*As Seen Originally On Forbes
What were your business resolutions for the New Year? Have you started to implement them? Are you seeing results?
If 2016 is starting to look like what you didn’t want in 2015, don’t worry, there is still time to achieve your desired outcomes… professionally and personally.
It’s tempting to say “to heck with it” and proceed like you normally do. We rush rush rush and are so excited to make so much extreme progress in a very short amount of time that we forget to reflect, adjust, focus, and put a plan in place. But let’s not this time. Let’s back up, take a deep breath and focus. Focus is the key. This is what I am working on with several of our executive coaching clients and their teams and the results have been remarkable.
Let’s get centered. Let’s get focused. Let’s rock 2016!
In order to make any changes, personal, professional, or organizational, you have to know where you currently stand. It’s not sexy. It’s not fun. But you have to do it. I would recommend starting every client engagement with some form of assessment. Sometimes it’s a Leadership Assessment, Growth Assessment, or a Cultural Assessment, where you can interview a relevant sample of a team and uncover shortcuts and roadblocks to growth. If you are aiming to change something, enlist the support of a trusted advisor or executive coach, because it’s almost impossible to see what’s going on from inside. You’re too deep in your world and don’t have a full perspective.
Here’s what can happen if you don’t step back and assess with an unbiased outsider: the blame game starts, and the next thing you know you are on the precipitous path of death spiral – heading downward instead of in the up direction that you want. Here’s how you can avoid that situation.
The first dimension of focus is to be present with people here and now. This means if you are at a meeting, you are listening to what people are saying and not thinking about the past or future.
The second dimension of focus is to be real about where you are, to make a clear distinction between envisioning an outcome and wishful thinking. This is why we like growth and leadership assessments.
The third dimension of focus is to prioritize high-value (strategic or “top down”) activities andmanage low-value (distracting or “bottom up”) time wasters.
When you are focused you:
- Feel engaged
- Feel present
- Your team feels that you are aware & that you care
Are You Truly Focused?
Where is your focus right now? How present are you right now? Do you have a little voice in your head right now listing all the things you need to do today, tomorrow, and next week?
Being present means being here, focusing on now, and nowhere else. Not in the past, not in the future. Just here. Being present means looking at your world, your situation, your team, your concerns or fears, your intentions, your beliefs, and your commitments. Being present is essential to lead, to feel emotionally engaged, and to help your team feel you are aware of key issues.
Why is being present sometimes hard? Because being truly here sometimes hurts, or sometimes means we need to deal with things we have been avoiding. The more we can address an issue that moment we perceive it, the calmer and more present we are, and the easier it is for others to follow our lead.
How To Get And Stay Focused In The Now
One of the best ways to get and stay present is to focus on how you are increasing safety (and encouraging people to take risks), belonging (a “We’re all in this together, we’re the same” experience), and mattering (“It matters that you, specifically, are here; I see your unique gifts”) ineach interaction you have.
With this focus, the constant parade of bright shiny distractions has less ability to pull your attention away. You’ll also avoid boredom (which pulls us away from being present) because you’ll be focusing on the fascinating person you’re interacting with. And everyone, I promise, is fascinating in some way.
Remember: Safety + Belonging + Mattering = Trust.
How’s your focus?
*As Seen Originally On Forbes