To Focus or Not to Focus

I had a fascinating conversation last week with Thomas Power, Chairman of the long-standing  social network Ecademy.  Ecademy’s been around for longer than most of the others, since Thomas and his wife Penny started it to help digital entrepreneurs and freelancers way back in 1998, so Thomas knows a thing or two about how people interact with each other.  He explained to me the importance of words – specifically using the right words with the right people.  Now, I’ve known that for ages, ever since I first started studying team roles and NLP, but Thomas made me look again at a profiling system I’d previously not really understood.

James Knight‘s “Ima” (I’m a …) system uses colours to describe communication and transaction style.  The two dimensions are Assertive – Non-assertive and Closed – Open.  Reds are Closed and Assertive, Yellows Open and Assertive, Blues Open and Non-assertive, and Greens Closed and Non-assertive.  Obviously, as with all profiling systems, we’re all a mixture of all the types – so a sort of muddy khaki brown – but with a tendency towards one energy or another.  For example, I tend toward Open, Non-assertive, Blue while Thomas tends quite strongly toward Open, Assertive Yellow.

Earlier, I’d done a presentation to a group of BlackStar Life members about what I’m currently working on, and one of the core concepts of my work is Focus.  Thomas explained that to a Yellow, the idea of focussing on anything sends shivers up his spine – Yellows are all about newness and adventure.  Closed Reds would probably get it, but only as an effective route to their core interest, power and money.  So would Closed Greens, as a route to their interest, information, process and logic.  Blues would struggle a bit – their core interest is love and relationships, so they’d be a bit wary of focusing too much and leaving someone out (maybe that’s why I need to focus a bit, to stay focussed 🙂 ).

So while we both know spending time on the right things is a good approach, the word “Focus” itself was turning Thomas off – until I explained that by focussing he could spend less time on old stuff, and have more time to go find more shiny new ideas.  I’m still not completely sure he ‘got’ it though!

About Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw
About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of the blog at TheBusyFool.com, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique Focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The Busy Fool's a to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon http://andrewhorder.com/amazon-azlw