Attention is the new gold. As there are more and more information we can receive it is easy to have so much, that we quickly struggle with a feeling of overwhelm. What all these informations are fighting for is our attention. Having our attention is the first step towards creating a reaction and thus receiving some form of our engagement.
The common belief thus is, that to gain our attention, the information must be quickly grasped, stand out of the mass, be somehow flashy to be seen within the constant stream of information. I’m arguing that this is useless if you’d like to have anything more than a quick flash of visibility.
Naturally, having someones attention for the instant of a like can be useful if raising the number of likes is the goal. Anything that goes beyond this instant of like requires engagement. It is engagement that eventually leads to sustainable attention. Engagement can take various forms: curiosity, interest, learning, action.
I had seen the cows in the picture on my way home and decided to take a picture. So I stepped out of the car, went to a spot where I hoped that the picture would show them well and was amused to see them all look into my direction. I tried to find the best view and moved towards them until slightly afraid they moved backwards. I moved backwards too. After taking a couple more pictures under their interested gaze I went back to the car and was fascinated to see them start to follow me towards the car. I continued taking pictures and realized that due to their curiosity it seemed easier to have them all look into my camera than it is when taking a picture of a group of people. The same applies to having the continued attention of participants in a training or any situation in which we can see a relationship being created through attention and engagement.
To build a relationship with others, may they be followers, customers, friends, lovers we need to create a space for engagement towards each other. To get it started we need to propose a space for the kind of attention that goes beyond the lifespan of a like.
To create that attention within the constant stream of information and quest for our attention, the answer isn’t speed anymore.
How do you create space to give your attention to others?