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Tag Archive for attention

What Captures Our Attention Tends to Control Our Life

Several years ago, Disney World executives were wondering what most captured the attention of toddlers and infants at their theme park and their main resort in Orlando, Florida. After all, if they imprinted positive memories in kids, they might embed a lifelong loyalty to their brand. Consequently they hired me and a cultural anthropologist to observe guests as they passed through and paused in the resort lobby, seeing murals, carpets, animated creatures, sweet-smelling snacks, colorful toys and more. It was planned as a weeklong study. But after only a couple of hours of close observation, we realized that what most… Read More

Get Their Attention and Keep it

You can feel the tension in the compressed smiles, quick nods and pointed questions at the annual Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare conference. Schedules are packed as the high-stakes finance crowd gathers to hear 20-minute rapid-fire talks by CEOs of start-ups and public companies who seek funding or favorable stock analysts’ reports. Presenters tend to speak fast, using complex medical and financial terms. In contrast, my client, the CEO of a new biotech company strolls onto the center of the stage, rolling up one of his shirt sleeves as he sweeps the audience with a genial gaze. When he stops at… Read More

The Forgotten First Step for Connecting

While happiness books are all the rage, none begin by showing us the inescapable first step to connecting with others. Yet having social ties is the single best predictor of a longer, healthier, more satisfying life. That seemingly mundane step? Attention. When hired by Disney to observe what infants and toddlers paid the most attention to at their Orlando theme park and hotels I was surprised to discover that it was not the colorful, lively rides, friendly staff nor the snacks. It was their parents’ cell phones. That phone was the action center of their world as they observed it.… Read More