Over the last couple of months I’ve read two or three books that just happened to mention the Reticular Activating System. [Pause whilst I attempt to sound smart.] The RAS is the network of nuclei in our brains that controls our awareness and attention. It seems that when one stimulating factor activates our RAS, it begins to recognize and categorize similar things around us. We start to take notice (maybe even obsessive focus) of things we’ve never stopped to think about before, like a certain song on the radio…or a certain model car on the road…or a certain network of nuclei called the Reticular Activating System in two or three books we happen to read.

See what I mean?

The guys in lab coats seem to think that we can train our RAS. We can choose the things that move to the forefront of our minds. The things that get a filter, get our focus.

Before I start to sound like a certain shiny-toothed televangelist, let me ‘splain how this can really work to our advantage: we can train our RAS to function on behalf of our guests on the weekend. We can filter our environment in order to focus our brains on what needs to be seen:

  • That little piece of trash that needs to be removed from the sidewalk.
  • That squeaky auditorium door that needs to get a shot of WD-40.
  • That greeter who has made an art form out of mumbling and avoiding eye contact.
  • That outdated signage that needs to be replaced. This week.

Being excellent at delivering on great guest services is part art, part science. But it’s an art that can be developed. And while it doesn’t happen overnight, you can filter your focus and start making improvements this weekend.

So what do you need to focus on?