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How Attention to Detail Changes the Way You Do Business

Paying attention to detail comes in many forms. You may discover you are doing a pretty good job of it if you’ve got a document with no typos and correct spacing. This skill can also be seen when you manage dates and times accurately on a project so that fewer errors that have to be corrected. Another form is to pay attention to how you interact with others—this, of course, impacts the culture of your workplace. If you are keen on the details and able to be responsive in these areas, you’ll create an environment that generates a more effective and efficient way of working for both you and your team.

Pixar exemplifies this way of looking at attention to detail in its movies. Movement, shading, and even the way parts of the screen interact with other components are all considered keenly. Each blade of grass and evolution of a character is important. Each snapshot is studied from a broader point of view. These viewpoints include coordination between all of the animators and technicians who made up the team. The added value as a result of this attention to detail is a better product and a more reliable brand. It’s true: the small details fashioned by you and your team make up the whole of the organization.

Michael Levine, in his book Broken Window, Broken Business, suggests that some of the most significant complications within businesses happen when you ignore the minor details. You may generate tiny fractures within your organization when you miss small things. These fractures also occur when you lose the details related to culture. You can focus on the typos and the processes, but don’t forget about to go beyond the technical aspects. Attention to the details of how you work with others and within the culture of an organization will move you more firmly into areas of creativity and innovation. These elements are critical to a successful workplace. If you have ever heard the phrase, “It’s always been done that way,” then you may also have seen a decrease in overall performance.

Said a different way, attention to detail isn’t just about spacing and punctuation. In fact, you might miss an opportunity if you focus so much on the spacing of a page that you miss the creativity of thought that went into a project. The point is, attention to details includes the whole picture. For instance, noticing another person’s idea despite it being different from previous ways of completing a task. A more comprehensive view of how each person fits into the culture requires a more exceptional ability to see the impact of modest ideas.

Jason DeMers of EmailAnalytics, suggested in a recent article that there are crucial areas where detail-oriented people thrive. And, we all can learn from those detail-oriented people! They see patterns, which helps them to find connections between events and people. The value-added is that they can see the best ways to interact or how to fit something together. Detail-oriented people also notice body language, which gives them the ability to recognize people’s emotions and respond appropriately. They are able to see the broader picture, too. Looking at things from all perspectives permits a detail-oriented person to collect a comprehensive impression that informs and enhances decision-making. We define ourselves and our organization by our ability to take small actions that expand the broader picture.

Attention to detail involves a fair amount of critical thinking skills, which also incorporates into one’s ability to make more comprehensive decisions. This type of thinking expands the options you have for understanding how people and situations can work together. You can see how smaller bits of information fit into the larger scheme of activity.


Each of these small things you take with you adds up. You’ll need these details when you interact with a team member or make a decision causing a chain reaction. If an action fractures your team, then the organization is weakened, but activities that strengthen your team, like paying attention to the details, help improve your organization. Your business may be reliant on these small actions to make the shift from a mediocre workplace to a thriving organization.

To become a detail-oriented person, take some time to put your attention on the details.  Ask yourself:

  1. Who do I need to talk with to make sure I have all the information to make an informed decision?
  2. What ideas have I heard from others that I could incorporate into my project to give it a fresh perspective?
  3. How can I work better with my team to learn more about how they fit into the processes we are following?

Attention to detail impacts all elements of your business to include employee engagement, customer service, efficiency, and even time management. Learn, observe, and ask questions to expand your ability to pay attention to details. When you take the time to pay attention to all the details of how you do business, then you increase your chance of creating a more cohesive and productive model.


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Written by Dr. Lynette Reed

Writer, researcher and advisor on human potential for personal and organizational development, Dr. Lynette Reed has mentored people from in businesses, not-for-profits, schools, allied health agencies, chambers of commerce, government and churches. She has taught courses on team building, leadership, ethics, world religion and world cultures. Her current literary contributions include an executive summary paperback titled, Fixing the Problem: Making Changes in How You Deal with Challenges, as well as book contributions, articles, guest radio appearances and a series of children’s books with Abingdon Press. She is also a co-founder and board member of the Institute for Soul-Centered Leadership at Seton Cove. Lynette holds a Doctor of Ministry in Spirituality, Sustainability, and Inter-Religious Dialogue and a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Contact her at expectations2reality@icloud.com.

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