Lead With a Coaching Mindset
What Is The “Right Mindset”?
“You just have to have the right mindset,” you may have been told. This “advice” is frequently offered during times of ambiguity or when facing the potentially unfavorable unknown. While, yes, having the “right mindset” is important, people fail to explain what that actually means. Being positive? Sometimes. Positivity alone is not all we need to exhibit a good mindset. This begs the question, what else defines a good mindset?
There are two types of basic mindsets: fixed and growth. A fixed mindset insists we are set in our ways, habits, behaviors, etc. A growth mindset insists we can change for the better, work towards favorable outcomes, and that we are in charge of our futures. Leaders with growth mindsets are more gratifying than leaders with fixed mindsets. When leaders have growth mindsets, they are also much better poised to have better coaching skills. Yet, only 5% of people have this type of leadership mindset.
Each decision you make and action you take every day is a product of your mindset. Mindset is the lens through which we see the world and respond to it. Do you see a given event as an obstacle or an opportunity? For example, if an opinion is challenged by a team member, we can react in one of two ways:
- We can get defensive and prove why our opinion is the most favorable.
- We can seek to learn why they have an opposing position, learn from their angle, and understand a new perspective we had not before.
The first route embodies a fixed mindset; the second route embodies a growth mindset. Choosing route two over route one isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you are someone that doesn’t do well with opposition, think about how you’ve acted in the past, and think about how you might act differently in the future. No one is perfect, so why should you feel insecure about an opinion you have? The opposition, when presented in an amicable way, is a great opportunity for understanding different minds, thought processes, and learning from peers/colleagues.
The mindsets of the people we work with very much affect us as individuals – positive or negative. In many cases, we can feel the impact – emotional, mental, or physical – of what someone around us said. Whether we want to believe it or not, we are influenced by those we spend the most time around. If your leader is not exhibiting a growth mindset, you will be closed off to certain growth opportunities. If your leader’s leader is also exhibiting a fixed mindset, this will continue up the chain, and so forth.
Whether we want to believe it or not, we are influenced by those we spend the most time around. If your leader is not exhibiting a growth mindset, you will be closed off to certain growth opportunities. If your leader’s leader is also exhibiting a fixed mindset, this will continue up the chain, and so forth.
A Leader Coach’s Mindset In Action
A coaching mindset is a growth mindset. Leaders and managers who lead with a growth mindset are able to properly coach their teams to seek new opportunities, learn new skills, and pave pathways to do so. A growth mindset demonstrates that even leaders can learn from those they lead. This coaching leadership mindset will have an effect on the employees. Employees will believe that they have the ability to aim high and achieve feats, and this spark will ignite throughout the organization.
Leader or manager coaches believe their coachees, or people on their teams, can shape and change their attitudes and behaviors as a result of coaching. The coaching mindset that individuals can learn more in their jobs, find projects that match their strengths, and deliver at an exceptional level is imperative to see results. The underlying mindset is stable, and the context of your current situation determines how you live out that mindset. As you can imagine, mindset goes far beyond the individual; mindset leads to what promotions you do or don’t get, and the career path you find yourself on. If you have the growth mindset to set yourself up for success, utilize the proper tools, and put in the work, you will accomplish what you set out to with the help of your leader coach.
How to Shape Your Leadership Mindset
A growth mindset isn’t about having it or not. Mindset is a sliding scale, like anything else, and the first stage to changing your mindset is being self-aware. Self-awareness is the ability to see, know, and understand your behaviors and actions and the implications they have on both yourself and those around you. Personal self-awareness is achieved through reflection. It’s a way of thinking that takes time to practice. Understand what makes you click. Understand your own personal needs, values, and internal motivators. Once you understand yourself and the way you are wired, you can apply it to other parts of your life.
Self-awareness is the ability to see, know, and understand your behaviors and actions and the implications they have on both yourself and those around you.
The second part of awareness, understanding the implication of your actions on others, will give you the skill to shift your leadership style. Leaders have an underlying foundation that shapes their leadership mindset and style. Your style of leadership should shift depending on who is on the other end. No two people are the same. You need to meet the other person where their head is at. Everyone has different needs and different desires. The leader needs to be aware of those things and knows how to shift their communication accordingly.
Your style of leadership should shift depending on who is on the other end. No two people are the same.
You will become a better manager/leader by instilling a growth mindset in your practice with those around you. The “right” coaching mindset is different for everyone, and there is no “one size fits all” approach. Know that growth mindsets will serve your team, your leaders, and your organization the best since a growth mindset promotes learning, openness, and greater opportunities for coaching. If you would like more information about Churchill’s Leader As Great Coach Program, please see our brochure or contact us!
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