driving [working] is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving [working]. All distractions endanger the safety of drivers [employees], passengers [colleagues] and bystanders [customers], and cell phone use [multi-tasking] is the number one distraction behind the wheel [desk].
Imagine you’re in sales leadership and you’re in discussions with a training and consulting firm to provide much-needed skill development to improve individual, team and, most importantly, corporate performance. The discovery process is going well and there’s strong alignment between training objectives and Sales vision. And then suddenly the quarter comes to a close, sales are down, and funding for this (and other) training initiatives is suspended.
If you’re looking in the right places, such as Forbes, Huffington Post, TED, Harvard Business Review, NPR and the like, there is a heightened focus on the need to “prepare leaders” for the challenges of running businesses in today’s global marketplace wrought with highly complex, intensely competitive and rapidly changing environments.
Mindfulness is a hot topic. Just in the last three months, articles abound in The Guardian, Business Standard, Huffington Post, New York Times and Reuters. What is it and why would we want to exhibit it?
Mindfulness is a practice of focusing on the present rather than dwelling on the past or ruminating on the future. When we focus our attention in this way, we become calmer, more productive, and engaged.
Ever watch one of the talent, dance or voice reality shows? As a guilty pleasure, I’ve seen them all at one point and after every performance a panel of celebrity judges gives the performer feedback. Each judge has their own style and some have become infamous (think Simon Cowell and his no-mince opinions and harsh tones). From my perspective, some judges are better than others at structuring and expressing their feedback.
When you’re involved in a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement with someone there are a multitude of factors that can affect the process and outcome. One of the more significant variables is relationship. In the midst of ongoing discussion - negotiating a contract, persuading someone to share your perspective, offering feedback, resolving a conflict – the status of your relationship with the other party can swing the pendulum dramatically.
Assuming you agree that time is valuable, ask yourself these questions:
Have you ever wondered how you could be more influential in situations in your life? Having studied, observed, practiced and taught best practices to being influential for decades, I believe a good start is to first influence yourself and then you can be influential with others. If you go into the situation without having influenced yourself first, you may be unprepared and resistant and find that getting to a good outcome is tougher that you hoped. To me, influencing yourself first means putting yourself in the right mindset and planning a little so the conversation will flow in a positive direction.
To a consultant's delight, the first quarter of the calendar year can be quite busy from a sales perspective as existing clients and prospects are heavily engaged in matching their organizational needs to a training firm's offerings. A company's budgets, goals, and other internal and external factors drive the process. Key personnel from relevant parts of the organization get involved to facilitate buy-in.
Often times, the process becomes more of a drive-thru experience where components are quickly selected from a plethora of menu items without enough thought as to what goes together, how to pace, and what happens afterwards.
There is something so inspiring about Olympic athletes. There is a concrete takeaway that I can actually apply in my daily life, which these top performers exude. I call it the olympic mindset and it goes well beyond the technical skills of their sport.