This week I thought I’d discus some of the topics listed in my speaking brochure. We have already covered leadership for almost an entire week. Today I will talk about focus.

I learned the lessons on how hard it is to truly focus the hard way. I was facilitating a management meeting and talking about the importance of focus. I came to a part in my presentation when I talked about how important it is to give your primary task 100% of your attention. One of the guys in the group asked me how I did at this and I replied that I thought I was pretty good at it. The group immediately ganged up on me. You see I spent a great deal of my time on the phone with this particular group. I used to look at emails and even reply to them while on the phone. I would do activities like signing checks or reviewing reports. I guess I wasn’t fooling anyone. I was quite proud of my ability to multi-task. They all said they could clearly tell when they didn’t have my attention. This was a big wake up call. I needed to focus!

I think many of us think we are good multi-taskers. The more I study this topic the more I am convinced that no one, NO ONE, is a good at multi-tasking. Indeed it may be impossible. I believe our minds can flip from one focus to another incredibly quickly but we do not have a multi-core processor. We can only actually focus on one thing at a time. So, no you can’t safely drive and talk on your cell phone. Anytime you are having a conversation with anyone, who ever you are talking to deserves your full attention.

Giving something your full attention is not easy. Our minds bounce around from one thought to another constantly. The trick is to discipline our minds to hold one focus at a time. Of course this isn’t always necessary or even desirable but in business sometimes it is critical.

So become conscious of your ability to focus. How good are you at giving someone your undivided attention? Write into my comment section and let me know.