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Leaders — Reassess Your Mindset

Today more than ever, a lot is going on in our lives. The business landscape has changed, disrupting many areas, including how we conduct business and connect with potential buyers. Leaders must become more proficient and resilient to succeed now and into the future.

This article, the eighth in the series, continues to introduce the various Change Proficiencies, which are different techniques and strategies required to facilitate successful changes. In the last article, “Leaders — Embrace Purposeful Intentions,” I shared how to strengthen the link between your higher purpose and tasks to increase productivity. This article will present the tool, “Reassess Your Mindset,” to help you rebound quicker from unexpected setbacks.

What It Means to “Reassess Your Mindset”

To “Reassess Your Mindset” is to minimize the impact of circumstances that have compromised your thinking, reasoning and decision-making capabilities, which helps you reclaim your focus and react quickly. For example, due to the economic climate, Tiffany, one of my clients, experienced a sudden and sharp decline in sales that could have required her to let go of several valuable team members. To avoid dire consequences, she needed to make decisions rapidly — but it was evident that Tiffany was not in the best frame of mind to make crucial decisions. By applying the “Reassess your Mindset” strategy, I helped her regain the clarity and confidence she needed to meet the challenges.

Why You Must “Reassess Your Mindset”

There are so many moving pieces during complex changes that getting lost in the noise can be too easy. You may face a loss of your position or compensation, a change in management or the constant pressure of what is happening. Whatever the situation, you cannot achieve the best outcome if your thinking is held hostage by circumstances. The change proficiency “Reassess Your Mindset” helps you make the necessary mental shift to focus on how you want to emerge, and will help you to avoid additional or prolonged professional, financial or personal loss.

How to “Reassess Your Mindset”

To “Reassess Your Mindset,” you must make your mind your ally, challenge beliefs and manage expectations.

Make Your Mind Your Ally

Your thoughts direct you to think about actions that need to be taken. When you say something to yourself, your mind treats that information as directions. Then, it becomes fully engaged in identifying information and activities that support your instructions. When under pressure, you must consciously direct your thoughts to avoid signaling your mind to concentrate on counterproductive actions. Instead, focus on reaffirming your confidence in your ability to rise above whatever obstacles you may encounter.

Challenge Beliefs

Fourteen years ago, after my liver transplant and autoimmune diagnosis, I believed my business would not survive because of my need to make extensive changes. I was frustrated, angry and disappointed. Sometimes we may have approached things in a certain way for so long that we might forget “why.” Or, perhaps we respond in a particular manner to situations because that is the way we always react. Have you ever acted on a professional belief without questioning it?

Our beliefs fuel our thoughts and actions. It is necessary to challenge assumptions and embrace new or different truths to respond effectively and combat obstacles. This takes courage, but it is worth it! Think about your phone. Occasionally, you might need to update your software. When you do, some of the technical issues are corrected and performance has usually improved. If you upgrade your belief software about yourself and what is possible, you expand your ability to move forward.

Manage Expectations

Refocusing with clarity and moving forward with updated beliefs will get you moving in the right direction. However, your ability to manage your expectations will pave the road for a smoother ride towards the desired destination. Our expectations can help or hinder our professional progress. A lack of professional direction can leave us unmotivated to reach our goal. On the other hand, an unrealistic one can encourage us to bite off more than we can chew. Equally important is to be careful not to let past unrealized aspirations dishearten you and cause you to give up. Instead, set goals that challenge and motivate you and are based on reliable information.

The second part of managing expectations has to do with ourselves. It is one thing to emerge successfully from a challenge and think you could have achieved more. It is quite another matter to emerge and feel you did not like whom you had to become to meet your goals. When faced with a significant, urgent and sudden situation, one can be caught off guard. The statement “I expected more of myself” can sting due to disappointment in not honoring one’s values. You must manage what you will stand for and how you will stand in the face of fear. The more you manage your expectations by setting goals that inspire you and are aligned with your values, the stronger you will emerge.

“Reassess Your Mindset” by making your mind your ally, analyzing and upgrading thoughts and beliefs and managing your expectations to meet current and future challenges successfully.

The next article will introduce another Change Proficiency tool.

Donna Johnson-Klonsky, MBA, PCC
DJ Consulting Services, Inc.
East Fishkill, New York 12533

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