Work Attention and Why It Matters for Culture

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work attention

Work Attention and Why It Matters for Culture

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Is work attention making a difference for your workplace culture? The psychology of work is important and it makes a difference for your culture.

Absolutely, yes, people still concentrate. Some claim that they are required to do it by multitasking.

For the record, many researchers believe cognitive multitasking is a myth.

Waiting and Focus

There are claims about ADHD, or in more relaxed forms it may be labeled ADD. Largely the medical community identifies this as a proven disorder, yet some naysayers disagree.

Regardless of any diagnosis, attention is harder to come by these days. The lure of attention to something more interesting is hard to break.

Anytime there is waiting, attention starts to drift. It drifts to a Smartphone or even to simple day-dreaming.

It happens before meetings, during meetings, and immediately following meetings. There is checking of email, text messaging, and social media feeds.

Often, the question for organizations or for the basis of workplace culture is, “How do we get more attention?”

Quest for Attention

Clever marketing programs, social feeds, and even television commercials spar for attention.

The quest for attention in the workplace is often attempted by force.

Turn off your cell phones.

Put your phones away.

No cell phones beyond this point.

In some cases, it is presented as a security threat, or a threat to intellectual property. In other cases, it is designed to create focus or allow for more concentration.

Work Attention

Everywhere you go people are jockeying for attention. It is true for the internet search algorithm and it is true for human-to-human message reception.

For organizational culture, attention is more important now than ever. It is much better as a pull attribute instead of push.

When your message is compelling enough to capture full attention without a push for attention you’re winning.

Maybe it is even delivered via a device.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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