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“Dispersion Is Weakness.” What Does That Mean?

February 15, 2024
"Dispersion Is Weakness." What Does That Mean?

Here’s something to think about. In 1909, James Allen spoke these amazing words of truth, “Dispersion is weakness and concentration is power.”

Grilled Ants

When I think about dispersion as a weakness, I picture scatterbrained thinking. We’re thinking about this, we’re thinking about that, and yet concentration is where the power is. And we all understand the power of concentration. Take the sun’s energy, for example. It’s very, very powerful. But if you think back to when you were a kid with a magnifying glass, you’ll remember how you could focus the sun’s energy and carve your name out on a piece of wood or fry an ant on the sidewalk. That’s how powerful the focused sun is.

Dispersion, on the other hand, is like texting while driving a vehicle, with SOME of your attention reading your smartphone and SOME of your attention on SOME of the dangers of the road. This can lead to major problems, especially when it comes to everyone’s safety on the road and the sidewalk. Dispersion is being pulled in multiple directions, so no ONE thing gets your focus. Dispersion is watered-down concentration.

In The Zone

True concentration is powerful. In the athletic world, we see this on display in the biggest games. It’s called being “In the zone.” Everything else gets minimized in the background, and the goal becomes the only thing that matters in the moment. Tiger Woods in the 2005 Masters. Michael Jordan in the 1992 NBA Finals. Wayne Gretzky for most of his career. When asked afterward about great performances, the athlete usually gives an honest “I don’t remember” when talking about the details of the performance. Some have said they blocked out all else (crowd noise, hecklers, injuries, scoreboard, etc.) in order to perform with greatness that gets talked about for decades to come.

This is really important in our work every single day. Because the reality is, whether you’re a CSR, comfort advisor, or service technician, whatever you do in your job, you’re probably really good at it. And you’re so good and experienced at it, you could probably do it in your sleep.

Because when you’re so good at something, you don’t have to concentrate to do it. You can kind of fall into a groove and just kind of go through the motions, right? The downside of that is that we can run on auto-pilot, and it will show. Instead, we must ensure that we are fully present on every call for every customer. Let me give you an example.

There’s an old saying that says, “Where your focus goes, your energy flows.”

So suppose you’re a service or comfort advisor or a service technician, and you knock on that door, but you’re not thinking about the process of doing your job. Instead you’re thinking about the bill that you forgot to pay, you’re thinking about the argument you had the night before, or what’s for dinner tonight, but you’re not focused on the homeowner who’s about to open the door. Your thoughts are dispersed all over the place.

Now, the reality is you could probably go through the entire call because you’ve done it a million times. But you won’t get the full benefit of the connection with the homeowner if they feel you are distracted. The delivery of your words will become stale; your process will feel robotic and out of touch when this appointment should be the opposite — it should be personal. They should feel that you’re listening to their individual needs and are responding with words that answer their personal circumstances instead of a canned response that sounds like one you’ve given to everyone in the neighborhood.

Focus Can Be Gained or Lost

So you’ve got to make sure on every phone call, every service call, every sales call, that you are focusing on the task at hand. Especially if you’re out riding around the city visiting customers face to face.

Have you ever been introduced to someone, but you’ve forgotten their name a few moments later? And you default to calling them “Buddy” or something like that? Or you’re unable to introduce that person to someone else because you can’t remember their name, and you look like a deer caught in the headlights? Customers can feel it when you’re not actively listening and instead, you’re just waiting your turn to be heard. They will get the impression that you are here for yourself instead of being here for them.

They will feel the disconnection from you. We’ve all had the experience where maybe you meet somebody, and right away you don’t like them. Why is that? It’s because, in humans, the subconscious mind is very good at sizing up people and judging whether or not they’re interested or connected with you. If your homeowner feels disconnected from you, they’re not going to do as you want them to do. And of course, in the end, we want the homeowner to take our advice — to buy a new system, order a repair, etc.

Preparing to Win

When you get near that house, before you exit your vehicle, you must think about where your focus and concentration should be. Where your focus goes, your energy flows.

You need to be “in the zone” when you speak to the customer. Remember, it’s the time to block out other distractions like great athletes do, and become ultra-focused on the goal in front of you and nothing else.

Say it with me – “Dispersion is weakness, concentration is power.”