Attention to detail is an interesting reality. First off, what details do you pay attention to? In choosing the details you choose do you care about other details? When you spend the time to comb through the details and determine success or failure based on that, what is your responsibility? As the comber what are you saying? Detail is a very important thing. It can be the difference between brilliance and not brilliant.
It is however the most telling thing you can do. For example, when kids clean their rooms they don’t always clean to the specification of the adult. In fact, they if they are of that nature do the least they can do. So you go back and you point things out. Part of the process. But you point out the negative do you also say good job? Sometimes, but not always. Not saying good job removes something from the process.
When I was a school teacher many years ago I could tell you, based on the sounds in the classroom the nature of the conversation the teacher was having. There were teachers who focused not on positive but only on negative. Eventually those students moved on, they flourished with teachers that gave positive and negative feedback. But like all the people I’ve ever met, no one flourishes in a negative only environment.
So in the business world where we often spend a lot of time with negative only or worse negative only focused details, what can you do? Its hard to take pride in your work knowing that the only thing to be reviewed is the details.
· Need feedback? Find someone that will give you solid feedback. Worry about what that person says and ignore detail noise.
· Send materials early looking for feedback. If you don’t get early feedback from the person you choose, find someone else and get early feedback. Details out of place and going the wrong direction is a double whammy.
· Accept the reality of detail orientation. Test your messages and see if they resonate.
It can be very painful. Of all the communication patterns and anti-patterns the two sides of the microscope can be painful. Focusing only on details and never saying this is good, for at least one thing, is a highly negative environment.
Negative environments produce negative results.
I learned that as a teacher many years ago. It is still true even in the world of business. Sometimes you have to tell the people good job. Negative environments create competition for glory. Competition for glory means you have to compete with everyone. That isn’t a good scenario for anyone.