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Daniel Goleman: Why Professionals Need 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.

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Daniel Goleman: Why Professionals Need Focus

Daniel Goleman: Why Professionals Need Focus

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2013/10/08/daniel-goleman-why-professionals-need-focus/

forbes.com

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Key Ideas

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

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

  • 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.

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