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Posts Tagged ‘focus’

It’s the relationship, stupid!

April 13, 2012 2 comments

With apologies for the bowdlerisation of the 1992 US Presidential campaign’s famous “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Working recently with a whole team of new people and in a culture that puts a huge store on relationships I was strongly reminded of the need to get the right balance of task, process and relationships.

What do I mean? well when you are up against a deadline it’s very easy to focus on task, task, task!  “We just need to get the job done”.

But I was reminded that sometimes you just need to sit back and think about what the people involved need to help them succeed.  Picture the scene……

As I sat in the umpteenth meeting room, all alone, waiting for everyone else to turn up, feeling impatient to get on, I started to see things in a different light ……… my facetious side thought “Just abandon all hope of getting this done quickly”, my insightful side reflected “Use this valuable thinking time to work out a better strategy” – then the two came together: to quote one of my favourite sayings ‘What’s the definition of madness?’  “Keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result”.

That’s when I remembered what I’d forgotten.

In any (business) endeavour you need to work on 3 aspects – task, process and relationships.  You need to focus on whatever the task may be and ensure it gets done – but to do that you also need process – a means of getting there, and people or relationships to get it done.  And you must be constantly reviewing and rebalancing these to get the best possible progress and outcomes.  Concentrate only on task and people will feel bruised, misunderstood, demotivated…. take care only of the people and nothing gets done.  Without some process you don’t have a way of achieving anything.

So I just sat back: one by one they came in…we chatted, we got to know each other.  We put everything on the table and talked it through.  In no time we were all throwing in ideas, feeding off each other’s creativity – having great fun, enjoying each other’s company – and most importantly, making decisions and agreeing a way forward.

That’s what makes business work….  How’s your balance?

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No 1 tip for getting focused

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s a new year – well, newish.  A time for resolutions – and by now, 25 days in, if you made some you’ve probably already given up.  Research* shows that most last less than a week!

So if there’s something you really want to achieve, just give it a laser like focus!

Do you find yourself saying any of these things?Laser like focus

  • “I’ll just do these quick jobs first …..”
  • “Where did the morning/day go?”
  • “Oh no, I still haven’t had time to work on that big project today”
  • “I just haven’t had time to do that”

This was definitely me until I decided it couldn’t go on or I would never achieve the big, important things I most wanted to do.  Through some coaching I realised that there is just one way to focus – and that seems appropriate when we are talking about focus!  It works for others I’ve passed this tip on to as well.

And the really good news? – it’s not just one thing,  it’s simple as well!

Work on that big, most important project first thing in the morning – dedicate some real brain-space time while you feel energised and upbeat and before everything else starts crowding in on you.  It works partly for that reason and also because those many ‘small, easy tasks’ are never actually finished – every day more appear!  It’s also a very virtuous circle – you feel good about yourself and what you’ve achieved and so become more enthusiastic to carry on,  achieving even more than you expected.

So give it a go and let me know how you get on – why not start tomorrow?  unless you haven’t got time of course…..?

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*University of Hereford

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