The Attention Deficit of Management and Leadership

One of my coach colleagues recently commented on what he thought was a lack of attention to my brand, and that maybe I needed to consider how the “Comfort Break” posters aka “Toilet Posters” would affect peoples’ perception of me and my business.

Maybe he was right, but ultimately the message I have to share with my healthcare colleagues I believe is important, should they happen to hear.  The most difficult challenge in working with healthcare professionals appears to be somehow getting their attention.   Some of you may already know, I was advised not to write a book for nurses’ as they didn’t have time to read. It was suggested that I should stick what I had to say to the toilet wall. Hence, the creation of the Comfort Break poster.

What strikes me about all of this, is that people frequently complain to me that they are not being listened to. It would seem to me that the mode of delivery of our message is important but actually getting the attention of those our message is intended for could perhaps be the key to enabling them to listen. If someone is in the middle of fighting a fire, what could possibly be important enough to distract them from this heroic endeavour?

Fire fighting is a term used frequently in large organisations, along with the “burning platform” to describe reactionary day-to-day management practices. What could we learn from a real fire fighter? Importantly, they put their own well-being and that of their teams first. This maybe an alien concept for many of us committed to putting out imaginary fires, but an intention that could change the way we experience our work and life should we stop believing that they are mutually exclusive.

So, back to the poster debate. If you have something important to say, don’t get bogged down by dogma – say it anyway you can. If people don’t hear you, find another way to say it but keep saying what you would like to be heard.

What’s the worst that can happen? Someone might just tell you to bog off!  A wonderful invitation to take a moment…


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