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The power of Storytelling

Storytelling, the go to for motivation

Think of the last time you had to motivate or move someone to action. How did you persuade them? Did you…Wow them with facts and figures? Entice them with the promise of reward? Plead and wail in desperation? Maybe you warned of consequences if they failed to deliver the goods? Or did you look at the overwhelming evidence for the power of storytelling, make sure they were sitting comfortably and tell them a story?

The power of storytelling

Storytelling is such a powerful tool that marketing professionals routinely monitor our emotional responses to their work, ensuring that their ads resonate emotionally with their audience to increase sales. Studies reveal that when an ad tells a story which creates a positive emotion in you, the customer, the brand’s sale increases. Ad companies are not just using guess work here, storytelling has attracted huge interest from the fields of psychology and neuroscience.

Storytelling activates the brain and engages our senses

Neuroscientists studying how our brains respond to storytelling have discovered that the areas of the brain that are engaged by a story go way beyond mere recognition of language. When  a story includes the words ‘cinnamon’, ‘lavender’ and ‘soap’, the area of the brain that processes smells is activated along with the language centres of the brain. Similarly, when action words are used in a story, they activate the motor cortex, the area of the brain used for movement. The evidence is clear, if you want to inspire action and fuel the fire of  enthusiasm in others, then storytelling is the way to go.

How to nail great storytelling

World renowned screenwriter, lecturer and all round doyenne of storytelling (his students have probably written some of your favourite films) Robert McKee,  advises that the most powerful way to motivate and inspire others is by tying an idea to a story.

Uniting your idea to a story engages the emotions and energises your audience. At the same time, storytelling enables you to weave a huge amount of information into the narrative. If you want to make a significant change in your organisation, use storytelling to paint a vivid picture of the future you envision to engage others and motivate them to act.

You can use your story to set the scene of the situation, starting with the status quo, where a balance and predictability exists. We tend to expect that things will stay the same but then a new event occurs, what screenwriters like McKee call the ‘inciting incident’, something that throws us off balance.  The new event could be a change of leader, a merger, the loss of a contract. The protagonist of the story’s job is to overcome challenge and deal with the reality of the situation compared to their expectations. The protagonist ultimately digs deep and finds a resilience to overcome all challenges and succeed.

Want to learn more about storytelling skills? Learn more from the master, Robert McKee here

We love to talk about all things motivational at Positive Change Guru. Check out our forthcoming events or get in touch to find out more about our suite of courses and discuss bespoke motivational training for your organisation.

Managing Change? Try Riding the elephant!

‘For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future’. John F. Kennedy

Want to achieve your Goals? Think emotion and reason

Within psychology it’s generally accepted that there are two elements of the brain that are engaged when we tackle any task. Firstly, there is the emotional side, which is instinctive and feels pleasure and pain. Secondly, there is the rational side, which considers options, rationalizes and balances consequences.

In his book ‘The Happiness Hypotheses’, Jonathan Haidt refers to the emotional side of the mind as an Elephant and the rational side as it’s Rider. For any successful change to take place, the Rider and the Elephant must work together. The Rider is unable to work against the Elephant for long as the effort is too exhausting. Leaders must speak to both the Rider and the Elephant for effective change to occur.

The Rider, The Elephant and The Path

Chip and Dan Heath (2011) adopt Haidt’s analogy for use as a model to guide individuals and organizations through change. They contend that for successful change to take place, three elements must be addressed in any situation:

Direct the Rider. It is essential for the Rider to have absolutely clear direction. What appears to be resistance to change can often be a response to lack of clarity. Providing a strong direction for the Rider by finding the bright spots of successful change elsewhere and using these successes as a model to engage others in similar situations convinces the Rider that they can implement similar change successfully.

Motivate the Elephant. What appears to be laziness can often be exhaustion. Studies show that the more often we exercise self-control the more depleted our resources of self-control become. Self-control is defined as a broader type of self supervision, rather than the narrow sense of willpower applied to giving up vices. Motivating the Elephant is essential for change to occur and involves appealing to emotions and deeply held values to inspire action towards change.

The Path. We need to change the path by tweaking the environment, when the situation changes, the behaviour changes, so changing the situation makes sense. We also need to build habits so the Rider doesn’t feel like new behaviours are a task or a drain on reserves. Behaviour is contagious, so look for ways that enable it to spread.

We love to talk about all things change at Positive Change Guru. Check out our forthcoming events or get in touch to find out more about our suite of courses and discuss bespoke growth mindset training for your organisation.

