Monday, 29 June 2009

Creating Focus

Creating Clarity or Focus

© Se├ín Weafer 2008 all rights reserved

In this blog I cover the second of those C's which is CLARITY. Another way of defining clarity is Focus or that which we pay close attention to.

It's interesting how so many people who come to me for coaching always raise the issue of ‘time management' as a problem for them. When they do I tend to quote my old mentor Dr. Denis Waitley who always said that ‘time management is a fallacy. An hour cannot be made longer than it is nor yesterday called back into today'. Time management is not the problem, he would say, but management of one's focus. When one learns to management one's focus - then time moves to aid you.

When we have taken the time to consider what sort of an environment we are operating in and are likely to operate in for the foreseeable future (see Context) the next step in the game of becoming proactive in business is to define what we are going to do about that and then why that is important to us.

Focus is composed of two things, not just one. It is composed first of the ‘What'; as in what specifically is it that I want to be doing here to make a difference. But there is a second part to that focus which is often overlooked and that is the ‘Why'.

The ‘Why' is the personal reason as to why it is important to accomplish the ‘What'. In coaching, I call it the emotional trigger behind the goal. It is often overlooked or assumed - it should be spelled out every time when defining a goal.

When the ‘what' and the why' are defined and then brought together we now have a very powerful goal and a focus for the future. We are now starting to shape in our minds the kind of ‘context' we want to be working in.

An example of a what and why might be ‘I want to drive sales targets to 110% this quarter so that I can take my kids to Disneyland with my bonus cheque' - the ‘what' benefits the business but the ‘why' benefits the self.

There are other guidelines when setting your focus or goals for the future:

1.     They should be written in the present tense - people often make the mistake of writing their goals with the future tense ‘I will'. This does not take into consideration the motivator behind goals which are the emotions. Emotions are based in the subconscious part of the mind which does not recognise a future tense - only the present tense. So, by writing goals and saying ‘I will' instead of ‘I want' - you have already sabotaged yourself.

2. They should be personal - written with the personal pronoun ‘I' - we have to take ownership of our own futures.

3. They should be particular - so the more specific you make the goal the more likely it is to happen. If you say ‘I want to make more money' then you will but without a specified amount it could be anything. Whereas if you say ‘I want to make an additional £100,000' that's the goal that the mind now sets out to achieve.

4. They should be passionate - in that they should have a powerful ‘Why' attached.

5. They should be positive - as in written with the positive outcome in mind. Words have power and we should ensure that the words we use when crafting the business future should be words that attract success. So choose your words carefully, for whatever you ask for shall be given.

Setting the goal - and defining clearly it's ‘what' and ‘why' components is the first stage of creating success. The next stage is taking ‘Control'.

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