Attention to Detail

Mike Fralix and Judy Boone

If we aren’t careful, it is easy to miss some important stuff, or at least, some of the stuff that makes our lives richer.  I had a few examples of that recently.

Mike and I travelled to Wilson, NC this past weekend for the Wilson Cotillion, an event in it’s 31st year.  We were one of the original 13 couples who started this wonderful event.  Although we left Wilson, NC in 1988 when we moved to Raleigh, we have stayed connected to our Wilson Cotillion friends there, and attend the Cotillion events (January Ball and Spring fling) whenever our schedules allow.  We also connect with our long time Cotillion friends the Boones and the Barbers (also of the original 13 couples) and our newer friends the Sceeneys and the Thompsons in various places during the year.  Our times together are some of our favorite.  This year was no exception.  After we danced the night away at the Wilson Country Club, we went home to the Boones for the after party, a few hours of sleep, and a delicious brunch the next morning.  There are no better hostesses than our friends Judy and Tommy Boone. Wonderful story, but how does this rate to “attention to detail?”  I will connect these dots.

Judy Boone remembers that I am allergic to cantaloupe, so her wonderful fruit salad is minus cantaloupe!  She remembers that Mike is often on a controlled carb eating plan,and worries about the few small potatoes in her breakfast casserole.  She also often has photos of us at a previous fun time together displayed in our bathroom! (Now, how cool is that?!) These attention to details of course make us feel special.  I have been told that I am a good hostess, and I think I am, but I can learn some lessons from Judy Boone.  She and Tommy enrich our lives.

On the other side of the coin, I sometimes miss some important details.  I have a great recent example.  Yesterday I picked up two wing chairs from the upholsterer.  It was only when I moved the chairs from the van into the house that I realized that although the wing chairs are very similar, the cushions are very different!  I was sick, for I am a symmetrical person.  I would never have covered those wing chairs in the same fabric to be used together had I noticed the different cushions!  But I missed that detail.  I had three wing chairs, and paid attention to the fact that these two of the three were closer in height and overall size than the other one, but I totally missed that the cushions were different!  Now, what to do?  I will probably leave them as they are since a friend of mine who has great attention to detail did not notice the different cushions. Also, life isn’t symmetrical, so this is a good lesson for me. And, they are beautiful.  But I am reserving my decision on this, since I still have the other wing chair with the same cushion to one of the two that was recovered, and I can always get more fabric and recover it! 

Then, one more example. In an airport club lounge earlier today, I was struck by the beauty of the bathroom hardware.  But I was also curious as to why the soap dispenser was manual and the faucet was electronic.  I have seen electronic soap dispensers and electronic faucets, and manual soap dispensers and manual faucets, but I haven’t noticed before that one was manual and one was electronic, and I was curious as to the rationale for the difference.  Uhm.

Another (painful) example.  I completed two nomination forms on line this week, and had to redo both TWICE, for I did not pay enough attention to how to save what I had typed onto the forms!  I was so frustrated.  This experience was a learning lesson however, for I realized what I need to do differently.  Whether or not I will do differently is the question!

I may have another lesson in this, for I am typing this Blog Post while in air, and do not know how to “save it.”  I just tried to “save” it, and could not, since I am not “online.”  I fear another example of the on line nomination form fiasco!  I will know soon how good and intuitive Apple really is!

How about you?  Do you notice these variances?  Is attention to detail one of your strengths?  How do you even know?

We know by understanding ourselves, and by paying attention.  In part, this is a personality difference.  It relates to, “It’s in the SAUCE!”  Some of us by personality are better at attention to detail than others.  My Mike has a strength in attention to detail; I do not (obviously.)  Mike can tell within a minute the time he will arrive at a destination.  If I am within a 30 minute time window, I am happy!

How about you?  What is your attention to detail?


About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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