We hear so much about how important it is to ‘keep the big picture in mind’. I agree, it is important, but so is having a good eye for the details.
When you’re running a business those finer details are what keeps your business ticking over. Being able to focus on them is vital to the very survival of your business.
Having the ability to think both big and small will not only benefit the running of your business, it will also help you to deal with others and help them to adapt their thinking when it’s necessary.
Thinking big is vital to the long term goals of what you are doing. Thinking small helps you to focus and get the job at hand done. Being able to keep both big and small picture in mind brings it all together. The ability to adapt that picture to the current situation is also known as ‘Chunking’.
We chunk up when we want to expand our view and include the vision of where we want to go. We chunk down when we need to hone in on implementing the actions we need to take to get us there. Both are necessary to implement a great business plan (you do have one of them, right?)
As a leader of your business, having the ability to switch between both is a must. Some people tend to have their focus fixed on one or the other. They are the dreamers who have great ideas but don’t take the action steps to bring those ideas to fruition, and the bean counters who are so lost in the details they forget what the big picture is. Having an awareness will help you to get others to adjust their mindset when the need is called for. You can encourage them to chunk up and look at how the current tasks fit in with the long term goals and vision. Or you can show them how the dream can be lost without attention to detail.
Chunking is also a great tool during times of conflict. It is often a miscommunication or a different perspective that leads us to disagree with others. By chunking up or down you can get on to the same page as them and understand where they are coming from. You can also encourage them to chunk either way to see your perspective. It will help you to relate and reach a point of understanding.
Running a business can be challenging at the best of times. It’s easy for us to become disheartened when things aren’t going well. That’s a great time to chunk up and remember why you are doing what you’re doing. From there you can develop an objective viewpoint for what needs to be done. At that point, you can chunk down and get your to-do list in order.
Chunking is a great example of how we can use Emotional Intelligence to benefit our lives and our business. If you have a think about it you will see that it can be used effectively in most aspects of our lives where we need a greater understanding of either people or a situation.