At Tignum we help our clients identify the skills, attributes, and qualities they want as part of their High Performance Mindset and then we show them the path to develop them. This is an extremely empowering process as they quickly learn that the myths of mental toughness and of being born with a great Mindset don’t hold up. In fact, quite the opposite is true. A High Performance Mindset is the product of skills that can be learned, practiced, and hopefully one day mastered. But then the million dollar question often gets asked, “This makes sense for me as an individual, or for an individual athlete, but how does this apply to a team setting?”
This is a great question because history is full of sports teams who collectively outperformed the summed talents of its individuals. At the same time, if you look at Professor Suzanne Kobassa’s research on hardiness and the importance of commitment, it implies that the right team chemistry, culture, or what we would call team Mindset may be one of the most important things for building hardiness. In the military, when you interview soldiers from elite units, they comment on how connected and motivated they are by the commitment they have to their team and their shared performance Mindset. Interestingly, when you talk to executives and business professionals who are disgruntled, burned out, and ready to quit their jobs, they often mention the horrible Mindset of the team (which is too often created and driven by the leader’s Mindset). In fact, commonly it is not the job they quit, it’s the boss and/or the team they quit and this is largely driven by the team’s Mindset.
When you look at the High Performance Mindset skills, qualities, and attributes we have collected over the past 12 years from the thousands of diverse teams we have worked with all over the world and across all sectors, it is interesting how consistent they are. These include: Purposeful, Listening, Confidence, Solution-oriented, Awareness (self and other), Focus (control of), Optimism, Authenticity, Curious/Learning/Open, Creative, In control of emotions, Open to feedback, Goal-oriented, Clear vision, Reflective, Calmness under pressure, Never quit, Empathy, Vulnerability, Compassion, Pioneering, Concise communication, Humility, Playful, etc. So what happens when you commit yourself to further developing these things? What impact do you then have on your team? What impact does it have when you help and support your teammates develop these? On the flip side, what impact does it have on the team’s Mindset when your Mindset falls short (especially if you’re the leader)?
Looking at this list, how many opportunities do you get in a day to practice and further develop these skills, qualities, and attributes? Once you become aware of the things you want to develop and the benefits of developing them, it is startling how quick they start to develop. Add a purposeful practice of reflecting on what you did well and what it would look like to improve on those things you didn’t do well, and you can multiply the opportunities to develop a High Performance Mindset. Now, develop a team High Performance Mindset where collectively you define the skills, qualities, and attributes you all want and need and follow the same steps as a group and suddenly energy builds, resilience grows, the hard work becomes more fun and meaningful, and winning becomes your default.
When you develop a true team High Performance Mindset you will be amazed at the types of people you begin to attract to your team and how much easier it becomes for those with a low performance Mindset to self select out. The key is to constantly ask yourself whether you are bringing your best Mindset to your team and whether you are building or diminishing the team’s Mindset. As always, don’t underestimate how important the total integration of your Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery strategies are to your and your team’s Mindset. A tired and hungry brain, and for that matter a tired team, rarely exhibit a High Performance Mindset.
Today, your challenge is to contribute to the development your team’s High Performance Mindset by bringing your best game. As always, I’d love to hear what you think.
By Scott Peltin
Founder/Chief Performance Officer