Musings: How to make someone focus their attention on you

Musings: How to make someone focus their attention on you

You suspect they are distracted and you try to reconnoitre their attention towards you.  Maybe you’re trying to get them to do something. Maybe you just want them to notice you.

Either way, it can be really useful to employ this weapon in your arsenal to easily and subtly gain someone’s attention.

Various psychology books tell us there is a simple, two-step method to get people to pay attention to you: Simply use their name, and ask them a question.

Step 1: Namedrop the person whose attention you’re trying to get.

If you doubt me on this one, just think back to the last time someone couldn’t remember your name because they’re “bad with names.”

Names also get mispronounced, shortened to nicknames, and just left off because people are afraid they’ll get it wrong.

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Studies reveal we’re conditioned to the sound of our own name. We react to it in a way we don’t to anything else. It’s the most precious sound in the world to us.

Step 2: Create soft tension by asking a question.

You’ve gained someone’s attention by saying their name. Now you want to keep it.

Just saying someone’s name is a great start, but you want to create a little tension that will retain that attention, and give them a reason to remember you at the end of the day.

How to make this work in familiar settings

You can do this in a group setting, or in a one-on-one conversation. Simply follow up on whatever the person last said with their name, and an intelligent question.

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