Drama

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Reading time: 2 min.

Many of us fall prey to drama at work and in life.

When I raise the alarm, call out the failings, or even just quietly complain, I hope to move people to my cause through commiseration (literally, being miserable with me). I may do this angrily, dryly, boisterously, or even warmly. I don’t even know I’m doing it. The result: whole companies or families tumble into a funk because one or a few of us are unconsciously whipping up the drama.

Drama does damage because, in that funk, we put way too much of our focus on what’s wrong. We direct our attention to making the dramatist feel better (then we can feel better, too). This leaves us with surprisingly little mental or emotional resources to make things better.

Instead of falling into drama’s trap, we can choose to springboard off of what’s wrong. Not commiserating, we pivot to, “I get it; let’s improve it.” Focusing on what’s right and committing to make it even better, we gather the resources we need to quickly solve what’s wrong.

Works wonders. No drama needed.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Claudio Nichele (@jihan65) Busto (cortile interno piazza Navona, Roma) via photopin (license)

The Danger of Focusing on What’s Wrong

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Will=Our inner game
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Just look at everything we have to do.

-Every leader

Though there is so much to do, fix, and improve (and we will never, ever be done), we can focus too much on what’s wrong. Then we and those around us will feel bad (resistant) and everything will be much harder to accomplish.

The cure? Focus on and give praise for (1) the vast majority of things that are going right and (2) how much better things will be with each fix or improvement. Then the doing, fixing, and improving will feel good and go swimmingly well.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Norbert Eder Grumpy Cat via photopin (license)

If We Focus On What’s Wrong…

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…we will only succeed in perpetuating it (or something like it).

In other words, we will never solve a problem by complaining about it, wishing or waiting for it to change, or arguing for the power of any obstacles to prevent its solution.

Focus on what’s right, good leader.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: And don’t let the how get in the way. Focus on what’s right and the hows will take care of themselves.

 

Today’s photo credit: ZEISS Microscopy ZEISS LSM 800 for Materials via photopin (license)

Definite, Compelling, and Grand

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If we focus on something we don’t like (especially if we go on about what’s wrong with it and why we don’t like it) then try to fix it, we’ll struggle mightily because our focus has an odd way of preserving things. (Think about the war on drugs or trying to get teammates finally do that thing they never do. Rock. Hard place.)

Upon seeing something we don’t like, we can choose to focus on something definite and compelling that we want instead. If we then set about building that, we will have a grand time because our focus has an odd way of creating things. (Think about those famously successful neighborhood revitalizations or those companies with great cultures everyone wants to emulate. They all started with a choice.)

The only trick is making sure we aren’t focusing on what we don’t want while we set out to build what we do want. This would be very frustrating because, you guessed it, our focus has an odd way of getting us more of what we focus on.

May your 2017 be definite, compelling, and grand.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Jeff Rivers canopy via photopin (license)

Practice

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Ever wonder what it will take for our ship to come in, for us to be finally more calm, for things to start working right, or for our work and our relationships to click? It won’t be some insight. Nor will it be something that someone else does for us. It is something only we can do: practice a new focus and attitude.

Our focus and attitude have a dramatic effect on results. Up to now, we practiced a focus and attitude that we thought would get results. That practice helped us build what we might call our winning ways. These ways got us here. But when we notice some desire remaining out of reach, that’s our sign to change our focus and attitude.

We are so used to our winning ways that a change in focus and attitude can be hard. To make such a change, we practice. Steady, regular, small (at first) practice of a buzz-raising focus and attitude will do the trick.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: What’s the new focus and attitude? Since most of us are extremely well practiced at a focus on what could go wrong and a fine attitude of judgment, we’d probably do very well to focus on positive expectations and an attitude of joy.

PPS: Yup; lots of practice needed. And it pays off handsomely.

 

Today’s photo credit:
pan optike
cc

Paint a Picture

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
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Worry (or, more mildly, concern) binds us. It keeps us overly focused on avoiding what could go wrong. This limits the time and energy we need to have things go right.

The antidote is simple: spend more time envisioning what we want.

Try this: take just four minutes this morning to paint a picture in your mind of some result you really want. Make it rich in compelling, exciting details. Whenever bad-feeling worries, concerns, or “yeah, buts” show up, set them aside and return to the picture you are painting. You will likely notice that 1) you feel better than you did four minutes earlier and 2) getting the results you want will become easier.

Feel good, good leader.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We can use this to improve our thinking and effectiveness for a project, goal, week, or day.

 

Today’s photo credit: Jocelyn Durston cc

New Focus. New Results.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Will=Our inner game
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When we notice something right, we can encourage more of it by focusing on it. Appreciating people’s good work, for example, sets the stage for them to do it again and again.

But what about when we notice something wrong? Most of us tend to focus, focus, focus on it. We perform a litany of What happened? How did it happen? This sucks. Who’s to blame? How do we fix it? I hate this. When might it happen again? Why do these things always happen? What needs to be done?

What if we had a different habit?

What if, as soon as we notice something wrong, we make a choice of what we want instead? Then, rather than going through the litany, what if we focused on what we want, how great it will be when it shows up, and on curiously wondering how it might?

New focus, new results.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Mark Hunter cc

Clear

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Leading, Will=Our inner game
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Get clear on the what and the why. The how, who, and when will become silly simple. Any focus on the who, how, and when without really knowing the what and the why explains most of the resistance, pain, or frustration we experience.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Yes. Resistance, pain, and frustration are strong indicators. See them and you’ll likely see a lack of (shared) clarity about the what and the why.

PPS: Strategy then tactics. Tactics isolated from strategy (esp. the “why”) is a recipe for disaster.

PPPS: Yes, we still have to follow through. But follow-through happens easily-happily-freely once we have the what and the why plus the who, how, and when.

 

Today’s photo credit: Dean Shareski cc

Which is Better: Avoid or Enjoy?

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There is a vast difference between seeking positive and avoiding negative. It is very difficult to generate positive by avoiding negative. We all want and deserve positive. Avoiding negative just can’t cut it anymore.

At work and in life, set aside what you wish to avoid and tell me what you want to enjoy.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Try this shift as often as you notice you’re focused on the negative. Hint: negative feel bad.

PPS: What is positive and negative can shift. Use your feelings to discern.

 

Today’s photo credit: Alan Levine cc