Have you ever noticed how much subtle details can make a big difference? In the content of your work, in the way you behave and present yourself, and in your image and attire – the little details matter. Even when minor details seem inconsequential, the truth is they all contribute to the whole of your success.
It is no surprise that “attention to detail” is a requirement for nearly any job and a quality of a strong candidate or employee. Here are a few of many examples of how “little details” are important, and how those in your work, behaviour, and professional image contribute to your Executive Presence.
Attention to Detail in your Work
Subtle details in how you conduct your everyday work can show massive differences in the quality of your work and can set you apart from other professionals.
- When you write a document for your job, how many times do you proofread it before sending to others? Do you quickly review only once – or do you carefully re-read it four or five times? Though it can seem like a minor step at the end of a task, carefully reviewing completed work is a small yet important task for professionals who are always aiming to improve their output.
- Aside from your day-to-day work, how invested are you in your field, your company, and yourself in a long-term perspective? Small initiatives along the way can help you to develop and assert yourself in your field. Get involved in your field through industry publications and conferences, and develop your industry-specific skills through the trainings they offer. Viewed alone, these can seem like small acts. Yet they will lend you a competitive advantage that can make a big difference.
Attention to Detail in your Behaviour
Whether they are aware of it or not, others rely on subtle cues in your behaviour to assess whether you are approachable, poised, and professional.
- When meeting someone for the first time, these small cues are of utmost importance. Are you making eye contact while shaking hands? Is your handshake firm? Are you smiling? Even if you are enthusiastic about meeting a new person, they may not think so unless these qualities align with your positive attitude.
- During a presentation, you need more than just the content of your speech and slides to make it effective. Here, small details about your behaviour and self-presentation are often as important as the material you present. Are you standing with good posture in a strong, confident position? Is your voice dynamic and clear? Are you looking at your audience and inviting them to engage with you?These small details are often forgotten when presenters get nervous and simply want to get off the stage as soon as possible. But these elements can make or break a great presentation.
Attention to Detail in your Professional Image
There are so many components that comprise a great professional image, it is no wonder that details make up a balanced whole.
- Think a missing button is small and unnoticeable? Think again. A missing button – or a small stain, a tear, or a frayed fabric – may be physically small, but will draw much attention and dominate the entire outfit. Don’t let one tiny detail ruin your professional image.
- When it comes to accessories, subtle differences can reflect your style as a professional. Take the example of Tom’s business cards from our Executive Presence video. Tom removes his business card from a wallet that is stuffed, messy, and overflowing. This reflects poorly on Tom as a disorganized professional. A slim, clean business card holder would suggest otherwise.
Whether in a first impression through attire or conduct, or a lasting impression with your quality of work, subtle details always matter. These details will add up to give you a competitive edge and enhance your Executive Presence.