dumping really your goal? Facts and figures are important, but at the end of the day, people buy from people. People that can be trusted, people that focus on what matters: finding real solutions.

If you’re interested in getting the attention you deserve, put your attention on your listener.

Make the person in front of you the most important person, and watch what happens to your message, your impact, and your career.

How have you been able to make your message matter? Are you getting the attention you deserve? Why or why not?


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