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Does Your Mindset Help You Or Hurt You?

Sep 11, 2023

Our brains are an amazing creation. There is so much still to explore and learn about our brains and how they work. One thing we understand better today is how our brains use our experiences, upbringing, culture, and beliefs to create our mindset.

Mindset has many meanings. You may have heard of Fixed mindset versus Learning mindset. That is one way (and an important way) to think about mindsets. But is there a deeper way to think of mindsets? Absolutely!

Mindset Myths

Mindset is not about how we feel at any given time. Emotions are something that happens when we experience things. Their impact lasts about 6 seconds in our brain then the intensity starts to diminish. What we choose to hold onto is what makes up our emotional environment. We can reignite those same emotions over and over but that is a choice we make. People with a heavy emotional load may struggle to release emotions so they have a cumulative impact over time and their emotional load increases.

Mindset is how we approach our life and work. It is a choice that comes out of a number of elements in our lives like experience, culture, beliefs.

The mindset I want to focus on comes out of a well validated assessment that measures 6 different elements.

Objective mindsets:

• Theoretical – Naturally curious, highly values knowledge and is often in pursuit of “truth”
• Utilitarian – Focused on efficiency, good at maximizing return on time and resources

Subjective mindsets:

• Aesthetic – Focused on beauty, harmony, and want things to work and fit together smoothly and the
way they imagine it, so life is fulfilling
• Social – Passionate about and open to helping other people and their causes

Belief mindsets:

• Individualistic (what I think about me) – Find strategic work to be fulfilling, seek recognition,
and enjoy winning
• Traditional (what I think about the world around me and how it should function) – Follow a firm set of beliefs, can be rigid

Excerpt from LifeThrive "Mindsets Manual" - Dr. Chuck W. Coker - © LifeThrive Performance Systems 1993–2022

All of us have a measure of each of these. When we look at the measures in each of these, and their relationship to each other, it is highly predictive of how well someone fits a specific task or job.

Important note: This is not a measure of personality. Personality is based more in genetics. Mindsets are based more in our experience, upbringing, culture, and beliefs. This is a unique set of measures that have proven highly insightful and effective in both the candidate selection process and the development of people. Can these change over time, yes. The beauty of this is there is a specific pathway to develop these mindsets. Check it out at LifeThrive.

Measuring Mindsets

We are on a journey of exploring a variety of assessment tools and how they can help us make better decisions. Good decisions start with good data. Good data gives us the insight and information we need to make our best decisions. The "mindsets" assessment is a highly validated assessment that has served organizations and individuals well for many years. Here is an example of a mindset assessment report:

Copyright © 1990-2023. TTI Success Insights LTD.

Without going deeply into the science of what this graph is telling us, we can see that this individual has a strong utilitarian measure combined with a strong individualism measure. That means they want to lead and that getting good results is important to them. If we were to consider them for a leadership position, this may be a very good fit. The blue lines tell us where the national mean is for each measure.

The point is not to go deeply into all of the psychometric measures in detail, but to show how an assessment tool like this adds significant insight and value.

When we consider all of the different assessment tools that we can use, it is important to think about tools that provide unique insight, are well validated, and can combine with other assessment tools to get the best possible results.

Mindsets in Practice

If we know these mindset measures, then we have clarity and direction, two important elements that are hard to find in today's ever changing world. So, what does this mean in practice? So many people are trying to do tasks or jobs that do not align well with their current mindset measures. This means their chance of failure is multiplied.

In a recent conversation with Dr. Chuck Coker, he quoted some very sobering statistics. The average tenure today for an employee is 2.4 years. However, with the use of a tool like this, that time frame can be increased to well over 4 years, almost double the amount of time. That is a critical fact. Think of how long it takes to train a new employee and get them to full productivity. In many cases, the employee may just be hitting their stride when they leave to go some place else. This turnover problem is nothing new, but now we can begin to identify why that may be happening.

If we put someone in a job that they are not well suited for, the clock starts ticking from the day they are hired. The chances of them being a good long term employee is very slim. But with insight from the Mindset assessment, we can enhance the placement of people into roles that better fit them. Do you want to be an organization that averages a 2.4 year turnover of employees or one that extends the tenure of employees to the maximum possible?

Mindset is a critical measure that most organizations are not aware of. Yes, there are many who use this assessment to great advantage. But the percentage is small in comparison to the total number of organizations who could.

Next steps

What do we do with this information? Reflect on your experience. Have you seen people who look like a good fit to a role but then don't ever really succeed? Maybe that was you. Have you seen leaders who struggle to be leaders? Would knowing this mindset approach and the insights it provides give you or your organization an advantage? Many people would say yes to that last question. They have experienced the power of this assessment and how much insight it adds in a very specific way that other assessments simply cannot do.

Is your mindset helping or hurting you? How would you know? The answer is...measure what matters!


For more, check out our other resources:

EQFIT® YouTube Channel


EQFIT® Podcast

 Copyright © 2023 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected].


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