Pay Attention

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Pay Attention

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Little things mean a lot, because someone recognizes the spirit, heart, and thought that went into it. Big things are what people plan for, the wedding, the new or improved product, or a new strategy kickoff. All of that makes sense, but it is often not what people notice or remember the most.

man's hand on cell phone

The search for perfection can be relentless; it takes persistence, tenacity, and perseverance. Sometimes however, all the energy, effort, and heart that create the perfect end product are not what is most noticed. What is most noticed is what went wrong, what didn’t work, and what should of, could of, or did cause the biggest let down or the most embarrassment.

People more easily recall the customer service experience that didn’t go well but yet struggle to tell you about the time when they were astounded with exceptional service. People remember their joy and excitement on the day they bought the car, but after some time they seem to more vividly recall the repairs. They remember the quirks and frustrations of their last smartphone but forget about the joy of first learning about its incredible power. People dine at a restaurant dozens of times, tell a few friends but forget about it hours later; in contrast when they have a bad meal they talk about it for days or bring it up whenever someone mentions that venue.

These thoughts aren’t for everyone, but they are for anyone. Anyone who wants to make a lasting impact needs to pay attention to the small stuff and they especially need to consider their words, actions, or feelings left behind when things go wrong.

Pay attention because the big stuff is often expected, little stuff is more remembered, and when something goes wrong people may not remember exactly what happened, but they’ll always remember how you reacted or how you made them feel.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a keynote speaker, corporate trainer, and consultant that specializes in helping businesses accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Barb Reilly

July 12, 2015at 10:07 am

This is an amazing insight into our human psyche and how true it is that we remember those small things contained within some big event. Each of us can recite and vividly remember a comment made, an inference, something that impacted us more than the “big” day or event during which the conversation occurred. I enjoyed your insight and delivery of this life lesson, very much. It is a truth each of us needs to remember as we move through our daily lives. What we should “keep” and hold close, what we find to be toxic and need to let go. People do always remember how we made them feel.


    July 12, 2015at 7:42 pm

    Thank you Barb!


July 10, 2015at 9:23 am

I enjoy your articles Dennis. Keep up the good work!


    July 12, 2015at 7:42 pm

    Thank you Annette!

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