5 steps to boost confidence

A huge thank you to Gill Thackray for her guest blog that shares five simple but effective tools for boosting confidence.

Confidence – the elusive holy grail?

Confidence – the elusive ‘holy grail’. We all know we should build our confidence but the sticking point is knowing exactly how to do that. We know it when we see it but how do we actually create it?

Confidence encompasses everything from our behaviour and our body language to how we communicate. We all know someone who has it in bucket loads, they effortlessly exude it, but take a closer look and you’ll see that their seemingly ‘effortless’ confidence is something that you can study, learn, practice and perfect. These five simple but effective tools will have you well on your way to feeling, looking and sounding confident regardless of the situation in which you find yourself.

5 steps to boost confidence

1. Develop self-efficacy
This is the belief that you will succeed and that you can achieve your goals. To develop this, work out exactly what you want to achieve and then:
create mastery experiences where you’re setting and achieving goals, not necessarily the first time you try, remember it’s a learning experience
find vicarious experiences – observe others’ achievements and work out (or ask them) how they got there. This will shorten your learning curve. If they can do it, you can too
create a support network of people to be your own personal cheerleaders and encourage you
Think about how you manage your reactions to stress, view setbacks and stress in a positive light, it’s all learning rather than ‘throwing in the towel’.

2. Adopt a growth mindset
Recognise that life is a learning curve and that any changes you want to make to your confidence levels will require hard work and effort. When you try but ‘fail’, treat each setback as information that you can use the next time round to help refine your skills.

3. Play to your strengths
Work out what you are good at and emphasise these skills. Try a ‘strengths assessment’ to find out where your true strengths lie and then use them to your advantage.

4. Monitor your self-talk
Listen to that small (or big) voice that narrates every time you try something new. If it’s a negative, ask yourself, “where’s the evidence for that?” or “is that 100% true?” Rewire your brain by making a conscious effort to find evidence that suggests you canrather than you can’t.

5. Set yourself SMART goals
It sounds obvious but it’s hard to hit a target that you can’t see. Identify the changes you want to make and then start small and build up to bigger challenges. As you work your way up to larger goals your competence and your confidence will increase along the way.

We love to talk about all things confidence related at Positive Change Guru. Check out our forthcoming events or get in touch

to find out more about our suite of courses and discuss bespoke confidence building training for your organisation.

Living your values is essential to success


“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Roy Disney

Values give us meaning

At the start of the year many of us appraise our professional and personal lives and spend  time thinking about what we’d like to achieve for the year ahead. Maybe you’ve resolved to carve out more time in your hectic schedule to spend with family and friends? Perhaps you’ve committed to find a new job or decided to live a more minimalist lifestyle? All of these decisions involve values.

Defining Values

Values are principles, they’re comprised of that which we hold to be important in life. Maybe you’ve never  sat down to ask yourself which values you hold most dear but when someone challenges or offends an important value, you’re sure to respond, on an almost instinctive level.

Living your values

When we commit to change, how do we know that our decision is soundly based and likely to motivate us to success? One effective way of checking that your goals are a good fit is to ask yourself, ‘Does this goal align with my values?’ If you’ve never actively considered what your values are, why not spend some time considering the following questions:

  1. What causes and issues do I feel most strongly about?
  2. What do these causes and issues have in common? Maybe they all relate to fairness or justice? Perhaps each issue displays your strong love of education, creativity, perseverance or connecting with others?
  3. Who do you most admire and why? Do you see a pattern in what you admire about others that relates to your core values?

Values and motivation

Check your goals against your values, do they sit well together or is conflict evident between them. Your motivation to stick with a goal is hugely influenced by how aligned your goal is with your core values. Maybe you’re goal is to go all out for a promotion at work but your values are more aligned with having less materially but being able to spend more time on creative pursuits? If your job isn’t tapping into your creative side then this could be a tough goal to follow. You may have a long list of rational reasons to pursue a goal but if there is no emotional, passionate connection with your values embedded in your goal, then when the going gets tough your goal could suffer.

3 reasons to live your values

  1. We tend to be happier when our goals match our values. When you’re faced with a tough task, knowing that completing it reflects your core values can be the push you need to get you through. Your achievement is all the more satisfying, knowing that it reflects what is truly important to you.
  2. If we’re happier when we live our values it stands to reason that many decisions will be easier as well easier to live with if your actions reflect your values.
  3. When you live your values you are the master of your own destiny. Thinking about your core values and intentionally living by them can open up new possibilities and experiences.

