Business thinking – is yours all wrong?

think bubble pngLeslie was looking exasperated. “I don’t know where my time goes, I know I’m really busy every day but the business doesn’t move forward. I seem to spend so much time in the business, I’m not sure I like it any more.”


Ouch! Leslie’s outpouring was typical of many business owners, and even some senior executives I have been coaching recently.


“Where do you spend your thinking?” I asked in her coaching session. “What areas do you spend most of your time dwelling on, the problem, detail, the vision or planning?”


“Oh it’s worse than that, I get caught up in the emotional drama of it all.” Leslie replied.


We can control our thinking and how we spend our precious thinking time. Yet so many of us forget this.


It wasn’t until I trained as a coach over a decade ago that I understood this, and experienced the difference it makes. And then as I coached more business owners and senior executives, I saw how this played out.


A key model my coaching school taught about thinking was ‘the five levels of focus.’


It’s all about where you choose to focus your thinking when you are faced with an issue.


There are five levels:
1. Vision
2. Planning
3. Detail
4. Problem
5. Drama


By getting so involved in the issues, and the emotion surrounding them, Leslie was getting caught up in the drama of her situation.


As you can imagine this is not the best place to find solutions that move you or your business forward. Instead the drama keeps you stuck and in a downward spiral as you focus more on being in the problem than getting out of it.


Contrast the drama with the vision.


When you are thinking in the vision area, your mind is looking ahead and envisioning where you want to be and what the ultimate objective is.


Your thinking is positive and solution focused. From this resourceful place you can find solutions to the issue much more easily than when you are sitting at the drama or problem space.


We operate at our best when our thinking is in the vision area and then dipping into planning to bring an idea to life. Our thinking is generative and positive. We feel more in flow!


Ask yourself, where do you spend most of your thinking time? 


What difference would it make to your efficacy, and your enjoyment of your work if you spent most of the time in vision and planning? Would you feel more productive? Would you enjoy what you do more? Would you feel in control?


To move into the vision area easily, ask yourself these type of questions:

What would be a great outcome for this issue to enable me to achieve my goal?

What are three ways that i could dove it? – A crazy one, reality and then one that plays big!

How do I want to be talking about this issue in a year’s time?

When I think about my business vision, what needs to happen to this issue to get me closer towards it?

I would love to know where you spend your time now, and how it feels to shift up to the vision space. Please drop me a line in the comments below.


  • Claudia

    You’re right Wendy. When we consider the outcome we’re seeking that’s when we get motivated. Unfortunately I spend much of my thinking time in the pain or the pleasure of the present. And when I start to think about my desired outcome, I get spurred on.
    I recently took a flagging client of mine back to the vision she had for her business, visualising it step by step. And, wowzers! She left the session on fire.

    • Wendy Kerr

      that’s fab Claudia – thanks for sharing. Our thinking is so much more productive when we move out of the problem and drama and look for solutions instead!

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