Welcome to Episode 6 of the Coaching Hive Podcast! I am your host, Dr. Moira. Last week we started our exploration of mindset. We talked about the definition of mindset and even some resources to check out. If you missed it, no problem, you can always catch Episode 5 when you subscribe on your favorite podcast provider.
Here at the Coaching Hive, we want to be effective, efficient, and have fun so that work becomes a joy, and you have dedicated time for the important things in life like your family, friends, and hobbies. Go ahead and play this family friendly podcast through your speakers and let’s get started.
This week we dig deeper and talk about the role of mindset. As a business owner, health coach, or just human being, at some point you have had doubts and your mindset may have shifted a bit. You may find yourself grappling with those doubts and your mindset may even tell you that you can’t improve. What you do when that sneaky self-doubt gremlin creeps in? What does the research say about mindset?
Let me paint a picture for you. An instructor noticed for over 5 years that her students were graduating, feeling the excitement of a hopeful future, but showing signs of being confused about next steps. This happened over and over, and it was difficult to see talented coaches struggle to find their way forward, but not have solutions to offer. Some coaches found their path and flourished while others remained unsure of the next steps.
Fast forward and we come to the Coaching Hive Hexagonal Approach that launched in February of 2021. If you haven’t guessed, I am that instructor who spent over 5 years seeing students, talented coaches, search for the best path forward after graduating. Here’s the thing, I had a fixed mindset that I couldn’t do anything to help. In December, though, I had the chance to speak with a mentor and she asked me what I really wanted to do, and I knew that I wanted to support coaches AFTER they finished their coaching program. There are many great coaching programs out there and, having helped to develop the content for one of them, I knew the aspiring coaches would be in great hands if I stepped back, changed my mindset, and chose to say that I CAN offer guidance after graduation. This mentor asked me what was stopping me, and I realized, truly, it was just my mindset. I felt like I couldn’t make a difference. I couldn’t help. The only reason I couldn’t help is because I had the mindset that I couldn’t.
Our mindset plays a role in what we choose to try, where we focus, and even with whom we associate. In fact, mindset impacts everything. Having the right mindset can change your business from “ok” to “great” and your joy in life from “eh, so-so” to “fantastic”. Now, mindset is not the only determining factor here, but imagine if you made the choice to think that today is going to be an awe-inspiring day with opportunities, fun, and connection. Wouldn’t that mindset prime you to notice the good? The chances to reconnect with friends and family? The moments that often pass us by that create smiles when noticed? Of course, it would!
When you adopt a positive, growth-promoting mindset, it can have a big impact on your business momentum, but don’t take my word for it. Let’s head to the research to explore what has been uncovered about the role of mindset.
A good place to start is with Zhao, Wichman, and Frishberg’s 2019 study in the Journal of General Psychology. Zhao et al. examined whether mindset would be able to mitigate the effects of self-doubt. Previous research has certainly suggested this, and the authors were on a mission to take a deeper look. What did they find? People who had incremental beliefs, that they could get better at something were less impacted by self-doubts than people with entity beliefs, or the idea that ability isn’t malleable. When a person believes that they can improve, self-doubts don’t have as much impact on performance. This is important because self-doubt can also impact self-esteem and self-worth. If a person believes that they can grow, learn, and improve those doubts are simply less impactful.
Still not convinced that mindset matters? What about if we approach it from an entrepreneurial standpoint? The entrepreneurial mindset is one that has been studied widely but is still a bit elusive. In 2017, Christiane Naumann examined the research covering entrepreneurial mindset. Is the entrepreneurial mindset something that is innate, or can it be learned? Already, you might be seeing the similarities here in the research. At the center of Naumann’s research is the same question we were just examining. Is our ability fixed or something that can be learned?
