Focus Retargeting

Desire in state adjustment, the target focus is from the current state to the next. Natural components of the mind will inhibit our ability to track the ideal state. For instance, when prior expectations have not been met.

“John should have taken out the garbage.”

This statement is a simple example of misdirected focus. There are two opportunities, first would be, from here, how do I change the state of the garbage? And secondly, what do I provide John to help them understand how vital this work is?

There is another component of focus retargeting that is highly beneficial, which is that it invites movements toward joy and less time spent in emotional turmoil over a given primary outcome. In our last example, we could have the thought instead of:

“Things will be much easier once John is more consistent with taking out the garbage.”

“Once the garbage is out of the house, that odd smell will be gone.”

We apply this to leadership in the same way. Instead of getting absorbed in the emotions and thoughts derived from failing in a particular way, retarget focus on the following state that would benefit the situation. Is it a new deadline? Was there too much committed to at once? Maybe we were misheard, or we did not say what we meant at the moment.

What if the team understood how important this deadline was?

Good management requires that the first missed deadline-enabling constraint is the safe-to-fail boundary. See Safe to Fail Experiments.

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