Executive Presence: The Right Kind of Attention

The Corpus Callosum facilitates the brains hemispheric communication. However, no physical neural fibers exist in society that facilitates human-to-human communication and attention. If maintaining attention from others were as effortless as sending a neurological signal, we would not only maintain attention, we would command it.

As John Hagel III and John Seely Brown of Harvard Business Review share in, Five Ways to Hold the Right Kind of Attention, “No matter how talented or accomplished you are, you cannot always count on attracting and retaining the attention of others.”

How do you gain a stronghold from business prospects and create the curiosity needed to move forward? If you know the right signals you can perfect the art of holding the right kind of attention.  Hagel and Brown’s methods help establish leverage and attract people to join an initiative. Our favorite snippets are featured below:

1. Embrace mystery. The naturally curious will be drawn to mystery. “Frame really gnarly problems that are relevant to you and need to be solved.” Attention and engagement will be established by incorporating others into thoughts. Personal branding is nothing without relationship. Mystery is one of several fascinating techniques Callosum uses to engage clients in conversation.

2. Focus inquiry. In our leadership segment, Callosum encourages clients to ask open-ended questions, thus encouraging a two-sided conversation. Focused questions help people to stay motivated and “investigate the mysteries that lie ahead.” versus suggesting an answer thus clipping conversation before it’s even begun.

3. Excite the imagination. Imagining the outcomes of questions and situations provides optimism and helps manifest results. Children are great examples of creative dreamers. They are constantly stimulating their minds by posing “what if” questions and looking for answers. By posing “what if” questions people will be stimulated to pursue the questions with energy and creativity.  Callosum encourages visualization as a tool to strengthen successful outcomes. Creative dreaming with prospects or clients builds rapport and trust within a team dynamic.

4. Limit availability. Rarity is sought after. The colloquial phrase, “people want what they can’t have” is applicable to business. “Be more selective in your availability – you will often provide even greater incentive to tackle the problems, rather than simply engaging in conversations.” Callosum encourages building relationships with intention and clear boundaries. Together these evoke feelings of value, expertise and importance.

5. Be authentic.  Callosum believes authenticity is the most important point in human interaction. Sometimes this is an intuitive feeling which is difficult to put a finger on, yet can’t be ignored. “If you try to game this, you will be found out and the backlash will be significant.” When you try to gain attention for a problem you need help solving, if you widespread net (asking any and all people) it will disenchant others. Take ownership of your problem and be authentic in your wish for joint creative solutions.

Techniques to hold attention are becoming increasingly important in our fast paced, distracted society. “We are all experiencing increasing economic pressure as individuals and institutions. In this kind of environment, we not only need leverage, we also need to more rapidly improve our performance.” Personal branding is the solution to creating leverage. These techniques to gain attention will bring your best personal brand to the surface. This will ultimately help the individual reach their goals and the company reach its revenue. Positive attention gaining tools are a piece of leverage. With the right questions, ideas, and ultimately leverage, people will become inherently curious about you and your company.

Clare Hefferren

Leave a Comment