Business > Use Sensory Cues to Win People’s Attention

| May 26, 2015

Business School 2

Harvard Business Review

Your success depends on winning people’s attention. If your team doesn’t listen to you, how can you lead effectively? If you can’t get your client’s focus, how will your business survive? Here are three triggers that call people to attention:

• Automaticity. Sensory cues like loud sounds, bright colors, and temperature grab our attention automatically. This doesn’t mean you have to shout; instead, think about more subtle ways to use these instincts. For example, try giving a star prospect or client a hot cup of coffee or tea.

• Disruption. We pay attention when something violates our expectations. Try surprising your boss, client, or colleague in a positive way: Ask an unexpected question, beat a tough deadline, or suggest taking a walk.

• Reward. Incentives we can visualize have a greater impact on our attention. So when you’re offering your team a retreat at the end of a big project, don’t just tell them, show them a picture of the venue.

Adapted from “7 Ways to Capture Someone’s Attention,” by Ben Parr.

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