13 Reasons Why - #11 Focus

13 Reasons Why – #11 Focus

Focus. I recently did a series of short videos on LinkedIn entitled 13 Reasons Why exploring why every organisation needs to invest in building and sustaining a workforce that is resilient in the face of constant, uncertain, complex, volatile and ambiguous change.

I received positive feedback on the series and was asked to augment it with a series of articles on the same subject. Here you are.

Resilience means that when we are under pressure, we are still able to focus and think clearly. Resilient individuals are self-aware and are able to control their emotions and responses to situations.  They have a choice. They could get angry and take their anger out on someone nearby, or learn to move on and stay focussed. The resilient individual chooses the latter. They can avoid distraction and remain focused.

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Better decision-making
When we are resilient, we are better able to focus and make better decisions. Our minds are not clouded by the stress and anxiety that is brought about through constant and uncertain change. Our emotions are balanced.

Our minds are far more effective, sharp and we have clarity.

Often when we are under stress we can jump to decisions without considering all of the facts. The part of the brain that regulates and controls our behaviour is the pre-frontal cortex. Activity in this area is reduced when we are under stress and therefore it does not work as well as it should.

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We can stop the stress and anxiety we experience in the face of constant change, by building resilience.

Resilience is key to effective decision-making on stressful conditions. Not only does decision-making need to be improved, it also needs to be consistent.

The story of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is now famous. Sully was an American pilot who became a hero after handing his damaged plan on the Hudson River in order to save his passengers and crew.

It was on January 15th, 2009 that US Airways flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia airport and flew into a large flock of Canada geese. Sully and his crew had 180 seconds to save the plane and the 155 people on board. Sully had three options. 1. Go back to LaGuardia – not enough time. 2. Divert to Teeterboro – not a viable option. 3. Land on the Hudson River. He decided on option 3.

He made a perfect landing and the incident became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson’. Sully , under an extremely high degree of stress, made a series of excellent decisions and save everyone on board. He was able to remain in control and make all the right decision due to his resilience.

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Without resilience, we’re less able to focus and concentrate, are worse at decision making and problem solving, and are less efficient and productive. If we’re not resilient, we’re more likely to have negative, and unconstructive stress responses.

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