You’ve experienced those moments in your day when you feel like you are chasing rabbit trails and constantly interrupted by squirrel moments, yes? In fact, if you are not careful, you can spend your entire day defending yourself from these pesky varmints. But, does that mean you should become a squirrel or rabbit hunter? Hmmm…
What you focus on tends to EEEXXXPPPAAANND…
If we use this line of thinking, then nope, becoming one who is vigilant about keeping a watchful eye out for such distractions might not be the best plan. Instead, try this:
- Get focused on the work at hand you need to get done.
- Notice the rabbit trail, or opportunity to digress from what you’ve chosen to focus on, when it comes up.
- Deal with it swiftly or professionally (and gracefully) decline to follow Alice down the hole so to speak.
- Get back to your item of focus.
Hunting Something Usually Means You have to CHASE it!
Some leaders tell me that they are looking to stay more focused and yet find themselves very (and I mean VERY) frustrated when a person knocks on their door and says “have you gotta sec” or steps into their office and says “we need to talk”. They handle the issue and then continue to talk about it, vent about the interruption, and carry on the story. This continued emotional attachment to the interruption extends the standard 7 minutes it takes to get “back in the groove” when you’ve been interrupted and can turn it into an all day affair. Essentially, you end up chasing the rabbit or squirrel much longer than it actually stayed in your office. Hmmm… Deal with it, perhaps, and move on. Better than hunting or chasing. 🙂
Squirrels and Rabbits are Harmless and not very meaty. Why would you hunt them?
Okay, so this may sound strange. When I was a kid, my dad actually hunted squirrel in the country one time and I could never understand the point of hunting something that was so small. Maybe it was just me. 🙂 And I’m not advocating or disagreeing with real hunting here, merely making an analogy. That person who walks into your office and says “Hey boss, I have a few things I need to talk about. #1 our projections for this month. #2 My colleague, who by the way, did you hear that he…. and goes on and on, never getting to #3, is essentially saying “Squirrel!” and getting off track and taking you with him. Okay, so watch what we call the squirrel moment, laugh at yourself for catching it, and then gently bring them back to the issue. You getting bothered or frustrated by this event only serves to hurt the other person’s feelings, make them think you’re not interested, or teach them you’re not very approachable in the future. You don’t want that as a leader, do you?
So, the moral of the story … no need to hunt rabbits or squirrels. They’re out there, in abundance, I might add and they will jump into your path and try to take you off focus. Were you really that focused, if such a small shiny object was able to deter your attention? Hmmm… now that might be the real.. squirrel! ahem…I mean question.
Want to Know More (and what the heck a squirrel moment is?)
Many of our audience members and fans know us for the “squirrel moment” used in describing what can often happen to an Entertainer personality preference. If you want to know more about the personalities in your office and what they can do to your leadership, your communication and your teamwork, give us a call at 1-866-382-0121. We’re happy to decipher all the squirrel moments and share with you skills on how to better manage them.