Consultant Anese Cavanaugh gets calls from companies all the time, asking her help with creating communications plan, or improving employee feedback. But often, the heart of their problem is actually disengagement: employees are there, but they aren’t really showing up.
Our failure to be fully present in any interaction drains energy from workplaces, makes for inefficient use of time, and can lead to the failure of initiatives. In turn, increasing energy levels by working on focusing personal energy toward the tasks at hand can lead to positive results.
At the 2014 Small Giants Summit, Cavanaugh offered five steps for creating intentional impact through focus:
- For any meeting or conversation, think, What do I want to get out of this? Set 2-3 outcomes – or even just one really good one.
- Impact: how do I want other people to feel around me today?
- How do I need to show up in order to create this impact?
- What are you going to need to believe, in order to show up this way? Too often, what we truly believe doesn’t align with what we’re trying to accomplish.
- What do you actually have to do to succeed? You actually do have to do the work around it.
Cavanaugh recommends setting intentional reminders that will help call you to mindfulness. One company she works with painted door handles to draw team members’ attention before they enter a room. “They want to be mindful about how they show up,” Cavanaugh says.
How do you get people to internalize this practice? Cavanaugh helps people connect intentionality and presence with organizational purpose. Similar to the research of the Center for Values-Driven Leadership, Cavanaugh’s work reveals the power of connecting employees to a meaningful aspect of their work. (Find more on the topic at this link.)
The Center for Values-Driven Leadership works with executives who want to be more socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible. Learn more at www.cvdl.org.
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