Leadership Training Focuses on the Mindset

The participants in my New Manager Leadership Training learn to develop awareness about their mindset. The mindset is an indicator of how successful we are in our relationships – at work and at home. Our belief system always plays out in the world of our choices, decisions and actions.

New Management Leadership TrainingA client, let’s call her “Liz” to protect her identity, recently fired her doctor because of the doctor’s mindset. Liz has a cancerous tumor pressing on her brain. The doctor, one of the most credentialed in cancer research, kept telling Liz that she will most likely need to use the strongest possible radiation to kill the cancer in her head after they have removed the tumor. She said Liz will most likely lose her eye sight and other functions. When Liz burst into tears at the news, the doctor simply repeated “the facts”. She said the cancer is so difficult to treat that it is best for them to prepare for the worst.  Liz is already a cancer survivor of a different type of cancer and would not accept that. She knows what a positive attitude can do.

She explained to me why she had demanded the hospital assign her to another doctor. Liz said: ”Kristiina, if my doctor can see only the worst possible outcome, she will make it so when she will be treating me. People do not want to be wrong, and I don’t want to help prove her right. 

She might be a great doctor in a technical sense but not a leader in the human relationship management sense. She would never succeed as a leader. A leader inspires by giving hope. I will make sure I have a doctor who leads me through this process with a positive attitude. She or he must inspire me to believe that we can beat this, and – even when the job is difficult – focus on the expectation of the positive outcome, not the disaster. The struggle through this disease is scary and depressing enough as it is, I do not need my doctor take away my will to live.”

In a recent movie “About Time” the main character, Tim, has an ability to travel back in time and live a “do-over” (wouldn’t that be handy!). He intentionally lives through a same day twice: once with the mindset of having to get through the grind, and second time around with a decidedly positive attitude, savoring the moment, looking at beautiful side of life and grasping opportunities for kindness and fun.  It is a great illustration of how our mindset creates our experience.

It is paramount for a leader to be aware of what kinds of expectations drive his or her behavior, interactions, choices and decisions. What is the attitude you come to work with? What is the emotional state underlying the way you are working towards accomplishing your goals?  What are the intentions you’ve set for the day? What is your mindset when you are interacting with your team members? Do you carry around a cloud of negative, stressful energy or do you bring hope and sunshine for people you work with?

In my work with new team leaders and managers we focus on increasing a skillset and a mindset for both productivity AND positivity on the team. It is the combination of those two – not just one or the other – that make the teams high performing! Contact me for more details.

5 Responses to Leadership Training Focuses on the Mindset

  1. Margaret Spencer November 12, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    This is such a great point Kristiina! Attitude is everything. Each day we choose how we see the world around us and the people in it. I agree, this doctor is not a good leader and she is right to have higher expectations and value herself enough to find a doctor who shares her mindset. Thank you for reminding all of us that we are worthy of the best!

  2. Bob Nitschke December 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    Excellent article! Far too many people do not understand that we must take control of our own lives and fill it with the emotions and attitudes that reflect who we are, not what others want us to be. You personally set an excellent example of what it means to treat people with compassion and respect. Please keep writing.

    • Kristiina Hiukka December 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

      Thank you Bob, for your kind comment! It’s great to be supported by people I admire!

  3. David Lightfoot December 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    I don’t know whether we can actually affect the medical outcome through our attitude. But even if we can’t, we still choose how we deal with every situation. A positive mental attitude makes the journey so much more pleasant. Why not choose that?

    • Kristiina Hiukka December 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      Hear, hear, David! That is the point: we can always choose our approach or attitude… I wish you the best with my thanks!

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