Who here actually likes meetings ‘cos I bet most of you attend some in whatever shape or form they take (think work meetings, church meetings, voluntary group meetings, etc). You could argue that the liking of meetings is testament to a healthy attitude (read positive focus here) and will ultimately help you get the most from whatever the purpose of the meeting is, but you could also argue that the liking of meetings is more-often-than-not a conscious, concentrated effort.
Here’s the thing: I don’t like meetings. Maybe that’s a learned behaviour from the days when I wasn’t in quite such a great job, when I was an NHS manager or when I sat on my local PCC, or maybe it’s something else. Regardless of the how or why, I don’t like meetings. And I know I’m not alone.
Until, that is, I’m in meeting which starts with this one question:
What is your positive focus?
This is a question we use at the beginning of every Mastermind meeting. All of us there take it in turns to tell each other what our positive focus for the day is, and the mood is instantly lifted.
There are no rules to what the answers can be. It can be something that has already happened, or something you are looking forward to. It can be something monumentally life changing, or it can be something small. It can be a very simple, ongoing focus (a love for your friends and family, for instance) or something complex and specific.
Okay, there is one rule: it has to be positive.
Here’s mine for today: we’ve just received almost all of the different products that make up the ‘Open to God’ resource and they look and feel even more amazing than I’d expected and I’m feeling really proud of them. [Ed – that truly is my positive focus though you’ll probably think it’s a bit of a plug at the same time and given how enthusiastic I am about it you can’t really blame me!]
Memorable PFOMs (Positive Focus Of Mastermind) from members have included: a wonderful swim, coming back from a great holiday, the unexpected joy of coming together as a group, the culture in the town where they live, moving on from frustration, seeing a great film, passing thoughts, and, every now and then, something as broad and as fulfilling as “life is good”.
It’s become my favourite thing about these Mastermind meetings, mostly as it’s an extra insight into the lives of these members and what makes them happy (as time goes on, we start to notice a few patterns) but also because it gets me thinking (positively) about my working week following the meeting. Little things will happen throughout the next couple of days that I will tag in my mind as “a potential positive focus” which I will go on to look forward to sharing at our next meeting..
Sometimes I walk into that meeting knowing exactly what I’m going to answer with, sometimes I don’t and find myself surprised when it tumbles out. Sometimes I have to clamour for something to say, sometimes I struggle to narrow it down to one!
Here’s why you need to start asking this question yourself:
- It gets you and anyone you’re with, into the right state for the week ahead (and state is everything)
2. It encourages you (and those your doing this with) to be more invested in their own, and each other’s happiness
3. It acts as the perfect disrupter/icebreaker
We do this exercise at every Mastermind meeting and I really look forward to those meetings. You can do this exercise yourself every day, whether or not you’re going to a meeting with others or not. You can do it one-on-one, you can do it in any group you’re with. You can call it the Positive Focus, or you can call it something else entirely. The one and only trick is asking those around you to share something positive about their lives, and then watching the state of the room improve.
It’s all about the mindset – everything stems from that. Once you have that right the results you want in life will follow much more easily.
So tell me what’s your positive focus?