What It Actually Means to Be Detail-Oriented

What It Actually Means to Be Detail-Oriented

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They Remember the Little Things

Details. Details. Details. They actually remember people’s names after being introduced, and they don’t forget birthdays, let alone deadlines (no matter how big or small).  Coworkers and friends can count on them to be the group’s documentarian. What happens if you want to remember the deets, but know 

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They Remember the Little Things

you’re too forgetful? Not a problem! Acknowledging that you're not the best at remembering is half the battle. Use tips like taking thorough notes in meetings (handwritten or digital), setting reminders on your phone, and adding important dates and information to your calendar to guarantee you don’t forget. Being detail-oriented can also 

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They Remember the Little Things

have its downfalls if you tend to get lost or overwhelmed by the too many details. Understand if this is an issue for you and make conscious efforts to pick your head up every so often as to not get completely sucked into the minutiae.  Again, knowing how you work can mitigate this setback and help you keep the big picture in mind.

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They Proofread (Multiple Times)

It’s common practice to proofread your work before you turn it over to your boss or even an email before you send it to a friend. But for those that are detail-oriented, proofreading isn’t a one-and-done kind of deal. For them, it’s common practice to complete their work, put it down, and come back to it a few minutes to a few days later. 

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They Proofread (Multiple Times)

Then, they reread it and check it over for typos and grammatical errors, put it down again, check it for context and completion, and repeat. They may do this again and again until they arrive at a product they feel good about. Proofreading multiple times ensures you’re representing your best self before you hit send on that email and that 

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They Proofread (Multiple Times)

you’ve put your best work forward before your big presentation. It can also help avoid embarrassing mishaps down the road.

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They’re a Grammar Geek

They cringe when someone misuses "their," "there," and "they’re" or maybe they identify as an Oxford comma enthusiast. Just because something sounds okay, doesn’t mean it’s grammatically correct. Detail-oriented people take the time to ensure everything they write adheres to proper structure and syntax. They 

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They’re a Grammar Geek

always want to put their best foot forward. This goes hand-in-hand with proofreading.

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They Ask Critical Questions (And a Lot of Them)

Asking questions ensures they fully understand whatever it is they’re doing. They don’t go into projects blind or assuming anything. They ask probing questions to gain a complete understanding of what it is they’re trying to accomplish, why they’re working towards that goal, and everything else in between. Having an analytical mind 

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They Ask Critical Questions (And a Lot of Them)

ensures that they don’t let any details slip through the cracks. Some may mistake their numerous, detailed questions as a trait of a perfectionist, which can be the case, but not always. Accuracy can be misinterpreted as perfection. If you’re detail-oriented, don’t let the fear of appearing as a perfectionist keep you from doing quality work.

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They Pick Up on Body Language and Social Cues

It's actually a little annoying, isn't it? They live by their planner or their Google calendar. Their to-do list is likely color-coded and their bookshelf alphabetized. A key detail-oriented skill is organization. Establishing a fool-proof system that works is essential to a high-efficiency work and personal life.

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They’re Always Prepared

Planning is the name of the game—and they play to win. They come to meetings prepared, they plan ahead for projects, and they establish reasonable timelines.  Detail-oriented people understand that planning sets themselves and their team up for success. Identifying potential roadblocks, doing the necessary research, and 

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They’re Always Prepared

establishing a strategy before diving into a task or project helps to eliminate issues on the backend and ensure a smoother overall process.

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They May Get Mistaken as a Micromanager

Others may understand their crazy attention to detail, but they may not like it when that hyper-focus falls on them.  If you’re a manager or a leader of a team and you point out little details and flaws in other people’s work, they may be taken aback by your “pickiness” and accuse you of being a micromanager. Micromanagers want to be 

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They May Get Mistaken as a Micromanager

cc’ed on every email, ask for constant updates, and may never seem happy with whatever final product is delivered. You can combat micromanager accusations by explaining your "why" to your coworkers. If you’re asking for a tenth revision on that report, explain why its accuracy is so important.

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They Operate With High Efficiency and Effectiveness

High efficiency leads to maximum productivity, while high effectiveness means you’re getting the job done right.  Combine them both and you’ve found a recipe for success. A key detail-oriented skill is time management. Without the ability to manage your time efficiently, you’re starting at a loss.

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They Operate With High Efficiency and Effectiveness

This often means planning and preparing so you can dive into a task head-on and fully prepared. It also means that while you’re working on a task, you’re limiting distractions. Yes, we’re talking about your phone. Turning off notifications or hitting airplane mode for a period of time can help you laser-focus.

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They’re Curious

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it keeps the detail-oriented person learning every day. Being inquisitive has its perks when it provides them with valuable information they wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Genuine curiosity is the key to knowledge-gathering. The more you know, the better your view of the world will be. This adds valuable perspective 

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They’re Curious

to everything you do. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions and inspect the people and places you encounter in your everyday life and beyond. Your curious nature allows you to gather information and find solutions to your problems. Need to become a better listener? Download this free worksheet that teaches you five ways you can become a better listener today.

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They Produce a Polished + Quality Work Product

It’s no surprise that detail-oriented people have high standards. It’s because they know the work they create is a direct reflection of their brand. When you consistently produce a great product, people learn that they can rely on you to get the job done, and more importantly, get it done well. Not giving your stamp of approval until everything is 

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They Produce a Polished + Quality Work Product

exactly as it should be means you’re delivering a product you can feel good about.

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They Add Value to Your Team

Being detail-oriented means little if you’re not adding value. Their team is likely in awe of their commitment to detail and consistent way of getting the job done. It’s second nature for them to be a team player. Whether they’re contributing with detailed reports, thought-out plans, or comprehensive notes, you know you can count on them to bring something to the table.

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