Everything in my inbox reflects the ramp-up to September that we’ve been writing about for weeks. Clients have asked for fall newsletters, seasonal images for their websites, social media tweaks, and “autumnal” blog content. And I’m right there with them because who doesn’t love the gift of new beginnings?
This is the perfect time to hit “pause” and spend a bit of time looking in the rearview mirror for the purpose of being ready for what is ahead. We’re disciples of the Growth Mindset concept and the autumn’s “fresh start” offers a chance to rewind, review, evaluate, and do things better. Operating with a Growth Mindset is an intentional choice, requiring you to suspend the threat of punishing mistakes (which leads to groupthink) and offer feedback in a manner that is positive and forward-thinking. Below are 7 ways to make the most of the fresh start presented to you by the beginning of autumn:
- First things first: Lay the ground rules. Reassure your team that no one is keeping a checklist of errors. Create a supportive environment by reiterating a desire to become better by being more flexible. Remind them that there are no bad ideas when you are “whiteboarding.”
- Ask your team to redefine success, throwing in things like “learning from mistakes” and “celebrating new ideas.”
- Model it. Share one of your own blunders from the past year and talk about how you fixed it…or how you didn’t. Ask for feedback and don’t get defensive (this may take some inner work before you begin).
- Demonstrate self-compassion. If you are trying to nudge your group toward this new way of thinking, you need to embody an attitude of forgiveness (of yourself) and resilience. Humility is a wonderful springboard for growth.
- Reward effort over outcome. Put #2 into action by regularly celebrating persistance and creativity.
- Brainstorm new ways to learn. Ask everyone to come to the meeting with one clear tactic for doing things differently or learning a new skill that will improve your process.
- Put it on the calendar. Get together regularly to practice this new approach in order to make it a more comfortable and productive strategy.