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A simple trick to improve your eye for detail

"You look different... trim your eyebrows?"

I have a new favorite pastime. Whenever I have a few minutes of downtime or just want to chill, I go through my list of recent contacts in Relenta, and replace their placeholder avatars with real ones. You can almost always find a person’s photo these days. Usually LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter do the trick, and, as an added bonus, you can connect.

Entertainment factor aside, seeing the face of the person you’re working with has two scientifically proven advantages: it increases your empathy and eye for detail – the primary hallmarks of excellent customer service.

Israeli radiologist Yehonatan N. Turner conducted a study in which patient photos were attached to the radiologic images.

You don’t have to be a doctor to conclude that seeing a person’s face increases empathy. For me that’s a given. The most interesting part of the study had to do with so called “incidental findings,” or things that radiologists notice on the image that are beyond the scope of the original exam.

Here’s the kicker, as reported by Science Daily:

In order to assess the effect of the [patient] photographs on interpretation, 81 examinations with incidental findings were shown in a blinded fashion to the same radiologists three months later but without the [patient] photos. Approximately 80 percent of the radiologic incidental findings reported originally were not reported when the photograph was omitted from the file.

So, those monopoly dude placeholders you have in your Relenta account? Make it a part of your routine to replace them with people’s real faces. They’ll be glad you did.

  • Joannes Vermorel

    I had never noticed that you could change the avatar. Thanks a lot for the tip. Just a suggestion though, would it be possible to directly cut-and-paste a URL instead of uploading a file? Indeed, there is zero chance that a photo of a contact happens to be on my machine, it’s always online (thus a tedious download+upload process). What do you think?

  • Jarrod Chesney

    Relenta links with those services, It’d be nice if it updated the avatar with the profile pics from those services if non existed.

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