By Biagio “Bill” Sciacca
One of the biggest issues I need to work through in management consulting is when a manger suggests to me that his or her employees lack creativity and an expansive mindset.
Most clients hate the next line of questioning because it revolves around what THEY do to increase that level of expansiveness in their employees.
To be sure, the range of available choices to our personal approach to attitude is limitless. (Actually, it is limited by the individual’s perception to the range of choices a person sees as available.)
If you believe the above statement, it means that the only limits people have are the limits that they place upon themselves. In other words, we are limited by our own mind and habits of thinking.
If I may go further in this line of thinking: If we are truly limited by what we think, and thought is one of the few things that we have total and complete control over, that means that we can change our thinking any time we like. And if we change our thinking to embrace more possibilities, and jettison the notion that we can’t change our thoughts, then we can begin the process of a “different mindset.”
At this point you might be asking, “So what?” That’s a fair question. Since thought drives behavior, if we begin to think differently, then we can begin to act differently.
And it is in different actions that all change comes about.
So, if you believe that thought drives behavior and the only way to change behavior is to change your thinking, then the question before us is: what can we do to assist our employees in changing their behavior?
Here are a few ideas:
• Ask your employees what they would do in a specific situation? Just because you’re the manager doesn’t mean you have all the correct answers.
• Give recognition. I have come across very many managers in my tenure who are great at progressive discipline, but get dry mouthed when it comes to giving praise.
• Help your employees imagine possibilities. Ask “what if” questions, then ask a “then what” question.
• Use your organizational culture as a breeding ground for ideas; ask employees to generate ideas, debrief all the ideas in staff meetings.
• Let your employees sample the power of YOUR limitless optimism and replicate it.
No one was born with any limits on their personal power and no one was born with a governor on their capacities or capabilities. The job of a manager is to recognize when a mental bottleneck is preventing employees from becoming all that they can become. This is very important to us because as our employees grow in their personal designs, they are assisting us in growing our department or our company and, as a result of their growth, they are allowing others to grow. This becomes an organic, and nonmanagerial process, because you did not initiate the growth, only the climate to allow growth to occur. (Pretty exciting, huh?)
If you can help your employees make up their minds to be better, do better and achieve more, they will not only do more for you and your organization, but they also will be grateful that you have helped them grow. When you assist an employee in developing a personal skill at work, they can transfer that to other areas of life. You are helping them become more successful in all areas of life, and for that, they will be your friend, your resource and your tireless worker.
1. What can I do to assist my employees in seeing that their choices for attitudinal development are limitless?
2. Am I becoming all that I can become so as to be a role model for all?
3. If not, what can I do NOW, to start that process?
Feel free to email me your answers.
Biagio “Bill” Sciacca, Ph.D., has been a university professional for more than three and a half decades. He is the author of “Goals Book: Embracing Personal Responsibility in an Age of Entitlement,” and “Goals Book 2 The Fieldbook: Putting Goal Setting To Work.” He also is CEO of Intelligent Motivation Inc. and is a speaker and trainer in leadership, strategic planning and executive education, goal setting, management and communiations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-430-9303