Collaborative leadership, networking, team building and communication skills are all considered valuable and vital to business success in the evolving workplace. Typically, when a person decides that he or she wants to learn skill sets related to these areas, they proceed to learn techniques. While technique does matter, there’s much more to learning and applying skill sets than meets the eye – the physical eye, that is. Most people are still not aware of the power of the brain and its “mind’s eye” to make or break their ability to influence others, break procrastination, or create a viable strategic plan.

If it were as simple as taking a class or playing team-building games, organizations would be places that engage the minds and hearts of employees and effectively cultivate personal and professional development. People would be clamoring to get to work on Monday mornings, and absenteeism and lack of team trust would be uncommon challenges. Entrepreneurs would not be working themselves to the bone and worrying about payroll if purely motivational seminars really worked.

In reality, these issues are growing concerns for small business as well as for mega corporations. What is the problem here? Not to over-simplify it, but a central issue is the ignorance that we human beings have with regard to our own brain management. We simply do not understand how we are wiring our mind in a way that keeps us living far beneath our true potential. The brain itself is not the problem; it is truly magnificent and amazing in its capacity and functionality.

The next great shift is already beginning, and it is understanding how your amazing brain can help you to take your business and life to the next level, or keep you stuck for the rest of your natural life.

As you make your plans either in business or personal life, here are three simple tips that you can begin to use while you are busy taking all those informational classes and learning new techniques. Maybe you will then be able to apply what you learn and ‘just do it’:

1. Shift Your Focus of Attention. Your brain interprets what you focus on as what it is supposed to get for you, or “what you see (focus on with feeling) is what you get.” The problem is that most people focus on what they DON’T want. Most people focus on what is lacking, what’s wrong, or think that they can’t. All of these behaviors are self-limiting and defeating. If you focus on what’s wrong with your team instead of seeing the strengths in others and understanding how to confidently engage their hearts, team dysfunction is likely to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Wouldn’t it behoove you to learn why you focus your attention this way and be able to change it – fast? The more you worry about not being able to connect with others, the less likely you can relax and engage their attention. Besides this, focusing on fear literally creates stress in your mind and body, which is not good! Instead, retrain your brain to focus on what you do want, even if you first have to first create it in your imagination. See it in your mind’s eye first and you will begin to have insights into how to create it in the physical realm.

2. Clarify Your Vision. I see this all too often where a client or someone I know is busy doing all sorts of work without the clarity of why they are doing it. In fact, you need to make time to reflect to get a clear vision before you even begin to create a strategic plan. Otherwise, you can waste valuable time and money and even end up taking a path that was not what you really wanted in the end. To do this step you will have to slow down, stop the frantic activity, and make time for a visioning process that engages the brain physiologically. Create a compelling, emotional, clear vision in your mind’s eye; feel into it. You will more than make up the lost time with the new clarity and ease with which you perform when your heart is engaged.

3. Speak Gratitude, Not Complaints. Hear me! Complaining is a major time waster and energy drainer. If you can change a situation, just go do it. Talking about it is not the solution. People have no idea how harmful this bad habit is to their health and ability to succeed in life. Science is now breaking into areas that demonstrate how like attracts like as the nuances of energy are understood. Our expectations and how we feel directly impact our perception. Negativity begets more negativity, and then people wonder why they can’t seem to get ahead. On the other hand, gratitude is one of the most powerful feelings known to man. An attitude of gratitude can be attributed to the healing of fatal diseases, attracting loving relationships, and all manner of good fortune. It is vital in order to flourish in business and life. And, it just feels good.

These three things, if started today (now, don’t procrastinate), can literally and radically change your life for the better – and rapidly, at that. You do want to remember to do it compassionately though. This is a journey. Literally, where you are placing your attention is creating your reality. This is basic brain science, actually; there’s nothing ‘woo-woo’ about it. You may as well focus on what you want/desire instead of what scares you. Focus on what gives you meaning instead of what keeps you insecure and stuck.

You may as well deal with your limiting beliefs about who you think you can be, what you can do, or what you can have. If you have the courage to learn how to retrain your brain, you are more likely to actually inspire others to grow, feel great about yourself, and be willing to drop the fear of admitting that you can make mistakes. Making mistakes is just a “miss take,” as in ‘do it again a different way’, like a movie director does on a movie set. If you only did these three things, which you can do without even understanding how your brain creates your reality, you would radically change your life for the better.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at