When my children were younger and we were driving between places we would point things out along the way.
Most of times we said "did you see that…?" the response, particularly when they were really young, would be "what…".
It just wouldn’t be on their radar. It didn’t matter whether we were pointing out a squirrel by the side of the road or Wembley stadium they would miss it.
When we talked to them later they would tell us about other things that they had seen. They weren’t looking at nothing but they weren’t looking at what we thought was important.
While I’m on parental stories. What is it about children that gives them selective hearing. Shout as loud as you like for some attention and you’ve got about as much chance as a hedgehog crossing the M6. Talk about them in a whisper and they are there in a shot.
We’re not too different in our working life.
Business attention is rarely focussed on the truly important things. Much of the time so much attention is looking at the business belly button fluff that it’s practically impossible to get the right people to contemplate the important issues.
It’s almost as if we need the opposite of stealth-mode for the activities that really need to be noticed. The problem, most of the time, is that the radar is so alight with things to be noticed that it’s difficult to see them as anything other than a big amorphous blob.
So how do you get noticed? Here are some thing that I try to do which I think make a difference:
- Regular communication is better than great communication.
- Keep it simple and direct – if you need people to understand something don’t leave them to work it out, they probably won’t.
- Understand that they don’t care the way you do. There emotional and rational perspective will be different to yours.
- Sometimes it’s the person communicating, not the message, so try getting a different person to say the same thing.
- Pictures are your friend.
- If you can make it a headline – do. But realise that there is a science to headlines.
- Keep the message consistent.
Unfortunately, even after doing all of this, there are times when you still won’t be noticed.