Public Enemy No. 1 for leadership and management is distracted focus. It leads to lack of clarity and reduces personal and workforce engagement, productivity and performance. Change the focus dynamic in your life and you will improve your personal performance, engage your team and improve long term success.
Unclear goals and distracted focus slow your productivity and limit profitability. You can eliminate distracted focus and harness it to maximize productivity by first acknowledging that there is a natural flow to focus in your life and in the workplace.
Observe the number of distractions that interrupt the flow of your focus and what happens to it and the focus of your team in just one twenty-four hour period. You will quickly realize that focus needs to be protected and harnessed so it can be unleashed on productivity and performance, not the most recent crises or minutiae. Watch for some of the following distractors and interruptions:
• telephone/cell phone calls and text messages, business and personal
• social media and email intrusion
• peer pressure
• associates stopping by to chat
• want-to-be emergencies
• disenfranchised team members sabotaging productivity
• lack of clarity in goals and objectives
• poor communication of goals and objectives
• complex instruction
Once you’ve observed the impaired attention and concentration, the distraction of irrelevant stimuli, the frequent shifts from one uncompleted task to another and see what is occurring right in front of you, you will be ready to make some simple changes necessary to unleash the power of focus.
Eliminate Flow of Focus Distractions
Ensure that focus is flowing where you want it to flow. As mentioned in Part 1, focus flows to and from many directions. The challenge is to eliminate the unbridled chaos distracting and diverting the flow of focus of your workforce so you can harness its flow, maximizing productivity and performance. Increase the flow of focus in the following categories using some easy to apply tools.
1. leadership to the workforce – be clear and concise, use five words or less to communicate, paint word pictures or use visuals
2. bottom up from the workforce to management – think we not me
3. inside out company/ leadership vision to the workforce – create communications that speak to all levels of the workforce using all audio/visual methods of communication – do not rely on just the written or spoken word
4. outside in suggestions/complaints from the workforce to the leadership – present complaints with a solution or suggestions to for improvement
5. worker to worker – keep it strictly business
6. physical workplace environment to the workforce – remove clutter and energy drainers like boxes, files, excess noise, jarring colors on the walls, excessive family mementos and pictures in cubicles, inappropriate or no dress code
7. external forces and events to leadership and the workforce – respond quickly with a brief concise message to outside events, announce it, briefly explain it and move on
8. personal communications and issues to individuals – limit all personal communications to break or lunch time along with social media interaction
Like Steve Jobs and Walt Disney, being aware of how focus flows in your workplace and personal life is the first step to controlling leadership’s Public Enemy No. 1. According to Disney, “Of all the things I've done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.”
The above tools help you become more aware of where the flow of focus goes and how to develop a roadmap to harnessing and unleashing it and improving the success of your workforce.
© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2011
Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She creates environments that engage and focus your workforce. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage, Unleash the Power of Focus and Feng Shui, So Easy a Child Can Do It and can be reached at 561-799-3443 or www.engagetolead.com.