Mindset matters. It’s all about the attitude. Envision it and you can achieve it.

For many in the employee and leadership development space, we often try to shape the attitudes and mindsets of our learners believing that if they would only change their attitude about developing their people, about providing feedback, about managing performance, about connecting with their team members, about motivation and recognition, about delegation, about … ANYTHING they will become more effective.

Even Thomas Jefferson, American President and author of the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, believed in the importance of attitude: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

At the same time, it’s the behavior that counts. Actions speak louder than words. Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image. Just do it.

As developers of people, we know that to create lasting behavioral change, we need to help our participants change or refine their perception of a behavior. For example, one of the key skills we teach in our leadership development program, Unleash Your Leadership Potential, is coaching. Clearly, most participants readily agree that coaching developing the skills of your employees is a good thing. The attitude that “a good leader coaches” seems to be ingrained in the vast majority of the leaders we meet.

The thing is, most participants and, research shows, most LEADERS think that coaching is telling. When in reality, telling is more akin to providing feedback than to coaching, which relies on the employee self-assessing and the coach guiding the conversation.

We won't get into Entelechy's coaching model here, but you can read all about coaching, difficult conversations, and feedback on the Three Performance Conversations landing page. Go ahead, we'll wait...

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Okay, welcome back. At the end of the day, we know that in order to create real, lasting change, we need to change behavior. And, we know that in order to get people to permanently adopt new ways of doing things, we need to provide clear, simple, practical, and useful tools. That's why our models and on-the-job aids work. It’s why our customized programs win awards for Entelechy and our clients: our training focuses on changing behavior; and more effective behavior changes attitudes. Which changes everything.

We'll close with some powerful feedback we recently received from a participant in one of our customized Unleash Your Leadership Potential programs back in 2017. Even now, two years later, the program continues to provide her with the skills to change her behavior and, more importantly, the confidence to be a better leader for her team. 

"I just wanted to take a minute and let you know how much putting the principles I learned in this course has helped me as a manager.

Since that time, I have had to put an employee on a [Performance Improvement Plan]. This process ultimately led to separation of the employee from the company, but because I put the principles of this course to work leading up to and throughout that process, I have confidence that the result came about because the job was not a right fit for the employee rather than worrying that I failed the employee.

I have also on-boarded six new employees in that time. This gave me a great opportunity to practice the Feedback, Communication, and Coaching Models that we practiced in the course. At first, it felt a little awkward, kind of scripted like the practice sessions we participated in during the course. However, with practice it became easier and more natural. Just yesterday, I found myself using the coaching model just simply out of habit. I had to laugh a bit to myself because half-way through it I realized that I was doing it and how “text book” it was. It went so well, I could picture the video cameras in the room recording the interaction to show future students how to do it right! I literally felt a boost of energy and excitement.

Thanks for working so hard to develop us managers that often find ourselves in way over our heads."


Related Reading

To learn more about Entelechy's philosophy on keeping things simple, read our article, "Simple Works." Our belief is that simple models, simple instruction, and simple application can yield unbelievable results and drive amazing changes.

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