Sometimes it becomes too easy to let the tools do all the work for us. We get lost in the complexity of the tools and processes. We act without having first paid sufficient attention.
It is often hard to explain to someone what paying attention is really all about.
Here are some hints:
- Listen hard. Don’t analyze what we hear, just listen without letting our mind wander. Hear every word.
- Look hard. At the slides, the speaker, the document we are reading. Again, try to not to let our mind wander.
- If we are on a conference call, stand up or walk around rather than sitting. This helps keep us fully alert. Listen hard.
- If we are in a meeting, stand up if we can do it without causing too much of a stir. Listen and look hard.
The benefits of paying attention include:
- Coming away with a better understanding of the situation or information – better than a person who is not paying close attention.
- Being quicker to react to critical information as we hear it or see it – faster than someone who is not paying as close of attention.
- Acting more appropriately and more effectively on the available information – getting better results than someone who had not paid as close attention.
Paying attention, hard, is something we just have to try in order to understand the benefits. It is actually not easy to do this for an hour long meeting for example. I’d suggest you try it for a short period of time – maybe just five minutes to start.
Another benefit is many people will notice that you are paying attention, hard, to what they are communicating. This will often help you gain their attention, in turn, for things you need.
Paying attention is one of those simple things. Everyone thinks they are already paying attention. Just give it a try, hard, for five minutes the next time you have something you really want to follow and understand. I think you will see immediate benefits from this ultimate project management tool.
How well are you paying attention to everything that is going on in your project?