We love to talk about all things change management related at Positive Change Guru. Check out our forthcoming events or get in touch to find out more about our suite of courses and discuss bespoke change management training for your organisation.

3 essential steps to navigate change


‘There is nothing so stable as change‘. Bob Dylan

Transition and Change

Are you working on your New Year’s resolutions, transitioning from old habits to new and making changes in your personal or professional life?

Change is defined as something that takes place quickly and is a shift in the externals of a situation, for example, a new leader is appointed within an organisation. Transition, by contrast, is the internal, emotional and psychological process that a person undergoes when they relinquish the old arrangement and embrace new situations. Change is made up of events whereas transition is an ongoing process. The Transition Model is the work of the late William Bridges, and is valuable for those experiencing change because it focuses on transition rather than change. This transition model is predominantly used for organisational change but the three stages can just as easily be applied to personal change.

Three stages of transition

The Transition Model highlights three stages of transition that individuals experience during the change process:

Ending, Losing and Letting Go.
The Neutral Zone.
The New Beginning.

Stage 1: Ending, Losing and Letting Go

This is the initial stage that occurs when people are confronted by change and is typified by resistance and difficult emotions when people are confronted with letting go of what is familiar and comfortable to them. In stage one people focus on the past, on what feels certain and safe. William Bridges cautions that many change projects fail because organisations and individuals try to proceed too quickly to the third stage (the new beginning) and don’t spend enough time at this initial letting go stage. Typical emotions at this stage are:

A sense of loss

Support in Stage One

It’s crucial to acknowledge emotions during stage one, doing so is part of the process that enables people to accept the ending and begin to progress to accepting the new situation. Open communication and listening is key at this stage, people will have lots of anxieties and questions about the change taking place and what it means for them. The more people are encouraged to envision the positive role they will have in the future, when the change has occurred, the more likely they are to progress to the next stage.

Stage 2: The Neutral Zone

The second stage is characterized by uncertainty and can be disorienting. New ways of doing things may create increased pressure as people develop new habits or ways of working. Typical emotions at this stage are:

Low productivity and low morale
Anxiety regarding their place in the future
Doubtful about the effectiveness of the change process
Resentment regarding the change

Support in Stage Two

Ensuring a strong sense of direction and purpose at this stage is essential and avoids  feelings of being adrift and rudderless. In the neutral zone it’s important to envision success and be able to see the positive effects of the change. Setting and achieving easy win goals is crucial at this stage, such goals help us to see that efforts have been successful. Celebrating effort and achievement is also an important element of highlighting success.

Stage 3: The New Beginning

The final stage is characterized by an acknowledgement of progress and embracing of the change. At this stage people are more accepting of the change and their transition includes developing their skills to meet new demands. Typical transition experiences now include:

Increased energy for their role
Commitment to the organisation (or individual change)
Enthusiasm to learn new skills

Support in Stage Three

Sustaining enthusiasm, positive attitudes and positive relationships is key during the final stage of transition. Not everyone will reach this stage at the same time, so maintaining the momentum is crucial, if momentum starts to flag, it’s possible to slip back to earlier stages when advantages and positive effects of the change are not felt. Some people will not move through the stages at all. Continuing to highlight success stories and celebrate individual, team or organisational wins embeds the change.

Want to follow up with more tips on change? See Dan Heath on change:

4 Tips to Kick Start your New Year’s Resolutions

A big thank you to Gill Thackray for her guest blog with tips for kickstarting those New Year’s Resolutions for success.

 4 Tips to Kick Start your New Year’s Resolutions (and give you the crucial 1 in 8 chance of maintaining them)

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice.

And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Another New Year, another set of resolutions. Good intentions abound but somehow, when January comes around, it all just seems harder than it sounded. Hands up if you’ve ever resolved to ;

  • lose weight
  • exercise more
  • find a work-life balance
  • meditate
  • stop smoking
  • eat healthily
  • spend more time with family
  • manage your time more effectively
  • just be nicer to be around

It comes as no surprise then, to learn that research from the university of Scranton suggests a measely 8% of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. After the first week of January a whopping quarter of us will have already ditched the goals we committed to at the beginning of January.

 4 Steps to Kick Start Your New Year’s Resolutions

For all of the resolution doom and gloom, the 8% success story is doing something different to the rest of us (and those persevering after the first week of January aren’t looking too shabby either). But what is it that’s setting them apart? Positive Change Guru investigates…

  1. Begin before New Year

Take time out to really consider what is important to you, where you want to be in a year’s time, five years time or even longer. What do you want your life to look like?

