Do you have your attention on yourself or others?

Photo by Marek Szturc on Unsplash

I was on my way to present to an audience of senior executives when I was suddenly struck by stage fright. What if they don’t like what I ‘m saying, I thought. I called a mentor to get some perspective. “Take your attention off yourself and put it on them,” he said. It was a light bulb moment for me. Once I focused on my audience’s desire to be game-changing leaders, everything changed. My nervousness disappeared and I engaged with the audience in a way that would not have happened before the reset. The feedback was glowing. They could not only see why they would want to be game-changing leaders, they had action plans to implement their insights.

Whether you are doing a presentation, making a sale, asking for resources or inviting your team to join you in your vision for the future, they have only a passing interest in what you want. They want to know what they get. How does it solve a problem for them? It does not matter if it is an audience of hundreds of people or one colleague, game-changing leaders prepare by putting themselves in other people’s shoes before launching into their pitch. It is like putting fuel in your car before heading off on a long journey.

Want to shift your focus to others? Here are three steps that can help.


Who specifically is your audience and what challenges do they face?


What’s in it for your audience to do what you want?


What is a succinct statement that you can leave them with which taps into their motivation?

Research on emotional intelligence suggests that ’Social Awareness’ which is the ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on, may have a personal payoff. According to leading emotional intelligence researchers Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, “The link between emotional intelligence and earnings is so direct that every point increase in emotional intelligence adds $1,300 to an annual salary. These findings hold true for people in all industries, at all levels, in every region of the world.”

Do you have your attention on yourself or others?

Best regards, Brian

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