"Life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece."
--- Nadia Boulanger
You may remember the Hawthorne experiments conducted in the 1920s. (Not to say that you were around then, but perhaps you've heard about them.) These were the experiments conducted to measure productivity of workers at the Western Electric Company in Chicago.
In a nutshell, experiments were conducted to find out what increased the quality and the output of workers in one particular factory. Workers were attempted to be manipulated by changes in pay, lighting levels, rest breaks, and other scenarios.
"Attention and respect give pleasure, however late, or however useless."
--- Samuel Johnson
The surprising outcome of these experiments is that the productivity and the quality of the work increased with each new variable. One of the most interesting was the manipulation of the lighting.
The lighting was increased and decreased to various levels. With each change, the workers output improved. Puzzled, the researchers finally concluded that the change in lighting had no effect on the workers. It was the fact that the workers were being studied, that someone was paying attention to them that created the positive outcome.
"True art tries not to attract attention-in order to be noticed."
--- José Bergamín
Your team members may not need to have experiments conducted in order to perform at a higher level. Human nature dictates that we all have a desire to be noticed, liked, and appreciated. Whether your team is performing at a high level or barely getting by, remember that each person in your company desires to be noticed.
There are subtle ways to pay attention to a team member without drawing attention to him or her. Some people don't like being pointed out even in a good light, but most everyone enjoys the one-on-one attention--- the personal, thoughtful notice from a superior.
"Talent is nothing but a prolonged period of attention and a shortened period of mental assimilation."
--- Konstantin Stanislavsky
Paying attention to others brings out the best in them. Even a child is said to feel love from attention, whether good or bad attention. But, attention to details in your work can produce astonishing results as well. Sounds obvious, but most of us barely scratch the surface when it comes to working "deeply" on a project.
We are all so absorbed with the next item on our to-do list that we don't pay complete attention to the task at hand. We need to become so engrossed with our project that a major earthquake would hardly be noticeable to us.
"There are people who pay attention to the weaknesses of their friends; that is to no avail. I have always closely watched and profited from the strengths of my adversaries."
--- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
We need to pay attention to others on our team and learn what their needs are. We need to pay attention to our tasks and become completely focused on completing the project as if it were a masterpiece going on display.
Finally, we need to pay attention to what is going on in our market. A good way to stay in touch is to read the various trade journals, attend trade shows, and talk to your peers in the industry. Learn what others are doing and pay attention to the direction that they are going, where your competitors are going, and to where your industry is heading.
"Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon."
--- Dag Hammarskjöld
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Onyx Delivers a RIP in Many Sizes to Fit Your Shops Needs
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Sign in downtown Detroit on the Fisher building door:
"Caution: Automatic Door (push to operate)"
Sign on an elevator in West Chester University:
"In case of fire do not use elevator, use water"
Sign from a Dentist's office:
"Pain Free. Any other services, we charge"
Have you seen any funny signs lately? Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to: email@example.com.