People can sniff out your underlying fear and self-doubt no matter how well you think you’re faking it. The mindset you show up with to a conversation determines the outcome.
These mindsets will help eliminate the overthinking and second-guessing you do after a conversation.
Your ability to collaborate and problem solve will improve. Your performance on the job and in your personal relationships will shift from conflict and confrontation to creating powerful partnerships.
You’ll notice these five mindsets have one thing in common. The conversation is not about you, even it is, it is NOT.
Mindset #1: We have a shared goal.
It could be that people just want to have a good time. Or we need to solve this problem. Keeping this shared goal in mind is great because it takes away any thoughts of “winning and losing.”
When you’re thinking about winning and losing, you’ll be subtly comparing yourself to others. Not a game you want to play.
With the mindset of “we have a shared goal,” you’re in a much better position to perform because your social compass will be pointing in the right direction.
Mindset #2: It’s not about me.
No one is judging you. They’re too busy wondering if you’re judging them.
Why do we think others are thinking the WORST about us?
Because of a wonderful concept called the negativity bias.
The negativity bias was a great thing for our ancestors. It was effective for avoiding sabretooth tigers. It’s not great for reading people’s minds at a dinner party.
When we’re in an uncertain environment, our brains constantly try to fill in the gaps. And our default mode as humans skews negative because staying alive is good.
Helpful reframe: We’re ALL hardwired to fear social judgment, so ask yourself: “How can I help OTHER people feel more accepted?”
The benefit here is twofold:
Awareness of the negativity bias will help you process those feelings of perceived judgment. You can even say to yourself: “Everyone is so focused on themselves. They aren’t thinking about me.” This will help you move on from that unproductive emotion.
This mindset is also helpful because it shifts your perspective from the internal (yourself) to the external (others). That’s a huge win.
It levels the playing field. If everyone struggles with perceived social judgment, you can be the person who helps buck the trend by helping people feel accepted.
Mindset 3: It’s not personal
Sometimes it’s easy to let your emotions get tangled up in things, especially if someone’s disagreeing or even attacking your position. Anger, blame, hurt and a bunch of other provocative emotions can be at play, and before you know it you’ve got a bigger problem than you ever thought.
Don’t make it personal – people are allowed to disagree with your position, just as you’re allowed to disagree with others.
By all means, be passionate, but that’s not the same as being defensive or coming out on the offensive with all guns blazing. The moment you start taking differences of opinion as personal criticism and judgement (even if that’s exactly what’s being thrown at you) you’ll be on the defensive or offensive, so balance that passion with the facts and a healthy sprinkling of common sense and perspective.
Mindset 4: I’m Curious
You assume you know what people are thinking, especially when it is something about you or something you’ve put effort into. You don’t have any psychic powers, but somehow you just know. And because you are so certain, you don’t bother to check out what is actually happening.
There could be facts you need to know about or areas you need to explore before taking action. Make sure you go deep enough into those areas to figure out the facts of what’s happening.
This is often a tricky balance between doing enough due diligence to be informed, checking in with your instincts and leveraging your experience to anticipate the different paths, and it means you have to put a hold on resolving the conflict until all parties can do their due diligence.
Be clear on what do you need to know and the most effective ways to get those answers. Work that out with an open mind and you’ll be in a stronger position to move forwards.
Mindset # 5: It’s okay if I’m wrong
If you’re wrong, admit it. Don’t hang on to your position just for the sake of wanting to be right – that’ll just get you into more hot water, is sure to waste everyone’s time and will probably end up with you looking or feeling silly.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking being wrong is undesirable, it isn’t. Allowing yourself to be wrong shows that you’re switched on enough to do the best thing for all concerned and find the best route through. It demonstrates that you’re lead by integrity and are willing to take on new ideas if they work better, even if that flies in the face of what you were thinking previously.
Be ready to be wrong – that’s how you grow.
Curious how self-doubt keeps you trapped? Take the quiz here!