Leadership Communication is about more than techniques, ability, vision and strategy.
Leaders of people and organisations are challenged every day to communicate clearly and convincingly. Without their passion and drive, their view of the future and their words to encourage and lead, teams are left wondering and possibly creating their own, sometimes multiple, ideas of the goal ahead.
With the onslaught of messaging via emails, social media, the press and the communities around us, it can be difficult for leaders to keep a clear mind, stay focused, communicate well and deliver the performance required of them. Much is written about mental health and the need for self-care. And while not reducing these needs to any form of insignificance, it is also true that often, simple steps can help avoid a downward spiral.
We have looked at some the key questions around leadership focus:
- When is a good time for leaders to re-focus, set priorities?
- How can they do this easily and without loss of valuable time?
- How can they ensure that their focus is not just on financials, tactics and projects, but includes people?
- And how can they dig deeper into their capacity for creativity and innovation?
We have developed a simple, easily actionable Mental Focus Map
In no more than 25 minutes a day, this map can help leaders – and others – reduce time spent on superfluous activities and help them re-focus on priorities. 25 minutes well spent in the morning, before the day really begins, will ultimately cut time, frustration and stress as well as create a mindset which provides the breeding-ground for healthy communication.
We believe that it is important to start the day thinking about people, i.e.
those around us and ourselves. Too many times, we give way to machines, electronics and phone calls. Before jumping into the working day, take time to ensure you and others have time to engage in personal communication.
Then, take time to re-focus, each day, on your macro and micro goals. Think them through, keep them at the forefront of your mind and let them charge your actions and communication throughout the day. When you are focused, your teams can focus.
And finally, streamline your day by creating your top-five list of daily goals.
TAKE 25 MINUTES A DAY TO FOCUS AND PREPARE YOUR MIND.
BE PURPOSEFUL – NOT DRIVEN.
1. PEOPLE COME FIRST
2. MACRO AND MICRO GOALS
3. GET READY FOR DAILY BUSINESS
In a world of artificial intelligence, online social interaction and increasing pressures to deliver things, projects and return on investment, people can easily be forgotten. Our ability to empathise, to reach out, to truly engage is hampered and reduced to a quick email – when we have a moment. This is not good for the soul, nor for community – and community is essential to our individual as well as our corporate well-being.
In this section of the Mental Focus Map we also encourage leaders to take time to focus on themselves, spend at least 5 minutes on reading something or listening to something that will sharpen their skills. And finally, we suggest that a singular focus on either scripture, another form of motivational writing, poetry or quote can help individuals re-group, reflect and gain a new perspective. Combining this with writing down the verse or quote by hand – for some this might include using colour – will help open up a side in the brain which is not used when only using digital technology.
According to a study performed at the Indiana University in 2016 the mere action of writing by hand unleashes creativity not easily accessed in any other way.
And high-tech magnetic resonance imaging has indeed shown that low-tech writing by hand increases neural activity in certain sections the brand, much like meditation.
It is easy to lose sight of our goals as we open the computer and let emails dictate the direction of our day. We become complacent, reassuring ourselves that we are working and being productive as long as we answer emails. Technology starts dictating our destiny, urgent, but not so important requests move the top of our priority list and our goals fade into nothingness.We want to encourage leaders to re-focus on their macro and micro goals each day – to be purposeful in spending their daily 8-12 hours and not to waste time. Ask yourself where you want to be in 3-5 years and then where you want to be in 1 year. Everything you do and everything you communicate needs to evolve around these two questions.
Once you have walked through the first two sets of steps, you take time to think about the day ahead and ensure that you have 5 very clear goals set before you. Celebrating small and larger goals at the end of a day, week, month or year is important in this process.
GET YOUR FREE MENTAL FOCUS MAP HERE.
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