The Point: We all want to get ahead. But how can you get ahead if you don’t get noticed? If recognition eludes you, Ben Parr of DominateFund in his new book “Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention” outlines 7 ways in which you can capture someone’s attention. Here in is a summary of that work… Enjoy!
Attention is Currency (Very Valuable Currency!)
What if you never got noticed for the work you did? What if you walked around your office not as the leader you are, but as a ghost that no one could see/hear/touch? I’m guessing that if you weren’t noticed for even the most trivial of tasks completed, there would be no recognition. No recognition would lead to no job promotion. No job promotion means no leadership assignment. No leadership assignment would make getting out of bed optional!
If you think of attention as currency, then you can quickly surmise that the value of attention holds more than any money, any possession, or just about any thing that you could think of. In Ben Parr’s new book, he culminates 1,000+ studies on how one can captivate attention in others. These studies spanned psychology, neurology, economics, and social studies. Furthermore, he interviewed leading thought leaders in those fields, and even other far-flung fields such as Magic’s David Copperfield. Herein are Ben’s identified 7 triggers which captivate attention from others:
Attention Trigger #1: Automaticity
Think of the actions that automatically cause you to respond by directing your attention. While this used to be someone calling out for “Help!” Today, these automaticity moments are actions that not only draw attention, but cause a lowering of the “defense shields” like extending a warm cup of coffee/tea on a cold day.
Attention Trigger #2: Framing
We are a product of the world around us. What might otherwise be considered the social conditions or proof typically have a way of biasing our behaviors. Calling these moments out are what’s at the heart of framing.
Attention Trigger #3: Disruption
A violation of what we come to know as our expectations or norms is the trigger of disruption. The Expectancy Violations Theory from academia spells this out, and anything out of the norm (or what we expect to be the norm) calls for our attention.
Attention Trigger #4: Reward
There is an old saying that men will kill in order to be rewarded with badges (or buttons, or something like that). The self-satisfaction of receiving awards actually has a deep-rooted physiological base with the neurotransmitter dopamine causing us to feel pleasure. This pleasure pursuit will cause attention to be in the self-satisfaction direction.
Attention Trigger #5: Reputation
Spokespeople that have a high Q score are the ones that typically are chosen to represent products/services in media. Why? People perceive them to be more trustworthy. Similar to the Authority principle whereby we believe those with high (real/perceived) credentials.
Attention Trigger #6: Mystery
I love a good mystery… Ok, truth be told I despise them. As do the majority of my friends (like attracting like, right?) But there is a certain amount of suspense that goes into the not “knowing” what will occur next. This not knowing is exactly what’s behind the mystery trigger.
Attention Trigger #7: Acknowledgement
Our need for validation and empathy from others is cited as one of our most basic human needs. Apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, where this need is not present, we will pay more attention to those that complement than those that do not for example.
So how can you best motivate stakeholders? In leadership development and executive coaching sessions I would have to agree with Ben’s findings (It would be a shame if we didn’t, after all he spent countless hours researching and writing on the recognition topic! By the way, in case you didn’t notice that was an example of Trigger #7: Acknowledgement). By seeking to implement one or all of the seven triggers identified your stakeholders should soon report off the chart levels of engagement, 360* reviews where you are operating at expert levels as a leader, and the business operation should be spinning like a top.