Want to perform better? Expand your Awareness

My colleagues and I witness the power of awareness whenever we lead our Full Contact workshops with leaders and their teams. As participants closely examine their own challenging conversations for the first time, they are ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ.

Theyโ€™re surprised to realize that theyโ€™re often ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต doing what they thought they were doing in those conversations and were instead doing things they thought they ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต doing. They discover that they arenโ€™t always aware of what they are actually doing in their conversations or of how this impacts people around them. No wonder their difficult collaborations are so difficult!

We all do it โ€“ we think weโ€™re listening well to a colleague only to discover later that they didnโ€™t feel listened to at all. Or weโ€™re respectfully asking a question but later hear that the person felt personally attacked by us.

We canโ€™t be aware of everything, and itโ€™s even harder when strong emotions are present because our habits tend to take over. And habits are โ€“ by definition โ€“ invisible to us unless we have the opportunity to slow down and learn to observe them in action (which is what our workshop participants get to do).

So what can we become more aware of when we shift attention to ourselves? We become more aware of our ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด, our ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด, and our ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ (yes, focusing our attention on our attention itself can be surprisingly useful). Letโ€™s take a lookโ€ฆ

๐Ž๐ฎ๐ซ ๐–๐จ๐ซ๐๐ฌ: We all understand the power of words to ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ต action. But words do more than lead to action. They ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ action. Whenever we speak, we are taking one of five actions: We are making assertions, declarations (which include assessments), requests, offers and promises. Thatโ€™s it. When you understand the nature of these โ€œspeech acts,โ€ your conversations can be transformed.

๐Ž๐ฎ๐ซ ๐๐จ๐๐ข๐ž๐ฌ: We think, plan, speak, listen, and lead our teams in our body. Our conversations are fully embodied interactions. More awareness of our body can foster greater relaxation and ease, improve our posture and enhance our authentic leadership presence.

๐Ž๐ฎ๐ซ ๐€๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง: Our attention determines where our energy, thoughts and resources go, so itโ€™s helpful to manage our attention well. And we can learn to use our attention in many different waysโ€”including directing our attention to our attention itselfโ€”which has profound and unexpected implications for our collaborative performance and well-being.

This is just a brief glimpse into the power of self-awareness for improving performance. As the saying goes, ๐˜๐˜ง ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถโ€™๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต. Conversely, if you donโ€™t know what youโ€™re doing, youโ€™re bound to just re-enact your habitsโ€”whether theyโ€™re helpful or not.

#Collaboration #Awareness #Performance

May 11, 2023 by Grayson James

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