Pay Attention to Details

Friday, December 23 2022

Measure twice; cut once. Wise advice because we need to pay attention to details – make sure the details are correct because things can go very wrong when we haven’t paid attention to the details. It can be simple – hitting reply all instead of sending an email comment only to the sender; incorrectly spelling a person’s name in a proposal. Forgetting one step in the project management plan; failing to order a key component; forgetting to follow up on a meeting; or not inviting a key team member.

Although small things may seem insignificant, missing details can be devastating to a relationship or project. Attention to details that build trust and strong relationships is critical to success.

Eighty-five percent of success comes from planning. When we determine what is important we can allocate our resources appropriately. Many of the details that provide the biggest return on investment of time are not time-critical; if we don’t do it now we may not suffer consequences in the short-term. However, in the long run results will suffer because details are important.

Here are a few details to consider that will add to your success:

Check Correspondence

  • Confirm spellings. I once lost a “sure” sale because I didn’t take the time to check my spelling.  After our initial meeting, the managing partner of a law firm asked me to bill him for the process I took him through to identify needs. The rest of the sale was mine to lose; but when I sent the proposal I spelled the company name incorrectly. I lost the work. Spelling is extremely important.
  • Ensure the send-to list is correct.
  • Re-read emails – especially if you are feeling emotional or annoyed. Perhaps it makes sense to leave it overnight before sending.

Set Clear Expectations 

Take time to set and communicate your vision and the strategy to achieve it. If people do not know what you require of them, they may end up going in the wrong direction. It takes valuable time and energy to correct such misinterpretations and their outcomes.


Research confirms that regular coaching can achieve a significant return on investment. Coaching includes setting and reviewing goals, as well as ensuring each team member receives personalized, timely feedback about how they are performing. If you are in doubt about the importance of coaching check out the Manchester study here.