A few days ago, I watched a video with Daniel Goleman in which he talked about three different kinds of focus that leaders need to be effective:

  1. Inner focus. As the name suggests, this type of focus is directed inwardly. It requires you to be able to monitor your thoughts and feelings. Being able to distance yourself from your thoughts and feelings and observe them objectively gives you the power to overcome impulsive urges and make better decisions. This type of focus is best developed by mindfulness practice.

  2. Other focus. This type refers to the ability to attune and give undivided attention to the person you’re talking to. This means that you need to resist the urge to think about something else or multitask and actively listen instead. This undivided attention helps you understand the other person better and be more empathetic. This type of focus is best developed by feedback. Having people you trust tell you whether your perception of them is accurate can finetune your social awareness.

  3. Outer focus, which refers to your understanding of the larger forces that impact the environment, such as organizational dynamics, and political, economic and technological forces and trends which help us be strategic. This type of focus is developed best by having a mentor, a person who has specific knowledge about the aspect in question.