How Focus Relates to Getting Results

Blog0003 - Andrew Long

How Focus Relates to Getting Results

I talk a lot about focus. When it comes to focus and getting results, one of the things I do is calibrate the person based on behavior rather than just what they say. Often, what people say may cover up the reality of what they are trying to communicate. This is drawn from the study of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)

The number one way I can illustrate this is by diving into the idea of focus a little bit. Most people think they are focused on what they want, but let’s delve deeper into this concept and see if that’s really the case.

When teaching mind mechanics, I emphasize focusing on what you want, rather than attempting to control the thousands of thoughts that pass through our minds every day.

Emotions are a touchy subject and people often try to avoid or repress them. However, I suggest that emotions can serve as a guidance system. You choose positive emotions not because you force them upon yourself, but because they are indicative of where your focus lies.

When you are focused on what you want, and your internal programs are aligned with your goals, the resulting emotion will be positive.

So you must focus on what you want, and if you are a coach or a manager your client or employee must do the same. Do not be deceived by their words as their words may not reflect their true focus. They are not lying to you, but rather they may think they are focused on what they want when really their focus is elsewhere. Could you see that focusing on becoming wealthy is different than focusing on paying off debt? The former is likely something you want and debt is something that you don’t want.

Here is an anecdote that demonstrates the difference between focusing on what you want and focusing away from what you don’t want.

Imagine you wake up on New Year's Day, having let your health lapse and feeling disgusted by your appearance. At one end of the room, you have the undesirable state of being overweight, and at the other end is the goal of being fit. In this example, the orientation of your body and what you are looking at represent your focus. If you are closer to the undesirable state, your motivation will be high, but as you move further away, your motivation decreases.

As you begin to work towards your goal of being fit, you may still secretly be focused on avoiding the undesirable state. This focus can lead to a yo-yo effect, as your motivation fluctuates based on your proximity to the undesirable state. As a coach or manager, it is crucial to calibrate based on behavior. Anyone experiencing this yo-yo effect is focused on avoiding what they don’t want, regardless of the words they use.

In contrast, focusing on what you want may start with lower motivation, but as you make steady progress towards your goal, your motivation increases. This approach leads to a more consistent, stable journey towards achieving your desired outcome.

The key takeaway is that you get what you are focused on, not what you talk about. To be a successful coach/manager, you need to understand how to work within the mechanics of your client’s/employee’s mind to help them change their internal focus. Positive thinking is essential, but it’s not enough. Many coaches make the mistake of relying on motivation alone, which is insufficient for lasting change.

To truly help your clients, you must learn how they think, understand their model of reality, and enable them to access the resources they need to choose the actions that will lead to the results they want. This can be done by learning NLP techniques such as eliciting representational systems, values, meta-programs, language patterns, and more. By honing these skills, you can construct the mindset your clients need to achieve their goals and become a more effective coach.

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