Friday, March 13, 2015

How do you Change Mindsets?

Change happens when mind SET turns into mind FLOW.

We live in the era, more often the "mainstream" mind is far lagging behind the internet speed. It must be acknowledged that the changing mindset can be a very long process, it takes both vision and strategy. It occurs only through a dialogical process. It requires a devotion to fairness, correctness, truth, progress and a solid respect for fundamental rights. Change happens when mindset turns into mind flow.

“A mind is like a parachute, it works best when it’s open.” In order to change anyone’s mindset, the individual must have an open mind. Some say, "the most expensive thing anyone can own is a closed mind.” We can look at changing our own mindsets in the context of ourselves; we are all part of social systems with both individual and collective mindsets. Everyone can take the time to listen to and create some space for us to realign what is important to us? What do we value? What is our purpose in life? We learn our beliefs. Most beliefs are learned and ingrained in our minds at a very young age. Our beliefs are developed from what we see, hear and experience growing up. Some of these beliefs develop from our misinterpretation of what we see, hear and experience. Too often, we operate on autopilot, with our thoughts, emotions, and decisions coming from a subconscious level - accurate or not. Unfortunately, these learned beliefs are oftentimes limiting your mind, forming your bias or blind you from seeing the other side of the coin.

Communication is key. Good communication and feedback are essential throughout the mind change process - if people don't regularly see the reason for the change, they will revert to the old way to do the things. You have to start by creating an awareness of the need for change. In a company setting, that would mean identifying, agreeing and communicating the vision. Thereafter, identify the minds and behaviors required to pursue it. Next, do an inventory of the current status to show the difference between 'as-is' and 'to-be' to determine the required changes. Following this, implement training, coaching, mentoring as necessary to begin the change. Next step is to positively embed the change; for example, recruitment and promotion criteria are weighted in favor of the open and learning minds and new behaviors required.

Gain a deep understanding of what pushes your buttons: Each of us generally knows what will push our buttons, but we haven’t taken the time to analyze why a particular action, comment or image upsets us. This is why so many people and organizations cannot rise any higher than they are in life. They are stuck, unable to make the necessary changes to grow and thrive. The good news is we can change! Using the “button pushing” analogy, we try to change our emotional response to events, looking for better ways to react and interact. This is like trying to change the fruit on a tree. The root must change for the fruit to change. We must change the belief that causes the thought that creates the emotion. Once the belief has changed, the reaction will automatically change. By peeling back the layers after the layer, individuals and organizations can discover why they think, feel and operate the way they do. Once you find where a particular belief originated, it’s easier to realize that the beliefs can change. By changing your thinking, you change the beliefs and change the emotions leading to different decisions, different outcomes, and become a more self-aware and self-improving person with empathy.

Knowledge is the key to changing mindsets, biases, prejudices: Everyone has the ability to change their mindsets. Because every person has degrees of both open and closed mindsets in different contexts. Tied into this is the degree of resistance to change. We are all works in progress; learning, growing and changing. It is important to consider that having an open mind does not equate to have a critical mind, and this difference has fundamental implications regarding the process through which mindset changes or expands. Sometimes, we have lost some of our ability and continuous learning using critical thinking and replaced it with criticizing and belittling. It is our job to change that behavior in ourselves and help people learn to change it for themselves.

So, you are not likely to see the mind changes overnight. It is a long process, it could take from a seven-year itch to lifetime learning. Optimistically, we live in the digital age, may the progressive thinking gets amplified and distributed promptly to speed up such mind changes.


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