Dandapani Shares Why Leaders Should Train Their Teams How to Focus

That Entrepreneurs Association (EO) empowers entrepreneurs with the tools and strategies they need to reach their full potential. Dandapani, a Hindu priest, entrepreneur and former monk, is a highly rated speaker at several EO chapter learning events where he teaches business leaders how to focus to improve their lives and businesses. Dandapani’s new book is a step-by-step implementation masterclass Unwavering focus. We asked Dandapani why entrepreneurs should train their teams in this often overlooked skill.

As an entrepreneur, you know how important it is to have the right people in the right places, to perform at the highest level and to drive the company forward.

But what if you overlooked training them in the one skill that could boost individual productivity well beyond current levels?

What if, in addition to the business benefits, as a result of this training, each employee received far-reaching benefits that would greatly improve both their personal and professional lives?

And what if you knew that this skill is not taught in any other company – and therefore represents both a competitive advantage and an employee benefit?

The most important life skill no one ever teaches

They hire people with skills gained through study and experience and ask them to fill specific roles. They provide them with training on the software, equipment, and processes necessary for success.

But there’s a common tool that employees use every day — the one they use to learn the software and processes — and they’ve almost certainly never been trained on how best to use it.

The tool I’m talking about is the human mind, the most important tool we have. It creates our reality and determines how we work and what we think – and yet it’s the only tool we use every day that doesn’t come with an instruction manual. (Seriously – a blender comes with a 28-page manual in six languages. But have you ever seen a manual for your sanity?)

The mind has incredible potential as a productivity tool, but most people don’t understand how to use it effectively. Schools teach writing, math and science – but have you ever taken a course on your mind? If you had done that, you would have learned how to use its power to support your life aspirations instead of distracting you from achieving them.

Of all the employee training that companies are spending millions of dollars on, the most important training they could invest in would be to teach their teams an understanding of awareness and mind and a guide to the art of focus.

The sad reality is that we are often told to focus, but nobody has ever taught us how to focus step by step. Changing that is one of my goals.

Why people benefit from focusing

Concentration is such an important skill because once you understand how the mind works and how consciousness moves within the mind, you can use it to overcome distractions and achieve your goals. Once your team knows how to focus, they’ll be able to pay attention and learn any other skills they need. If they are distracted, it will be difficult for them to study anything. If they cannot concentrate, how can they concentrate long enough to even listen to what is being taught?

In the corporate world where productivity and efficiency are so highly valued, most companies fail to do the fundamental thing that can have the greatest impact – learning and practicing the art of focus. I’d like to think that leaders don’t teach their teams how to focus because they are simply unaware of the cost of distraction and that focus is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced.

Most companies are clear about what their teams should focus on. The missing piece is actually practice how to concentrate.

Concentration promotes efficiency and productivity

Have you ever been in a meeting where the topic competed with the group’s small talk — and lost? It’s frustrating and a waste of time. Conversely, I cannot describe how efficient meetings become when everyone present knows how to concentrate and stay on topic.

So much time and energy is wasted due to teams’ inability to focus, not to mention the exorbitant financial cost. Critical information is overlooked, opportunities and pitfalls overlooked—all because people don’t know how to focus.

Here are seven benefits of a focused workforce:

  1. Increased efficiency and productivity
  2. No more distracted, pointless meetings
  3. Happier, happier employees
  4. Minimize interruptions and wasted time
  5. Less anxiety and stress
  6. Controlled reactions and reactions
  7. Empowered team members who live more fulfilling lives

Here’s the bonus: The benefits of being focused don’t end with the workday. Your employees will also appreciate the improved ability to focus on their personal lives. This means they will be mentally present to enjoy life’s milestones and live out their purpose. Additionally, any person whose life is positively transformed by a newfound ability to focus will have the know-how to empower loved ones with this life-changing knowledge—thus the circle will expand exponentially.

As a leader in your organization, I challenge you to implement the power of unwavering focus in your own life first. Then lead by example as you train your employees in this superpower that will help change our world for the better.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own and not those of Inc.com.

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