In my post last week, I wrote about how to help you and your team become more effective by managing emotions. Emotions are one piece of the emotions, beliefs, actions cycle.
This week, I’m addressing the component of beliefs. As I mentioned last week, we need to manage our response to stress by managing our emotions, beliefs, and actions. They are all interconnected and build on each other forming a spiral of experiences.
You can control whether this is a spiral down or a spiral up by addressing emotions, belief, and actions.
Recognize limiting beliefs:
Just as the first step in managing your emotions was to recognize and identify them, the first step in addressing your beliefs is to recognize them and evaluate them. Do you hold beliefs that are limiting your potential or that of your team members? There is a whole field of study examining how our beliefs become self fulfilling prophecies. We become what we believe we will become. You will achieve what you believe you will achieve. This is not magical thinking. If you believe in an outcome, you will invest in the work and resources needed to achieve it. If you don’t believe the end result is possible, you will not work nearly as hard to achieve it. Your heart won’t be in it and motivation to achieve will be low.
This also impacts how we view the situation when we have setbacks or failures. Those who believe they will achieve the end result will use these as learning opportunities, not as sign to give up or completely change course. Learning what doesn’t work is just as important as learning what does work. There is no success without learning what doesn’t work. The beliefs you choose to hold will determine how you view the challenges along the way. It is a choice.
This also applies to your team. Do you believe your team is doing their best and committed to achieving the desired end result? If so, you will be supportive and provide them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. Any setbacks encountered will be viewed as learning experiences and not attributed to shortcomings within team members. This is an important belief to hold to retain staff long term and assist them in their growth and development within your organization.
If you hold on to limiting beliefs regarding yourself or your team members, examine them to see where this belief is coming from. Is it based on fear of uncertainty or anxiety related to the current situation we find ourselves in or other factors that are not based in facts and reality? If you find you are holding beliefs based on fear or uncertainty, it is best to let them go and replace them with beliefs that will help you move forward and attain the results you are looking for. This goes beyond giving people the benefit of the doubt to truly believing they are the right people to get the job done and will accomplish the tasks needed to the best of their abilities.
During this time, we need to recognize everyone is faced with extraordinary challenges managing our daily lives. The reality is you and your team will not be performing at 100% every day. We need to acknowledge and respect that some days we may be at 70% or less and be okay with that. Adjusting expectations to the reality of life in the pandemic will serve us well now and as we return to work settings. Accountability needs to remain, but the time needed or specific outcomes need to be revised in light of the stress we are all experiencing.
As a leader, it is your responsibility to modify goals and objectives to what is feasible to achieve. Your beliefs and vision of what to focus on as a priority must be clear and your supportive conviction will help your team share your beliefs of success.
Focusing on what is within your control will provide the feedback on the feasibility of your goals and objectives. During these times, there is much more outside our control than in the recent past. Our suppliers, customers and other stakeholders have also experienced significant shifts. What used to be a “sure thing” is now questionable. There are changes in regulations and laws on an almost daily basis impacting all we do; some for the better and some providing additional challenges. How you choose to look at these is part of the beliefs you choose to hold and express to your team. Do these challenges drive you to be more creative and examine business processes that have always existed for more efficient processes, or do these become simply a source of frustration and hopelessness? It is a choice.
Look for the positive and celebrate success:
Focusing on what is working well and building in formal ways to celebrate success will help you and your team retain the positive beliefs mindset. Our minds are wired to focus on the negative far more than on positive. It is part of survival programming. The literature cites anywhere from 3 to 5 positive thoughts are needed to balance just 1 negative thought. In situations of excessive stress or crisis, this ratio is even greater.
As a leader you need to base your feedback and support with the 3 to 5 positive messages to every constructive message. Building in daily or at least weekly opportunities to review and celebrate the successes within the team, recognizing specific achievements from all members is important at the best of times and even more important to building success during these times.
This will place you and your team in the best possible situation to success now and as we reopen and return out our places of employment.
If you would like to discuss any of this or related topics in more detail, please contact me to book your complimentary, confidential discussions session at firstname.lastname@example.org
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