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Why mindset is critical in our situation today

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Why mindset is critical in our situation today

In an era of virtual teams, viewing other people as valuable allies is even more important

Thailand is deep into the third wave of the pandemic. At this rate, we can be sure that the business landscape will remain at a standstill for some time yet. Business owners and their employees are on edge — will we survive this new, stronger wave of the coronavirus?

Uncertainty rules every aspect of our lives today. If we’re not careful and we’re not ready, we can find ourselves facing overwhelming stress and panic, and that takes a toll on our work and businesses.

As business leaders, we have been given great responsibility for the future of our organisations. On top of managing our people, we must be able to lead them through difficult times, but it is not an easy task. We face many challenges ahead, such as ensuring business sustainability, developing our people into a more adaptable workforce, increasing productivity, reducing costs and striving for innovation.

Given all these challenges, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the reality of what our world has become and where it is headed.

Few of us could have foreseen the destruction caused by Covid-19. Nevertheless, people adapted quickly and adjusted their business strategies to match the uncertainty of the time. Today we’re still adapting but we can still overcome the uncertainty we’re facing.

Now more than ever, our mindset is the key to our survival, in life and business. We may not be able to control the ever-changing situation, but we can control how we perceive it, react to it and transform it into an opportunity for a better life and business.

We may not see the light just yet, but our businesses can find a way to overcome each new challenge. The key is to start with the right mindset.

Mindset is how we perceive things based on our past experiences and knowledge. It is the window through which we see and understand things. However, our mindset can distort the view if it chooses to do so, based on our past experiences and what we know.

Therefore, we need to train it. Our mindset is like any muscle in our body. If we refuse to exercise our mindset in a positive way, it will deteriorate over time and can cause our downfall.

There are many types of mindset concepts, but the one I like to highlight is the Outward Mindset, a concept first developed by Dr C Terry Warner from the Arbinger Institute.

According to Dr Warner, we function between two mindsets — inward and outward. The inward mindset causes us to view other people as obstacles to reaching our goals. But the outward mindset views people as valuable allies who can help us achieve goals together. We all have both mindsets, and they shift depending on the situation. However, we all must aim toward becoming more outward.

You may be wondering how this matters in today’s situation. With social distancing and widespread working from home, working together is not going to be as easy as walking up to a colleague at the office to discuss a problem. The reality is that we need each other now more than ever. We cannot achieve things on our own, not when we are in the middle of a major crisis.

Here are some ways an outward mindset can help us in our business, work and lives today.

With digitisation happening at an even faster rate due to social distancing restrictions and remote work, we face a new set of challenges when it comes to working as a team. While we’ve been given technological tools to help us collaborate better, sometimes, it can be demotivating. Developing the right mindset helps us understand each other’s situation and work together better.

An outward mindset can also help us become more flexible and adaptable. We don’t know what’s going to happen next and it can be daunting to think that our business could fall at any time. An outward mindset not only helps us work together; it also helps us understand that we cannot change the things around us if we don’t begin with the necessary changes internally. Everything needs to begin with mindset, otherwise collaborative behaviour cannot be sustained.

During these unprecedented times, we need each other. We cannot rely on ourselves alone, as many of us are used to doing, if we want to survive the uncertainty we’re facing. While quick changes are necessary, we need to begin with our foundations to ensure we can face any uncertainty that comes our way.


Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC — Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at [email protected] or https://www.linkedin.com/in/arinya-talerngsri-53b81aa. Talk to us about how SEAC can help your business during times of uncertainty at https://forms.gle/wf8upGdmwprxC6Ey9 

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