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The Importance Of Recognizing Windows Of Opportunity

Written by: Paul L. Glover, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

I recently attended a dinner for Autism Speaks with a coaching client and his management team. To illustrate how those with autism can be included in mainstream activities, the keynote speaker told the story of an autistic boy in high school who discovered he could kick a football through the goalposts. He practiced so diligently he became the field goal and point-after touchdowns kicker for his high school football team. The speaker then showed a video of him kicking the winning field goal in the championship game and his team celebrating his achievement.

When the video finished, I looked around my table and then the entire room. It was readily apparent that this room full of “macho guys,” including me, who were surreptitiously using their dinner napkins to dry their eyes, had been emotionally impacted by the video of this young man and his team celebrating their victory.


And, if the speaker had been looking for it, she would have seen the impact the video had on the audience and realized she had a “window of opportunity.” And, to take advantage of this unexpected “window of opportunity,” all she had to say was, “While we appreciate the support and the donations you have made, we need you to donate more. Because young men and young women, like the young man in this video, need as much support as you can afford to give them.” And the audience, including me, would have willingly emptied their pockets and donated more money to support Autism Speaks.


Instead, the speaker thanked everyone for their support and donations and left the stage. The moment passed, the audience regained its composure, and the “window of opportunity” closed.


Unfortunately, the same thing happens to Team Leaders throughout each day of their workweek. “Windows of opportunity” occur daily as they interact with their Team Members, other Teams, customers, and vendors. However, because Team Leaders have been trained to be in constant performance mode – head down and focused on grinding out the day’s tasks and putting out the day’s fires – Team Leaders are too busy to see them. And, like the Autism Speak presenter, they miss the opportunity to create greater value by failing to recognize the opportunity even exists.


Fortunately, every interaction with Team Members and other stakeholders can provide a “window of opportunity.” All it requires is that Team Leaders are actively looking for it and, once they see it, are then willing to expend the time and attention necessary to react positively to the opportunity.


Here are examples of “windows of opportunity” that occur every day as Team Leaders interact with their Team Members:

  • The opportunity to offer assistance without being asked.

  • The opportunity to recognize an achievement.

  • The opportunity to encourage.

  • The opportunity to inspire.

  • The opportunity to communicate.

  • The opportunity to empower.

  • The opportunity to train.

  • The opportunity to develop.

  • The opportunity to coach.

There is no doubt, because of the increased anxiety caused by the pandemic and its impact on the economy, it has become even more important for Team Leaders to recognize these and other “windows of opportunity” and react positively and spontaneously at the moment if they want to maintain a High-Performance Work Team.


“What ‘window of opportunity’ did you open today?” is a question every Team Leader should be able to answer at the end of every day.


Want to learn more from Paul? Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit his website.


 

Paul L. Glover, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Paul is known as The No B.S. Workplace Performance Coach. For the last 30 years, his mission has been to assist Executives, Team Leaders, and their organizations in achieving their full potential.


His approach is practical, hands-on, grounded in the realities of the real world of work, and very results-oriented – but all applied with a sense of humor and panache.


Paul is also a "recovering trial lawyer," a Chicago Bears fanatic, an unabashed Starbucks addict, and the author of WorkQuake™, a book dedicated to how to thrive in the Information Economy and a Member of the Forbes Coaching Council.

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