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Daniel Goleman: Why Professionals Need Focus

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.)

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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.

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. 

Qual...

Self-Awareness
  • 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.
Self-Management
  • 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.
William James

“Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.”

William James
The 2 kinds of distractions
  • Sensory distractions (External): The things happening around us, like colleagues talking, phones ringing, people moving around us, music playing, etc.
  • Emotional distractions (Internal): The thoughts that make our attention drift from what we’re doing. For example, remembering a phone call you need to make or thinking about a future meeting.
Daniel Goleman
Daniel Goleman

“It’s not the chatter of people around us that is the most powerful distractor, but rather the chatter of our own minds.”