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Shifting your mindset

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Phil Crothers

Sep 14, 2021

I’m really privileged to work in an environment where people are at the forefront of everything we do. Yes, I work for an accounting tech company, but without its people, Xero doesn’t exist. Without people with a wide range of skills and experience, we don’t have a business. Without people who create and run small businesses, we don’t have a need for our product. People are the foundation of everything we do and should always be our first thought if we want to be sustainably successful in what we do.

Whether you’re a business owner with a team behind you, self employed, or a team member, wellbeing should be a point of focus. Your clients, your staff, and believe it or not – yourself, are people. And that comes with it a certain level of care.

For many years I focused on our internal capability but over the past two years I’ve been lucky enough to start sharing all of the things that make Xero great with those who don’t work at Xero. 

Subjects like wellbeing and mental health can seem confronting to some or too hard. For me, the simpler we can make it, the easier it is for everyone to engage with. So here are some simple thoughts I have around wellbeing and growth mindset that can help you perform better or create high performance within yourself or your teams. 

Set the standard

The wellbeing of your team starts with you. How you feel drives how you behave, so it’s important to acknowledge how you’re really feeling. Let’s say for example on Sunday night you have an argument with a friend, because of this you don’t sleep well. You wake up grumpy and tired on Monday morning, to make things worse your friend is not speaking to you and you head to work. Your first meeting of the day is with a newish employee who’s been struggling to get up to speed. How is that likely to go? 

It is important to get our heads and our hearts right before we engage in anything. Self awareness is foundational to our success. Taking five minutes of simple reflection can have a huge impact on your day. Simple, right? But how many of you actually do it? How many times have we made big mistakes that could have been avoided with a little reflection?

To help with this, here is a handy wellbeing continuum that I use and use with others:

 This is a simple yet powerful tool to not only self reflect, but have conversations with your team. If you’re ‘surviving’ or ‘overwhelmed’, what do you need to help move you towards a better place? You will not be successful in helping others if you’re unaware of yourself. 

Having these conversations with your team or clients will help build a psychologically safe environment and relationship where people are honest and have trust. And trust is at the foundation of most high performing teams. 

Learn to grow

You may have heard the term ‘growth mindset’ thrown around a lot lately. I’m often asked, how do we build a growth mindset? The answer again is easy… but can also be made hard because we’re humans. It’s as simple as changing can’t to can’t yet. In my opinion, it’s nearly impossible to build this growth mindset without a safe environment where it is OK to be yourself, make mistakes and know that failure won’t mean punishment. Now I don’t believe it is possible to have a growth mindset 100% of the time. Being aware of how we are feeling within a fixed mindset is the key to moving out of it.

This is a simple image I use to help move others from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

When you look through these statements you’ll notice that it’s a simple change in perception or even language that can help make the shift. When do you find yourself in a fixed mindset? For me, it’s when I’m ‘hangry’. It’s best not to talk to me if I haven’t eaten, or better yet – offer me a snack and we’ll be best friends in no time!

If you want to be successful in business, if you want to have a happy productive team, if you want to have sustainable relationships with your clients then it starts with you. Of course there is far more to wellbeing and success than this but it’s these strong and fundamental basics that will get you started. How you feel drives how you behave. So, how are you feeling?

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