Think about what you’d like to achieve, things you want to change (and why) and commit to a handful of goals rather than an avalanche of changes. If you’re randomly choosing things on New Year’s Eve they’re likely to be half hearted and lack a genuine commitment to make them happen.

  1. Believe that you can

First things first, if you don’t really believe it’s possible for you to achieve any of those new year’s resolutions that you held your hand up to, it’s not going to happen. Build your self belief by;

  • Recognizing what you’ve already achieved. Buy a journal and make a note of goals you’ve conquered to date, along with new accomplishments each day.
  • Create an ‘achievement’ box of things that remind you of your successes; certificates, thank you cards, momentos.
  • Identify your strengths and use them to leverage your New Year’s goals. The VIA Strengths Character Assessment is a great place to start authentichappiness.org
  • Monitor your self talk. Banish negativity by making your mind a ‘No put down’ zone. Whenever you hear your inner critic doubting your ability to reach a goal ask “Where’s the evidence?” “Is there another way of looking at this?” and then counter the negative thought with a positive response shifting from “I’ll never be able to do this” (negative) to “What can I do to help me achieve this goal?” (positive).
  1. Start small

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. If you are aiming for several huge, audacious, scary goals all at once, chances are you’ll feel overwhelmed pretty quickly. Start small by identifying two or three goals that you genuinely want to commit to and then break them down again into manageable chunks.

Keep it simple, for example, if building more exercise into your week is a goal then committing to visiting the gym seven times a week is setting yourself up to fail. Think about a goal that allows scope for slippage, start with going to the gym three times a week and build from there.

  1. Create a Plan

Professor Richard Wiseman from the university of Hertfordshire studied a staggering 5,000 New Year’s resolution hopefuls. His research found that only 1 in 10 of us will reach our goals successfully. The reason? That 10% didn’t possess super – human willpower, they simply had a plan (Doh! Why didn’t the rest of us think of that?).

Wisman warns that strategies relying on willpower, pictures on fridges of how we want to look or choosing role models alone won’t work. Instead creating a detailed plan and sticking to it is the way to go. Begin by;

  • Identifying your goals, remembering to keep to one or two.
  • List the benefits of achieving your chosen goal. Will you feel fitter? Healthier? Less stressed? Whatever the benefit, ink it so that you can remind yourself when the going gets tough.
  • Remember the to start small. Chunk them down into smaller goals, think of how you will achieve them, step by step. Keep them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) it’s hard to hit a target if you can’t see it. Then write them down somewhere that you can refer to them regularly, in a journal or on a spreadsheet. If you’re visual, plot your progress on a graph to keep up your motivation.
  • Create your own ‘cheerleading’ team. Tell others about your goals and enlist them for support.
  • Reward yourself for achieving sub-goals. Acknowledge your achievements and celebrate them.
  • Have a strategy for when things go awry. Remember that failure is normal, it’s how we learn as human beings. If something doesn’t go to plan, recognize it, learn any lessons and move on.

So now you’re armed with your guide to becoming one of the 8% who reach and maintain their New Year’s goals we look forward to hearing about your achievements.







How to Manage Mood Hoovers

Are you under attack from Mood Hoovers?

No matter how positive you are, sometimes you’re in a situation where those around you have lost their mojo and radiate negativity. Unknowingly these emotional vampires suck the positivity out of everyone around them with their doom and gloom approach to life. It can happen to any of us and we’re all entitled to an off day but on a regular basis it can be exhausting and completely drain your energy levels. If you frequently find yourself in a situation where you’re surrounded by negativity, in the office, with friends or even at home, here’s our quick survival guide to managing mood hoovers.

[Read more…]

7 small steps to keep big goals on track

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

At work, I covered my desk with motivational quotes, my favourite was Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” But when it came to beginning my dream, I stalled again and again.

I spent several long years dreaming about starting my own business. I longed for the freedom of being my own boss but was daunted by the risk involved. I commuted for four hours every day and spent most of that time daydreaming about running a business but remained overwhelmed when I thought about following my dreams.

A different approach

Eventually I realised that the only way my dream would become a reality was by taking a different approach. Instead of regarding my goal as one huge, life changing event that had to be achieved all at once, I decided to break it down into smaller, more achievable tasks. Each time I accomplished one of my smaller goals, my confidence and self-belief increased and a shift from fear to confidence began to take shape. My fears began to subside and I reached a point where I believed I could succeed. I handed in my notice and continued building my new business, using the same small steps approach to help me achieve my business goals.

