How to Adopt the Right Mind-Sets – Part 2

How to Adopt the Right Mind-Sets – Part 2


Let’s look at the second and third vital mind-sets you need to adopt in order to be successful. Read the scenarios below and select the options that best describe what you would do.

In an open plan office, Dave is watching one of his colleagues: She is updating everyone on her work, chatting with her hands as much as her voice, clearly very excited. He turns to the person in the cubicle next to him and says …

Option 1: Isn’t it great to see someone who has so much fun at work? I also still get a kick out of what I do, and go home most days feeling good about meeting my targets and solving issues for my clients.

Option 2: She has clearly had too much Bioplus this morning! She must have missed the memo about the drop in sales this month. Doesn’t she realise that there is not much point to putting in so much effort? The company is telling us that no one is going to get bonuses this year.

Engaged or disengaged

The mind-set of ‘I seek to be engaged’ is in all probability the one most individuals struggle with. Engagement comes from aligning your talents, skills, interests and goals, as well as being able to find some intrinsic value in your work.

Comprehending that your work is an extension of who you are might just give you the motivation to seek engagement and continually be on top of your game. In the scenario above option one is the optimal response.

Waiting for chances or making them

In the canteen, Dave hears his colleagues talking about an exciting project with a new client – an opportunity for everyone to show their expertise. What does he do?

Option 1: Mutter under his breath that other people are lucky, as they get all the chances; wish he worked in that division.

Option 2: Think about approaching the project manager and ask whether he could shadow someone for a while so that he gets more experience, but also contribute what he knows to make the project successful.

Option two is the right mind-set here. ‘My career is my responsibility,’ is the third vital mind-set you need to adopt. Create development options for yourself and show your contribution to the company as a way of taking responsibility for your career and not waiting for Human Recourses to tell you what to do.

Kerry Dawkins
Kerry is the founder of Potential at Work, a consultancy specialising in the development of emerging talent. She is a senior mentor for the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and understands the challenges faced by South Africans on their journey of education to employment and then into the workplace. As an advisor, coach and mentor to corporates on key- and emerging talent programmes, she has gained understanding of the need to retain talent while raising the levels of thinking, connectedness and on-the-job effectiveness. In addition, Kerry co-authored a book with Graeme Codrington entitled Navigating your Career in the New World of Work.