What is Focused Minds Coaching?

Today’s connected world bombards us with emails, texts, instant messages and notifications from social media sites, news sites, web sites, apps and every once in a while, a telephone call.

Yikes! How do you cope with being overwhelmed?

Our brain naturally reacts to what seems urgent, but how many of these are really urgent? And how many are actually important?

All these distractions make it hard to focus, whether you are reflecting alone with your thoughts, talking intimately with a friend or sharing ideas with coworkers.

That same connected world delivers more information to your fingertips and offers more choices than have been available to people any time in history.

Looking for a place to live in another city? You can research apartments, restaurants, stores and entertainment without ever leaving your couch. If you work from home, you don’t even have to change jobs when you move! But maybe you’re looking for a new job, one that’s completely different from the old one. New occupations emerge every year, and you may have to look at those because your current job just might be…disrupted.

Looking for a new love interest? Swipe through dozens of profiles until you find one that appeals to you. And how about a new shirt for that first date? If the dozens available at the mall aren’t to your liking, Amazon has thousands of choices that can be delivered to your front door within two days.

Do all these choices make you happier? With so many options you may lose track of what’s important: who you are being, what passions you pursue and how you cultivate relationships.

Focused minds coaching will examine three contexts: looking inward, looking across and looking all around.

Looking Inward: Focusing with One

What happens when the power goes out, the wifi goes down, the power goes out and you’re alone in the dark with your own thoughts?

Your ancestors evolved in exactly that environment. This new, interrupt-driven world overwhelms us all from time to time. Many of you may have forgotten how to use that silence, but that’s where you do your best work. What would you accomplish if you could focus long enough to finish anything without being constantly bombarded with messages?

You need clarity of direction to grow in a rapidly changing environment. Combining all the choices with all the distractions, it’s easy to lose your bearings. One goal of this blog is to focus your awareness to the unique goals that will make you happy—the ones that truly support your purpose. Awareness and focus lead to action.

Looking Across: Focusing with Two

People have always had close relationships in pairs: adult/lover, parent/child, mentor/protégé, manager/employee, doctor/patient or even software developers pair programming. In 1995, the coach/client connection emerged as a formal relationship with the creation of the ICF (International Coaching Federation, https://coachfederation.org).

The ICF defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Many coaches specialize in Executive, Life, Leadership, Relationship, Career or a host of other categories.

A coach commits to supporting the agenda of you, the client. She does not provide answers, but instead asks questions to help you find your own, unique answers. This empowers you to commit to and grow from your own ideas instead of an agenda pushed on you by someone else.

A second goal of this blog is to examine how coaching can focus a client’s awareness to uncover their purpose, and hold them accountable to accomplishing their unique agenda.

Looking Around: Focusing with Many

Many meaningful human endeavors involve teams of more than two people working together towards a common goal over a period of time. This can range from a small team working on a months-long project, a sports team vying for a championship this season, a large corporation transforming itself over a period of years or even international governments addressing climate change.

In each of these situations, success requires commitment to a common purpose, leadership to maintain focus on the purpose, and accountability to sustain the drive to meet the purpose. Communication is a key factor in maintaining the team’s cohesion, because commitment, leadership and accountability all require communication. They need to be shared across the entire team, not just a select few.

A third goal of this blog is to explore how to better focus groups to accomplish collective goals. This requires excellent communication and relationships skills, whether that’s a group of four or a team working with a disparate group of stakeholders.

Topics in Play

The purpose of this blog is to share ideas and communicate approaches to focusing our time and effort in pursuit of, well, whatever you wish to pursue. My professional interests include public speaking, coaching, agile software development techniques, organizational change and healthcare. While these may be areas from which I draw examples, I hope it will be generally applicable outside those specific fields.

Like any exploration, the path may evolve in response to the whims and life experiences of the writer, feedback from readers or external events. Let the journey begin…

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” (Lao Tzu)

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