Walk a Mile in My Shoes: Understanding 6 Critical Mindsets

by Mary Lippitt, Featured Contributor

Learn how to identify which critical mindset enables you to effectively analyze the business situation.

AT SOME POINT in life, we’ve all heard the phrase “ …you must walk a mile in my shoes.” Although this is not a literal suggestion, obviously, it is a sound one that underscores the importance of understanding mindsets in business. When dealing with a business contact or situation, your goal is to understand his goal so that you can make smart decisions that will drive your success while further fostering healthy business relationships.

It’s simple enough to ask a person about his wants and desires — What is it that you want? What are you hoping to achieve? However, people’s words and actions do not always line up — sometimes, because they simply don’t understand that they have changed direction or adopted new goals.

How do you unlock a person’s mindset? This does not require the sophisticated skills of a Sherlock Holmes. What is required is a framework that will help you analyze the situation or relationship. Human nature causes our desires to shift naturally when we are faced with new opportunities or circumstances, and as a result, business leaders often shift their goals frequently as events evolve, risks surface and fresh opportunities emerge. Therefore, you must listen carefully to that which drives the person you are dealing with.

Current priority mindset is the key to effective communication and plan alignment. Seek first to understand the point of view of the person you are working with, and he will surely reciprocate. The first step is to determine if the focus is internal or external, risk mitigation or risk acceptance and whether evolutionary or rapid change is needed.

If attention is on internal issues, risk reduction and careful change, the mindset is occurring in the right hemisphere of the brain and includes: Developing, Performing and Protecting.

If attention is on external issues, risk to seize new opportunities, and fast change, the mindset is occurring in the left hemisphere of the brain and includes: Inventing, Catalyzing and Challenging.

To further your analysis, check the specific interest areas in the group by reviewing the signals that will narrow the selection to a specific mindset. The organizational mindset buckets, listed below and included in my newest book, Brilliant or Blunder: 6 Ways Leaders Navigate Uncertainty, Opportunity and Complexity.

6 Organizational Mindset Buckets

Use my tips to discover the mindsets influencing a business contact and you will pave the way to effective communication that will cement a stronger relationship.

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