Maybe you have a goal that seems so daunting you’re not sure where to start? Don’t be intimidated by the size of your goal, instead, view it as a series of smaller steps or sub goals, this will help you to:

  • build confidence and belief in yourself as you work towards your goal.
  • maintain motivation and develop momentum.
  • acknowledge and celebrate the achievements that mark your progress.
  • maintain focus.
  • Recognise how small and medium sized changes to your routine and habits can support you to achieve much bigger goals.

Try these seven small steps to help keep big goals on track:

  • Break it down. Write down all the different ways in which you can divide your big goal into smaller, achievable tasks. You can tackle your tasks in a specific order, especially if achieving some tasks earlier on will provide you with additional skills you’ll need for tasks further down the line. Alternatively, you can choose a task from the list based on how much time you have available each week. Make sure you commit to achieving one small task every day that will move you closer towards your overarching goal.
  • Timeframes. Give each task a timeframe for completion. Mastering each smaller task is a milestone towards achieving your big goal. A timeframe enables you to maintain focus and see how your big goal is starting to take shape.
  • Know your motivators. Think about your motivation for each step, why is it important to you? What will be gained when you’ve achieved this task? Create a list of your motivations for making this change and keep it to hand. Spend time envisioning how great it will feel when you’ve achieved each step.
  • Savour your successes. We’re all guilty of ticking an achievement off the list and quickly moving on to the next thing without considering what the achievement means. Allow yourself time to savour success and consider the lessons you learned along the way. Savouring success is essential for building confidence and developing your self belief.
  • Be compassionate to yourself. You’d be compassionate with a friend if their efforts didn’t go to plan and you’re no less deserving of that same level of compassion. There’ll always be times when, for whatever reason, things go off track. Refuse to beat yourself up, instead adopt a positive focus and consider what you can do differently next time you’re faced with a similar challenge.
  • Celebrate achievements. Celebrating your achievements is a great way to recognise the progress you’ve made and will provide motivation for the next milestone on your journey towards the big goal.
  • Review progress. A weekly review of your progress helps to keep you focused on what needs to be done and allows you to consistently prioritise your goal. Reviews also enable you to establish what’s working well, check timeframes remain realistic and consider any changes that you need to make to the remaining tasks in the light of what you’ve accomplished so far. Most importantly, time spent reviewing your hard work will help you to recognise how the small and medium sized changes you’ve made to your routine and habits are supporting you to achieve your bigger goals.

Begin your journey of a thousand miles today!

Five easy steps for being more mindful

A big thank you to Gill Thackray for her guest blog on becoming more mindful in five easy steps.

Mindfulness in minutes

Everybody is talking about it, but it isn’t new. Mindfulness and mindfulness based cognitive therapy have been effectively used to treat anxiety, stress and depression for a number of years.

Google famously use it in their ‘Search Inside Yourself’ programme, Deloitte, Barclays, Harvard Business School and UK Sport have been practicing it of late, even Transport for London are jumping on the mindfulness train. So what is it?

More than positive thinking or simple breathing exercises, mindfulness is an effective way to train your brain – it’s all about being in the present moment, consciously aware, paying attention without judging, and it’s a great way to promote happiness and mentally de-clutter.

5 easy steps to being more mindful

With regular practice, mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help you improve your overall wellbeing. Here are just 5 simple ways you can become more mindful in under 5 minutes a day.

1. The Traffic Light
This one is simple and takes just one minute. Think of what you do at a traffic light; STOP! You can do this sitting in your car every time you really are stopped by a red light, sitting at your desk or just sitting in your chair.

Stop: Stop what you are doing. Pause for a moment.

Take a breath: Breathe, it’s easy, we do it all of the time, we just don’t think about it. Really notice how the breath feels entering your body and how it feels as you exhale. Concentrate only on your breath.

Observe: Now you’ve had that pause and breathed a little, how do you feel? What’s going on for you? Just notice, observe it without judging.

Proceed: Time to continue on your journey.

2. One minute Breath
Another technique that only takes a minute.

Set your stop watch or sit in front of a clock and just breathe for one minute. Your aim is to focus on your breath for one whole minute. Notice how the breath feels as it enters the nostrils, how it feels cool as you inhale, how it’s a little warmer as you exhale. That’s all you’re doing concentrating on your breath for an entire minute.

