Very often in life you will find yourself talking to someone, they are paying attention to what you are saying, BUT they are hearing a slightly different message than the one you are delivering.
I think that one of the biggest difference between a “seasoned professional”, in almost any field, and a “newbie” is their understanding of the nuances in their profession.
I operate in the staffing world, where the key roles for our business are sales and recruiting. Both of which involve significant people interaction and both of which require an ability to grasp the importance of the nuances in our business.
For example … regular contact with our clients is extremely important. However if I am a client and the only time I hear from a salesperson is when they are asking me for business I might not be as welcoming as when some percentage of the time they are bringing value in other ways. So a salesperson might differentiate them self by the small things … a thoughtful message; forwarding interesting articles of interest; a call out of the blue for a beer/a lunch/a coffee; etc.
Another example might be the recruiter who ignores the calls from people wanting to hear about a job, or get feedback on an interview. You can be successful in the short term, but if you have a reputation for treating people poorly it will catch up with you.
In almost any profession if I do not value the significant difference between an email, a telephone conversation and a face to face conversation then I am missing out. Having a face to face with a colleague, employee, client etc will always be appreciated over the email!
Some more examples we all see regularly …
There is a difference between a server in a restaurant who serves all of their clients efficiently, and one who does the same with a smile and a kind word.
There is a difference between the professional who provides you efficient service, and the one who takes time out to know you a little, while also providing good service.
There is a difference between the teacher that teaches a curriculum, and one that recognises those students that might need a little extra help.
Almost every job offers the opportunity to differentiate based on a very small shift in empathy, focus or just plain friendliness.
Do you understand the nuances that could help you in your field?
Probably even more importantly …do you care enough to want to understand those nuances?