What you focus on is what you see.

John is an amazing attorney with a highly credentialed resume, yet he’s been without work for a year. Repeatedly he entered interviews like a JD first enters the legal system – only focusing on the ugly past while fearing the result.

When he and I met, I knew who he was without asking his name. I observed his body language. He was the one with “not good enough” written all over him. Downcast, slumped posture, unsteady focus, nervous movement. He was the one who was thinking, “I need help”.

John could benefit with a lesson on focus.

Once John lost his job, he went into a slump from doubting his own abilities. The most highly skilled and qualified candidate most recruiters clamber after, John just couldn’t sell himself. Some told me he didn’t communicate well. Actually he did. He communicated everything he was thinking. What he thought, he focused on, and he got. Failure. Because he communicated to others that he felt miserable about himself.

My goal with our meeting was to shift his focus so remembers his value. He has talents as well as key skills to support challenges that come his way – in this case, the anxiety of the interview. Yet, until he focuses on his value, he won’t benefit from having it. Nor will others. One of John’s strengths is his commitment to his clients’ welfare. And although those people are in need of his help today, he can’t help them. His focus has been on his lack of success, his inadequacies and the concern that maybe he didn’t have anything of value to begin with.

In simply one hour his body language changed and his speaking pace picked up all from a focus shift. By the time our one hour meeting ended, John was eager to line up more interviews.

I wonder how others could benefit from this. What do you see?

Share Button
On March 19th, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by