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How To Grab Anyone’s Attention In These 7 Common Work Situations

Source | FastCompany : BY JUDITH HUMPHREY

Whether you’re speaking to a roomful of colleagues, your boss, or a group of friends, you can’t wait to draw people in. You either hook them with your first words, or you don’t.

Think of the expression that hooks people in as your “grabber.” It’s the prefatory line or phrase that basically says, “Listen up! You’re gonna want to hear this.” An effective grabber isn’t shouty or alarmist, though–it builds a bridge to your listener.

You can call them by name, mention something about them, refer to a point they’ve brought up, or reflect on a conversation you’ve had with them. You can even just ask them about themselves, or bring up something that you know interests them. The point of the grabber is to create rapport, so not only will it vary depending on whom you’re speaking to, it will also change according to the situation.

With that in mind, here are seven of the most common scenarios you’re likely to encounter at work, and the grabbers that are best suited to each.

1. WHEN YOU PASS A COWORKER IN THE HALL

If you run into a colleague in the hall and remember something you wanted to talk to them about, your grabber to get their attention might be, “You’re the very person I want to see!” or “I just heard something that will interest you,” or, “I want to run an idea by you, do you have a minute?”

Beware of grabbers that risk derailing what you have to say. For example, if you begin, “Ahmed, how’s your family?” he may launch into a long tale about his ailing mother. (You might genuinely be concerned! In which case, just save your empathetic inquiry for the end of your chat.) If you say to an executive, “I loved your town hall the other day,” she may go on to talk at length about her remarks. So make sure your grabber not only engages your audience, but also clears the way for your message.

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