3. Mindful eating
This is a mindfulness favourite and you can do it with chocolate, raisins, dinner, breakfast, anything you like as long as it’s edible. Get rid of distractions like the TV, newspaper, mobile phone, radio or talking and sit down to eat.

Give your full attention to your food; how does it smell, what colour is it? What are the textures like? How do you cut it? Chew slowly and really savour your meal. Notice how it tastes different? This is also a great technique if you are watching your weight, helping you to feel fuller for longer rather than wondering where that bar of chocolate went….

4. A mindful cup of tea
It’s a simple procedure, but there’s a reason it’s a ritual in the Far East. Making (and of course drinking) tea can be a profoundly relaxing experience. Notice the weight of the kettle as you fill it with water, listen to the sound of the water as it runs from the tap, how the light bounces off the endless stream. Notice the sounds of the water in the kettle as it comes to the boil. Stay in the present as you prepare your cup and the tea bag. Watch as you pour the boiling water onto the bag, how it floats as the steam swirls upwards. Then sit down and reward yourself as you notice the heat, the taste of the tea and all of the different flavours as you swallow.

5. Mindful walking
The next time you’re walking, really notice what’s going on around you, the light, the sky, the trees. Feel the ground under your feet, how you breathe as you walk, notice the buildings, your fellow pedestrians. Remain in the present as you head towards your destination. Feel the wind on your face and notice what’s different when you arrive at your destination.

The great thing about mindfulness is that you can use it any place, anytime, anywhere. Practised on a regular basis, mindfulness can improve both your mental and your physical health and offers a great return on investment for a few just a few minutes of your time each day.

How to develop a growth mindset culture in your organisation – Part 2

In the second of this series of two blogs on organisational culture and mindset, we take a tour of seven tips for developing a growth mindset organisation.

1) Refuse to be deterred by negativity.

All individuals will approach learning new information and skills with a different attitude, pace and enthusiasm. Guard against being sidetracked or demotivated by negative comments. Constructive criticism can be helpful but it’s just as important to develop and listen to your own, growth mindset, voice. Filter the feedback you receive from yourself and others and decide whether it comes from a place of growth or a fixed mindset. Adopt a coaching approach towards yourself and others.

2) Envision a positive outcome.

Psychologist, Walter Mischel, creator of the most famous willpower study, the marshmallow test, established that the ability to focus on the positive feelings that will be experienced when a goal is achieved, is a crucial factor for success. Develop a clear and vivid vision of what success will look like and communicate this at every opportunity to others in the organization.

3) Consider the impact of your words.

Ask yourself what impact your words have on those around you. Do you adopt a growth mindset in your relationships and encourage others to learn, develop and embrace challenge? If not, take some time to think of ways in which you can improve your interactions with others in the organization to encourage a growth mindset culture.

4) Take on new challenges wholeheartedly.

Don’t avoid tasks that feel less than easy to master. Challenging tasks allow individuals and teams to develop new skills and abilities. Neurologist, Dr. Harry Chugani ,describes the synaptic connections which occur in the brain during the learning process as being similar to roads. Chugani explains, “Roads with the most traffic get widened. The ones that are rarely used fall into disrepair” (Linley, 2007). New or difficult tasks are an opportunity to develop new skills and build new synaptic connections, with practice both will strengthen and improve performance.

5) Celebrate your successes.

A belief in the ability to change has a direct impact on motivation to try new things, persevere and complete the change process. Make time to acknowledge and celebrate team and organizational successes. Recognise the hard work that has enabled everyone to learn new skills or excel in an existing area. Think about how the organization tackled previous challenges. When you and your team embark on a new learning curve, remember previous achievements that involved the learning process and remind yourself that having a growth mindset helped you to achieve success.

6) Don’t view failure as all defining.

Avoid the fixed mindset trap by learning to view failure as a temporary setback rather than regarding it as being all defining. Individuals with a growth mindset still experience failure and disappointment but don’t allow setbacks to deter them from their goals. When things don’t go as planned take a growth mindset approach and focus on what can be done differently next time to improve performance.

7) Maximise learning opportunities, be open to new information and experiences.

A fixed mindset literally switches us off to learning. Dweck’s research shows the importance of remaining open to new experiences and information, when we do so our neurons fire and wire together, developing our skills and abilities with a growth mindset.

Fired up to find out more? Watch Carol Dweck talk about the power of yet…

Here at Positive Change Guru we love to talk about all things growth mindset. Get in touch to find out more about our suite of courses and discuss bespoke growth mindset training for your organisation.

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