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Daniel Goleman: Why Professionals Need Focus



Daniel Goleman: Why Professionals Need Focus
Daniel Goleman I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Daniel Goleman, who is an internationally known psychologist that lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and on college campuses. Goleman reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years.


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The importance of focus

The importance of focus

Our focus matters immensely in everything we do. The better we can pay attention, the more excellent the results in everything from learning to leadership.

There are many varieties of attention: getting a job done well requires applying concentration, for instance, while creative insights flow best when we are in a loose, open awareness.




3 types of focus

  • Inner focus: it relates to self-awareness and self-management (how well we can tune in our values, know our strengths and limits).
  • Other focus: it refers to how well we attune to people (it's about empathy, about how we understand the way people perceive things and how they feel).
  • Outer focus: it refers to how well we can sense the large forces that shape our world (whose opinion matters most for a decision, how new technologies will roil a market, environmental trends, etc.)



Being intentional with our focus

Being intentional with our focus

While today's technologies have many advantages, we have to learn to be more intentional about focusing – for instance, carving out space in our day when we can concentrate without such distractions.

We also need to strengthen our focus. It works like a muscle: there are workouts for the focusing circuitry in the brain which can help us sustain focus better.



Thriving in the workspace

Thriving in the workspace
  • Pay full attention to the task you are doing and avoid multitasking. 
  • Get expert feedback on what corrections in your performance will improve your game. 
  • Put in the time needed. The more you practice winning moves, the stronger the brain circuitry for them becomes – and the better you get.




Decisions Using Our Instinct

Decisions Using Our Instinct

Business leaders often make important decisions that defy any logical analysis. This process may be termed as a gut instinct, a hunch, or an inner voice.

Our emotions and feelings may b...

Patterns In Randomness

Our gut instinct or intuition can come in many forms, like detecting patterns in places where other people only see randomness or having a sudden flash of brilliance which goes against the grain but feels right.

Gathering enough data to make a rational decision also takes up a lot of time, and in today's fast-paced world, by the time one procures all data, the decision becomes antiquated.

Subconscious And Conscious Brain

Our subconsious mind continuously processes information, even when we sleep, which our conscious mind finally learns or infers, lighting a bulb inside us.

We know the gut feeling is true because our 'right brain'(intuition and emotion-based) already knew the revelation that our left brain (logic and consciousness-based) now has come to know.

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9 Skills That Will Immediately Improve Your Life

  • Thinking of your time as money
  • Scheduling your energy
  • Networking
  • Getting started early
  • Planning everything in advance
  • Setting short goals
  • Medita...

Without learning to manage your time, you let urgent tasks and other people control how you spend your life.
Without learning to manage your time, you let urgent tasks and other people control how you spend your life.

“Remember, people do business with people they know, like, and trust.” - Susan Solovic

“Remember, people do business with people they know, like, and trust.” - Susan Solovic

Great Leaders

Knowledge, smarts and vision are characteristic of a great leader. Add to these the ability to identify and monitor emotions (your own and others) and to manage relationships. 



  • Realistic self-confidence: You recognize your own abilities and shortcomings; you operate from competence and know when to rely on someone else.
  • Emotional insight: You are aware of your own feelings. You can identify the cause of the emotions to help you manage them.


  • Resilience: You know how to stay calm under pressure and can recover quickly from upsets. 
  • Emotional balance: You can control any distressful feelings without blowing up at people.
  • Self-motivation: You keep moving toward long-term goals despite setbacks.