When you’re in the zone, you’re in that blissful state of mental clarity where everything seems simple and easy.  The zone is a state of extraordinary focus, clarity and intensity brought about by a state of magnificent relaxation.  This relaxed focus produces our highest level of performance, because we have no interference from the mental clutter that inhibits our natural ability. 

The whole point of relaxed focus is to have intensity without anxiety, and this relaxed focus is what you want in your team environment. When you create a state of relaxed focus, your team enjoys these benefits:

  • Clarity replaces clutter.
  • Joy replaces anxiety.
  • Confidence replaces doubt.
  • Energy replaces lethargy.
  • Purpose replaces ambivalence.
  • Motivation replaces complacency.
  • Passion for excellence replaces acceptance of mediocrity.

Relaxed focus and goal focus go hand in hand, but they are two different thought processes that occur at two different times.  Goals are crucial, and employees are committed to achieving them.  However, relaxed focus means that when they are actually engaged in the process of performance, they detach themselves from the result in order to immerse themselves in the joy of the process.  When they take this approach, they achieve a better result than they would achieve by focusing on the result during the process.

Explain this concept to your employees so they understand how important relaxed focus is and the enormous benefits it can provide.  Be aware of how you balance goal focus with relaxed focus in leading your employees to excellence.  Keep them goal-oriented from day to day, but keep them focused on the joy of the process from moment to moment while they’re engaged.

Help them to enjoy what they do.  Even when they’re temporarily feeling down, they’re still doing what they chose for their profession.  Help them to stay aware of what it is they enjoy about their job, and why they’re good at it.

Help them to experience, or at least remember, the joy of improving.  Show appreciation for any improvements they’ve made.  This can be a big source of encouragement, especially if they’re going through a down period.

The zone is a state of total confidence and self-trust.  When people are in the zone they are placing total trust in their natural ability.  Help your people to trust their natural ability by remembering how that ability has brought them success in the past.  You want your people to feel urgency to achieve results, but remember that our urgency to achieve grows more out of confidence than out of fear or pressure.  We feel our strongest urgency to take action when we truly believe we will perform the task successfully, and when we believe we will be better off once we do.  As their leader, you can choose to be a source of confidence to them or a source of self-doubt.

If you can help your team to realize how important it is to protect their own state of relaxed focus, and if you can help them eliminate unnecessary clutter, you will help them spend more time in the zone. 

If you would like to go deeper on this topic, please contact me (Richard Tiller) through the contact page, or phone at 703-283-3902, or by email at rtiller@earthlink.net.