If the term “entrepreneurial mindset” is new to you, the definitions all seem to center around this concept: it is “a way of adaptable thinking and decision-making in complex, uncertain, and dynamic environments” (Naumann, 2017). Some of you may be thinking, yes! This sounds like every day in my business. I have to be adaptable. I have to make decisions in the midst of complexities that may not even be clearly defined. Being able to engage in complex thinking is at the heart of an entrepreneurial mindset. In the Naumann 2017 meta-analysis, many different qualities were identified as part of the entrepreneurial mindset. Being able to differentiate between different types of goal setting, being attentive, reflecting about the thinking processes being used, being cognitively adaptable, looking at disparate information in social settings. All of these concepts play into an entrepreneurial mindset.
But, how does this apply to today’s podcast? Well, many of you are entrepreneurs and are working to have a growth mindset that allows for success and stability in your business. When you think about mindset in terms of your business you can think about how you maintain your adaptability. When that Facebook ad doesn’t go the way you hoped, you can assess the challenges, learn from others, and make changes. This approach to a Facebook ad that was underperforming would indicate that you have a growth mindset. With a growth mindset, you will continue to look for paths forward and explore new opportunities.
These ideas are also present in the steps Stephanie Bogan (2019) presents for how to create a strategic business mindset. You need to decide what you want for your business, create a blueprint, set your goals, create a playbook, measure your progress, and make adjustments.
Clearly, mindset is not something that we address once and then it is taken care of. As shown in a 2018 article in The Authors Journal of Product Innovation Management, internal mindsets must be addressed, but then you must also address external mindsets. For example, you may get your business values aligned with your capabilities, but then these need to be aligned to external mindsets that can also play a role in your business such as partnerships or services. In essence, mindset must co-evolve with the tasks you are taking on in your personal and business life. It is not a set it and forget it slow cooker recipe, but instead more like a risotto recipe that requires care and attention each step of the way. I did find a risotto recipe that you can bake recently that is brilliant, but if you are making a traditional risotto recipe you know that it requires constant stirring in order for it to turn out just right.
If mindset is like this risotto recipe that requires care and attention, it makes sense to go ahead and get started now in tending to your mindset. And why not make it simple? This week as you are browsing your social media feeds, take note of comparisons that you are making. Are you simply noticing what others are doing or are you comparing yourself? Do you find yourself feeling jealous of someone’s accomplishments? How is your interaction with Social Networking Sites impacting your well-being and self-perceptions? Do you notice a shift in your mindset? Are you more hopeful after browsing Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn? There is some research by Kang and Liu from 2019 showing that comparing ourselves upward to those with whom we have some similarities can actually help our self-evaluations and that can improve our mindset.
Maybe this conscious attention while you are scrolling will even help you to stay focused with your intentions when you pop onto social media. Let me know how it goes!
If you enjoyed this podcast and know someone who might benefit from hearing this message, please share it and tag Be Healthy, LLC on Facebook and Be Healthy Hive on Instagram. If you are ready to move your coaching business forward with your intentions and focus, be sure to check out the Coaching Hive Hexagonal Approach at behealthyhive.com for more details. I hope to see you in the Hive soon and back here next week for another episode of the Coaching Hive podcast.
~ Dr. Moira
- Bogan, S. (2019). Shift into a strategic mindset with these six steps. Journal of Financial Planning, June, 30-31.
- Kang, J, & Liu, Bingjie. (2019). A similarity mindset matters on social media: Using algorithm-generated similarity metrics to foster assimilation in upward social comparison. Social Media + Society, October-December, 1-15.
- Naumann, C. (2017). Entrepreneurial Mindset: A synthetic literature review. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 5(3), 149-172.
- Toytari, P., Turunen, T., Klein, M., Elorants, V., Beihl, S., & Rajala, E. (2018). Aligning the mindset and capabilities within a business network for successful adoption of smart services. The Authors Journal of Product Innovation Management, 35(5), 763-779.
- Zhao, Q., Wichman, A, & Frishberg, E. (2019). Self-doubt effects depend on beliefs about ability: Experimental evidence. The Journal of General Psychology, 146(3), 299-324.