Managing your thoughts to sustain performance!
- Who will help the leaders think?
- What is the correct thinking process?
Conscious leaders that embark themselves in a path of constant curiosity, thereby always seeking to learn, to improving their skill-set and know-how, are more likely to be consistently challenging the thinking patterns around him/herself and others. This is a very productive nurturing process in thinking as it also allows the generation of creativity in the team he/she is leading.
The bottom line of cultivating a thinking culture in the organization is to question compliance and assess opportunity cost of not doing something.
Thinking can be considered a skill that can be learnt, like a muscle that requires practice and exercise to perform better. As thinking generates creativity, team members that think and share their thoughts with their leaders, provide the latter with additional ideas to take a step further in their thinking; sort of like “give me a good idea and I’ll make it better!”. Thus, leaders will benefit from their teams and their own leaders when they proactively help others think in an open sharing platform.
How much attention you pay on your thoughts, the density of your thoughts and the quality of your thoughts (what you are thinking about) determine how you will make your decisions. For example, if you are thinking about a conversation at your workplace that has upset you, you may dismiss that thought by quickly re-framing the perspective of your negative experience, e.g. by simply labeling the fact as another possible perspective: “I should not take it personally, John and I were just trying to be objective about the matter, I’m sure next meeting we will make it a point to be more constructive…”. This re-framing mechanism will pull you away from developing negative emotions and keep you on track to your objectives of working with John.
If re-framing is not done, then possible consequences could be that you persistently are weary of John. As a consequence, possible rushed or erroneous emotional based decisions might be made due to that single experience.
Thus, one of the processes of driving productive thoughts is to re-frame your bad experiences as soon as possible and move on. The other would be to focus on solutions instead of the problem. By focusing on solutions, we accept that there is an existing problem, but we choose to focus on what works and on the strengths of the people involved.
The mind is the energy that drives thoughts and the brain is the master key that drives the functionality, put in very simplistic layman terms. So if this is the case, the brain needs help to focus our thoughts, since it is responsible for controlling our breathing, movement of the eyes, driving a car without too much concentration, etc. My point is, when you consciously focus on a topic, make sure you are focusing on something that is rewarding, so that you keep your balance sustainable.
Exercise: At the end of each evening, have 5-10 minutes for yourself, undisturbed! Think back and appreciate your day. If anything less pleasant comes up, let yourself feel that emotion (but not for too long!), then the exercise is to put that incident into a ‘label’ and reframe it out loud in words. Tips:
- How can you view that less pleasant event objectively, if you were not part of the event?
- If you were not part of the event can you still see everyone’s perspective?
- When you do No.1 – 2, make sure you step back as an outsider of the event!
- Take 3 deep breaths! Slowly…
- How do you feel now?
- How much does the event still impact you?
- How will you decide not to let it annoy you? – Remember what you went through in No. 1 – 2.
- Take a deep breath! Congratulations!