To What Should I Attend?

In 1999 Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris shared an amazing video illustrating selective perception (Watch here). The researchers focus the attention of viewers by asking them to count the number of times a team dressed in white passes a ball. The attention of the viewing audience can be enhanced by creating a competition, “women get the correct answer more frequently than men”. While the ball is being passed, a person dressed in a gorilla costume saunters onto the stage, faces the audience, beats it’s chest and then exits in the opposite direction. More than half the viewers never see the gorilla. It is as though the gorilla is absolutely invisible. Here is another version of the invisible gorilla (Watch Here).

The Simons and Chabris experiment begs the questions, “what am I missing that would advance my career, help me be a better performer or lead to greater levels of success?” “To what should I attend.” “What are the hidden parasites sucking the power out of my performance?”

As a human performance scientist and coach, one of my key roles is to call my clients to attend. It’s the job they pay me to do. Attending to the right things is one of the great secrets of being a successful performer. Wandering attention quickly erodes performance results.

Even sales people who have been immersed in the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System can lose focus. Individual life circumstances such as personal or family health, relationships or other responsibilities can divert attention. When focus is diverted, poor performance is the inevitable outcome. The performance decay may occur over time leaving the person bewildered at the result and guessing at the cause.

The cause-effect of elevated performance and poor performance may go unseen without the experienced eye of an expert. It is as invisible as a gorilla beating its chest on stage. Three recommendations will help maintain attention on things that matter to your success and your career. The recommendations relate to three meanings of the word attend:
1. Attend: be present
2. Pay attention: listen and observe
3. Attend to: apply, deal with, act upon

Attend. If you are not attending regular coaching sessions, you have lost connection with the clarion call to attention to things that matter. The very first step is to be in attendance. When you attend be on time. Sit up front. Look at the Coach not your smartphone. Everything about your physical and mental attitude should be attuned and demonstrate your perceptual receptivity. Coaching sessions are all about you—your success and your achievement—be selfish about the time. Squeeze out every bit of attentional value you can muster.

Pay Attention. Listen. Observe. Don’t let your mind wander to lesser things. Critical thinking will enhance listening. Critical thinking simply means asking yourself good questions and seeking answers in the coaching content. While not all questions need to be asked out loud, don’t be afraid to engage the coach with good questions that enhance your understanding and skill development. You’ve heard there is no such thing as a bad question—not true. Avoid questions or comments that detract from the topic. The theme is selected with your growth, development and improvement in mind. Listen and observe. Ask yourself what matters to you. Ask how you can learn, grow, and improve based on the current topic.

Attend To. Finally, attend to the coaching content. At the conclusion of every coaching session your coach will ask you to write things that resonated with you, things that you don’t want to forget, your ah-ha moments from the coaching session and at least one binding commitment based on things that were meaningful to you. What you write is what you should “attend to” until the next coaching session. This doctrine of “attending to” is all about your post-coaching behavior and how you will improve by applying what was important to you. You will never reach your full performance potential without application—“attending to.” Create a way to be mindful about your take-aways and action items. Use 6 Steps to a Successful Sales Call. Implement ScoreCard™. Think and act—these are the domains of the attentive—the top 1% of achievers.

The Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System™ is a system of achievement. When you attend to The System™ you attend to your success. I promise you rapid success improvement when you attend coaching sessions, use 6 steps to a Successful Sales Call, implement ScoreCard™, and follow-up on take-aways and action items. The promise of success is real. You can do this. We’re here to help.


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