Go ahead, sweat the small stuff.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS
Be rigorous about accuracy and precision. Double-check your work.
If I were to write, “It’s time to eat, Grandma!” That would mean I’m letting Grandma know that dinner is ready. If instead I communicate, “It’s time to eat Grandma!” This gives a whole new meaning. Who knew the omission of one little comma could mean life or death for a family member.
As a detailed-oriented, self-proclaimed grammar snob I’m very grateful for this fundamental. Yes, I’m often the one who gets bogged-down in minutia. Yes, sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees. But one thing I notice these days is that missing a word here, or a punctuation mark there can result in a completely new understanding of what’s being communicated.
Little details can have BIG impacts.
As business coaches one of the symptoms of dysfunction we work to mitigate is re-work. Any time a client has a lack of organizational excellence we see this pop up with consistency. Re-work costs time, and it costs money. Sometimes the “cure” for this is a matter of structure, cultural process or implementing new systems. But often enough it’s as simple as one detail in communication overlooked, omitted or not cleaned up that makes all the difference.
Case in point
A few years ago a client of mine shared a handful of withheld communications she’d been keeping from her business partner. She wasn’t maliciously holding back information, but in her mind it was just a couple of details she thought didn’t matter.
After a coaching session she choose to have these conversations that turned out to be critical. Soon afterwards, the level of trust between them increased. This resulted in a whole new way her partner interacted with their staff. Within 9 months their employee turnover dwindled from almost 100% to nearly zero.
I’m not saying this was achieved solely by a couple of conversations. But, the distinction that made the difference was identified and acted upon when someone stopped justifying a lack of communication. My client had been going along business as usual, saying to herself, “ … one little detail doesn’t matter.” All the while, it DID matter.
The truth is we have no idea what difference is made when we pay attention to the details. How one thing affects us might not be the same as how it affects another.
What big results have you produced when you refocused your attention to the small stuff?
Let me know.