Exercising an Abundance Mindset: There are many strategies we can use to develop positive leadership skills. One of the most crucial is to look at the overall culture being created in your workplace based on the mindset of its leaders. Broadly speaking, workplace cultures fall somewhere between two spectrums. One is the spectrum of “fear versus respect” and the other is “scarcity versus abundance.”
In a workplace based on a culture of fear, behaviour is forced, or enforced, and leaders are not open to communication flowing from subordinates. The result is an atmosphere of anxiety and discontent. High turnover and legal disputes are common in these scenarios.
In contrast, a culture based on respect is one where employees are encouraged to collaborate and to have a voice. Their contributions to the team are appreciated and their opinions are listened to and validated (even if the leaders don’t agree with all of them). This kind of culture supports company loyalty because people feel valued.
Turning to the second spectrum, leaders whose mindsets function around the idea of scarcity tend to think that there are very few resources (money for salaries, power to make decisions) and because they are scarce they must therefore be fought over.
On the other hand, an abundance mindset is one where leaders recognize that everyone has a role to play, and by working together the company can achieve much more than any one individual can. The group, rather than individual, approach focuses on end goals that are good for everyone, rather than for one individual or a small elite group.
Obviously, the best company cultures are ones where there is a high level of respect, low levels of fear, and there is an abundance mentality rather than a scarcity mentality. So, what are some ways in which leaders can adopt and encourage respect-based, abundance-based thinking?
Here are two simple ways to get started.
1. Try to remain humble.
Success is wonderful, but when you experience it, try to remember that it was probably a team effort. Take a moment to reflect on all the people whose contributions, big or small, helped bring about that success and think about how all that collaboration added up to a win. Remaining humble helps us avoid the trap of perfectionism and reminds us that the team is more powerful than the individual.
2. Listen more and talk less.
As a leader your perspective is important, but so are those of your teammates. Make an effort to find out what those perspectives are and value them for the different contributions they offer. If you can understand the perspectives of others, you are able to understand what motivates them and will succeed in leading them. When people are heard they feel empowered and when they feel empowered, they are at their most creative and productive.
There are many other ways to encourage an abundance mentality, how many more can you think of?