Yesterday I caught a couple of minutes of the Jim Rome Show. He was sharing a story about when he and his wife met Dennis Rodman. At some point during the conversation, Rome’s wife mentioned that she had lost a loved one and was feeling down. A year later, they ran into Rodman again. Rodman recalled the conversation, asked Rome’s wife how she was doing and mentioned the family member by name. You could hear in Rome’s voice how much that attention and consideration meant to him because it had meant so much to his wife.
You can overlook a lot of imperfections when someone shows that they care and that they’re paying attention.
A few years ago I was at the Austin airport, waiting to board a plane. There was an elderly lady in a wheel chair that was being pre-boarded along with First Class. Deion Sanders was on my flight. The wheelchair assistant began stacking the woman’s carry-on bags on her lap and Sanders said, “Oh here, let me take care of that.” He carefully took her cane, purse, and bag and accompanied her down the jet way and to her seat. He helped her off the plane in Dallas as well.
I had always viewed Sanders as a self-centered, ego-maniac; seeing him do that kindness changed my impression of him.
We are captivated by the little details – especially the little details that others remember about us. I think Covey refers to these things as “deposits into the emotional bank account.” We want to capture hearts and minds.
Our world often lures us into multi-tasking. Our attention is flitting from a Tweetdeck “woot” to an email “ding” to a ringing phone.
I need to remind myself to focus and to listen. Listen carefully. Read and read carefully.
When we slow down and target our attention, we are more receptive to remembering the little things and paying closer attention to detail. This is not a sacrifice of our time, but rather an investment of our time in others. You are important enough to warrant my full attention.
You are important enough to warrant my full attention – what a gift! Both to give and to receive.
@MargieClayman has been writing about “engagement” over at her blog. I am hooked on the series because it is a reminder for me to be mindful of others.
Are you like me, do you struggle at times to give your full attention? Have you, like me, seen examples of how giving our full attention produces rewards we’d never dreamed of – yet the act of giving the gift was its own best reward?