Job Leadership: 12 Ways to Increase Your Mental Skills

Mental Skills

12 Ways to Increase Your Mental Skills

There is nothing magical to greater mental power.  You do not have to buy anything.  You just need to follow some simple steps.

1. Live in the present moment.  Focus on what is in front of you.  This focus enables you to make good decisions and take the best actions.  Leaders live in the world around them and not in the crumbling castles in their head.

2. Let go of the things people have done to you.  Ruminating on past wrongs drains your energy.

3. Let go of guilt. Carrying around guilt lowers your self-esteem and steals your confidence. There are only two things you can say about guilt.  Either you were wrong and you will try not to do it again, or you were not wrong, so you are not going to worry about it.

4. Let go of fear.  Fearing the future cripples your mind and imagination.  When you are afraid of the future, take a deep breath. Most of the things we fear never happen.

5. Make new mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes Smart people only make a mistake once.  Mistake made. Lesson learned.  Move on.  However, if you never make any mistakes, how much are you really trying new ways of doing things and how much can you really be learning?  Allow yourself opportunities to try to new things and do not punish yourself for being less than perfect.

6. Focus on the process not the goal.  Create the goal.  Create a plan to reach your goal.  Continually update the plan.  How things turn out is beyond your control.  How well you do the process is something you can control.  A retail goal is to make sales.  A store can plan to increases its sales when it increases the number of shoppers in the store and the amount of time each shopper spends in the store. Retail stores focus on the process of getting and keeping shoppers in their stores.

7. No one controls the results, but people do control the process.  Even with a perfect process, stores may miss their sales goals because of things out of anyone’s control:  the weather, a catastrophic event, a sudden shift in the economy. The point is not to make excuses for missing sales goals.  The point is focusing on the process.  If the weather or a catastrophic event weakens a store’s sales, the store can stay open longer hours when things return to normal.  If the economy is weak, stores can carry a wider assortment of less expensive products.  Stores can change their process.

8. Practice, practice, practice, and continue to practice.  From practice comes powerful instincts and heightened intuition.  Great companies continue to train people.  Great employees practice new skills.  Great performers and athletes practice during practice and practice after practice.  The purpose of practice is to raise a skill level.  Yet what really happens is that practice creates instincts and intuition to work at a higher level under pressure.

9. Embrace consistency and assess change.  One of the business clichés is to embrace change. Depending on what is changing, change may feel stressful or change may feel exhilarating.  Sometimes change is good.  Sometimes change is way to get lost in the wilderness.

10. Leaders value relationships as much as they value tangible assets.  It is a lot easier to lose a client than to get one.  Pleasing other people may sound shallow, but pleasing other people is the reason for repeat business.

11. Limit your daily activities.  Leaders set priorities based on the things they can get done today.  This process removes anxiety over things beyond their control.  Focusing on today’s priorities empowers the leaders to follow the process from their plan.

12. Hang out with other people.  I need advice from real humans.  It is so easy for me to believe my thinking, because I have always heard it.  When I isolate, I become inefficient.  I spend too much time at my desk.  I overlook deadlines and let important matters go unattended.

“The World’s Noblest Headhunter”

Image: Allan Ajifo/Flickr

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