We just started watching this show called Elementary. It’s a modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes with Lucy Liu as Watson. It’s addicting. It also got me thinking about paying attention. In the show, one of the things Sherlock does is just observe. He pays critical attention to his surroundings and people and in doing so, he is able to make deductions from simple encounters about emotion and potential facts around the case. It got me thinking, how often do we stop and just observe. It completely complemented this podcast I listened to the other day about being “bored”. The premise was you can eliminate boredom by just being in tune with your environment - paying attention in high detail to everything going on around you.
How often do you stop and tune in to what’s going on? Specifically, I think like a business owner or someone on a job site, it is especially crucial to really pay attention to the details and cues around you. You can infer a lot by just simply observing body language, sounds, smells, appearance, etc. Why would this be important?
I can think of a few reasons - but here’s what is at the top of my mind:
Timing: Sometimes we enter conversations that are good on our timing and assume it is good for the client. Are they giving you subtle hints that the timing could be better? For example, are they unsettled? On the go? Have kids screaming in the background? You can get a feel for that by simply listening and reacting accordingly.
Personal Space: In the A/V space we usually find ourselves in many different homes. People’s homes are their safe place and should be respected at all times. Culturally, house rules are different wherever you go. It’s important to pay attention and train your staff to do the same. For example, when you walk into a home, if everyone is in house slippers and there are shoes neatly lined up by the door - be sure to take your shoes off or ask if booties would suffice. That should be protocol anyway.
Relationships: If you do work a lot in residences, it’s important to take into account all the decision-makers of the house. A lot of times you will narrow it down to one point of contact, but in the beginning, flesh out who the decision-maker is my tuning into how your contact is speaking. If you’re on the premise, you can look around and see subtle hints about how they live and you can make personal recommendations that would go a long way in customizing their system.
Regardless of how you use this blog, I think it is healthy and important to stop and just observe as many times as you can during the day. We are all on our own journeys and it’s our default is usually to perseverate on how others perceive us, but flipping that and just perceiving others is a fresh take on the world.
Try it and let us know what you notice…