Develop the right mindset for change (part 2)

A survival kit for disruptive times


Suspending judgement and Switching perspective

Also in this second part of my trilogy on the Change Mindset, Bob Dylan still keeps singing:

The battle outside ragin'

Will soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls

For the times they are a-changin'

Times are changing. More and faster than ever before. And coping with changing times requires the right mindset for change: a Change Mindset. A belief system which helps us cope with changes in both our personal and professional lives. A belief system one can develop through practising three pillars.

As in my first blog I only scratched the surface of how to find the right mindset for change, let’s now take an in-depth look at the first two pillars: suspending judgement and switching perspective.

Suspending your judgement

So let’s start with suspending your judgement, which is basically going from

a ‘yes, but’ reaction to a ‘yes, and’ reply.

The ‘yes, but’ reaction is a real idea killer: “Yes, but... there’s no budget, there’s no time, we’ve already tried that, it’s nothing for our clients.” What if we’d try to suspend our judgement and keep all possibilities open?

This three minute rule can help, whenever you’re facing change:

Ask yourself or your colleagues to get into the ‘yes, and’ mindset for three minutes. If the idea killer is banned and judgement is suspended, you’re forced to think of positive solutions. Your own thoughts or your meeting will turn into a much more creative brainstorm and you and your colleagues won’t be afraid to bring in new ideas. [More details about the exact process of the 3 minute rule]

Switching perspective

This automatically brings us to the second pillar to developing a Change Mindset: switching your perspective. Once you start looking at problems as opportunities, you’ll discover there are actually many different ways to experience the world around you. There isn’t just one reality, it’s all a matter of perspective.

Inspired by the artwork of Swiss artist Markus Raetz, I created a 3D-printed artwork that shows the word Yes or No, depending on where you stand. It’s not the artwork that’s changing when you walk around it, it’s your viewpoint. Which perspective will you choose next time someone comes up to you with an idea?

Let’s look at this situation for example:

Imagine having a client who is always complaining. He calls you every week to tell you what’s wrong with your service. Everybody in the office already knows about him and tries to avoid his calls. To them, he’s a problem. But can you also look at him as someone who is trying to provide you with feedback on how to improve your service? Could he be an opportunity for improving customer satisfaction?

Probably yes! All you had to do was change your perspective.

And don’t get me wrong: It’s not easy. It is usually harder than it sounds. Our beliefs and thinking patterns are often hard-wired into our brains. It took hundreds of years for humanity to accept that the sun doesn’t rotate around the earth. Even now, some people still think the earth is flat. But on the other hand, if we aren't willing to change perspectives, we often lose a lot of opportunities: If you believe self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and 3D printing are dangerous inventions, you’ll never get around to benefiting from them, unless you suspend your judgement and switch your perspective.

Did I give you some concrete food for thoughts while exploring these two pillars in developing a Change Mindset? Well, thank you and watch out for the next and final part of this series: I’ll explain how to use the third pillar by putting theory into practice. Put the pieces together and the survival kit for disruptive times is yours!

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