It is a common design principle to build systems and plans for the norm instead of for the exception. So why not design your mindset the same way?

To embrace a positive coaching mindset, assume the best of others. If you choose to protect yourself from disappointment by always thinking the worst, you have also chosen disappointment as the filter through which you view all things and people . . . and that’s just what you will get.

Alternatively, you can choose to think the best all the time. Choose to make a positive mindset your norm. Sure, you might be disappointed occasionally but, most of the time, you will be programming your mind and others to achieve their best.

Your mindset predisposes you to see behaviors that reinforce your mindset, negative or positive. No doubt, your employees can be frustrating and noncompliant at times. That’s why it is so important to bring a positive mindset into the relationship.

If your mindset is, “This team member is difficult and not collaborative,” you are already predisposed to look for, and predictably find, behaviors that reinforce this negative mindset.  If your mindset is, “I think this employee can stretch herself and really lead this project successfully,” you will likely look for and find skills and behaviors that support your mindset. This is known as confirmation bias, which is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms your preexisting beliefs.

As a leader coach, consider what you will see and the different outcomes you can expect if you choose the positive coaching mindset on the left versus the negative one on the right.

Researchers illustrated the power of mindset by proving that managers who used a strength-based approach with their employees helped to improve employee performance by 36.4 percent.

On the other hand, managers who focused primarily on the employees’ weaknesses helped to decrease their employees’ performance by 26.8 percent. If you are committed to winning results and relationships, then choosing a positive coaching mindset is an easy choice because it is the only choice.

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 “Lee and Julie deliver powerful lessons with simple, concise language. As inspirational as it is practical. A vital tool for leaders at any career stage. An extraordinary book!”

– Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, The Thinkers50 #1 Leadership Thinker in the World