Some books make me rattle with energy. The Outward Mindset is one of those books. This book achieves the all-important “paradigm shift.”
The essence of this book is that your problems are created because you suffer from an “inward mindset.”
What is a Mindset?
Your mindset is your thought pattern. Since it is your mindset, you will always be in the center.
What is an Inward Mindset?
A person with an inward mindset has his thoughts flow towards himself. He thinks thoughts like:
“How can I defend my low closing percentage by switching the blame on my customers, my co-workers, or my managers?”
“Why can’t the world see my personal struggles and challenges?”
“Why can’t the world see my personal goals and objectives, and also care about them?”
This mindset is one that can be described as “guarded” and “self-centered.”
What is an Outward Mindset?
A person with an outward mindset has her thoughts flow out from herself, and towards others. She thinks thoughts like:
“How is my low closing percentage a by-product of me not understanding my client?”
“How can I create a better understanding of my clients, my co-workers, or my managers as people?”
“What are the personal struggles and challenges of others?”
“What are the personal goals and objectives of others?”
This mindset is one that can be described as “open” and “people focused.”
The Premise of an Outward Mindset
This book demonstrates that our problems are caused by the person in the mirror. That is not a new concept. Most successful people would agree that they are responsible for their own success or failure. Yet many believe they must bend others to their will. The belief that if they are stronger than their employees, then they will eventually “break the employee.”
The book makes a case against this thought process. Outward Mindset shows evidence that people are more likely to win when they are considering the needs of others. And, others are more likely to follow when they know they are being considered.
Think of it like this, your kid most likely does more of the behavior you notice than the behavior you don’t notice. Parents tend to notice the “bad” behaviors because those behaviors affect the parent. And, the child wants attention, so the child commits more bad behaviors.
As parents, we should ask ourselves, “What are the goals and desires of my child? What are my child’s challenges?” If we asked those questions, we could see the core of the child’s behavior. Then, we could respond in ways that would actually be more suitable as a mom or dad raising their kids.
This same approach works for our team members.
Hard to Implement, and Harder to Go First
I think the natural default for all adults is to have an inward mindset. Changing this default can be incredibly difficult. It takes serious effort to change a behavior you’ve deeply implanted into your personality over your lifetime.
You can do it, even if it’s hard. But the really hard part is going first, and then getting disappointed along the way.
And, you will be disappointed. Expect that to happen. Just because you have decided to work towards an “outward mindset” doesn’t mean that the people around you have also made that decision.
It will take time before they see the change in you. Then it will take time before they go to work on changing themselves. When you are wondering if your efforts are worth it, just remember …
Leaders Go First Into a Struggle
VIDEO: The Outward Mindset
Question: How would you describe your “Mindset?”
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