Weekly Thought – August 31, 2021
Fred loved stimulating conversation. He developed the skill of cultivating interesting people. He, also, knew how to nurture these abilities in others. Ever a teacher, he thought analytically forming ideas in such a way they could be easy communicated and used.
Creating Favorable Attention
Unfavorable attention can be damaging to careers and relationships. Discourteous interruption, yawns, inappropriate dressing, or excessive exaggeration create attention – the wrong kind.
Bill Russell, the great basketball player and coach, said the first thing a player in his first All-Pro game thinks about is avoiding making a humiliating mistake. He said it is important to get into the game, and get comfortable before going for the big play. This principle works in social and business situations.
Unfortunately, our media-hyped culture has developed the concept that all attention is good – “just spell my name right!” Very few of us can afford press agents, so it is up to us to make sure our coverage is favorable. Careers can hinge on a minor faux pas and major gaffes.
Think about conversations… sometimes we are so eager to get into the conversation we come in clumsily on our left foot. Knowing this about ourselves, we should program ourselves for quietness, depending on attentive listening until we become comfortable and sense the rhythm of the conversation. A talented middle management person I know will probably never move to the top simply because the first two minutes of almost conversation is ruined. The social insecurity negates the professional expertise. Upon introduction, sarcasm and sassy remarks becomes the tools of choice… bad choice. Quiet followed by constructive remarks would change the entire perception. Simply rehearsing ways of entering conversations could make a tremendous difference in career advancement.
Competitive – or worse, combative – remarks in the beginning of a conversation (particularly with strangers or mere acquaintances) reminds me of the movie cowboy who pushes open the saloon doors shouting, “I can whip any man here!”
Self-deprecation is not the answer. The person whose insecurity drives them to dispel nervousness through self-effacement. This always creates a negative impression. Accepting compliments is an important skill to develop. A gracious woman accepted a compliment on her attire demonstrating her skill. “Thank you so much. I’ll remember your compliment every time I wear this dress.” She accepted praise by making it about the other person. In accepting she received favorable attention.
Poise demonstrates control. Gaining favorable attention means managing any habits that result in unfavorable attention. Spending time assessing and asking close friends to give feedback can allow personal development which makes a significant difference in the way we are perceived and received. And then practice makes perfect.
This week think carefully about: 1) How aware am I of habits that create negative attention? 2) Who could give me honest, helpful feedback? 3) What process do I have in place (or need) to promote favorable attention?
Words of Wisdom: “Unfavorable attention can be damaging to careers and relationships.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3 NET Bible)