A highlight from A Beginners Mind with Your Boss and Your Peers [Podcast]

Mindset for Life


At least a musical background began learning music when i was in the third grade. That's about age eight or nine years old. I started taking piano lessons from an amazing woman named judy. Mclane who my mother found as a piano teacher and i also began playing the trumpet in fourth grade. Elementary school from mr. joseph lynch a fantastic educator whom i love who has now passed on is no longer with us. Those thoughts that i gained in my music education stayed with me all the way through my college days into my adulthood. Often i will look at a group of people. And i wanna help. Everyone succeed the best they can. I also perceive that one person can make a huge difference but not if they're trying to save the whole group for example. If you think about abandoned you just have this one trumpet player. Who's trying to save everybody. They'll probably be playing louder than everybody else in sticking out a little bit in an organization. We can't have that trumpet players saving everyone instead. We have to work together in your career. In contrast you might need to stand out to get where you'd like to go to have the influence you would like to have or to advance regardless of whether you're using a team approach or an individual approach. You probably have some assumptions about that about who you'd like to be long term or what you'd like to accomplish as an educator think about your peers what are some of the thoughts you have about them already and if you abandon those thoughts temporarily or just suspend your thoughts about your peers. What would be possible. Would you have more curiosity about your peers your colleagues would you become more curious about their background and perhaps get to know them more deeply. I had an interesting experience last year where we were taking up a hill. It was a short trail to a place called table rock and on the way up to table rock many people were talking to each other and on their way back down. I could hear little snippets of conversations. Some of these conversations were complaints about a person's boss. Some were complaints about relationships. Some were just complaints about other people but this strange and striking thing about this hike was that people were talking about their affairs with other people in a pretty negative aspect all the way up to table rock. I took note of this mentally. Because i started to wonder how much of our lives is spent telling the stories furthering the stories and enhancing our existing beliefs about people when we have a mindset that has judgements towards others. We start to approach them from the space of those judgments now our judgments might be true or they might not be true. Whatever our judgments are. We're thinking those things about the other people. When we encounter them we might tell the story we might be sharing our beliefs with other people that then begin to adopt the same beliefs about those people and pretty soon we have a very firmly developed mindset towards other people or towards specific people with a beginner's mind set. Were looking at those same people with curiosity instead of judgement for example if we already know a few things about a colleague perhaps we know about which college they attended or how many years they've taught to this point. We might also have some assumptions about that with a beginner's mindset. We might ask them. I'm very curious about your background. Tell me a little bit about what you did before this year. Did you attend college. What was important to you there. What led you to attend that college. What is the most important thing in your teaching what you care about. When you're with your students where do you wanna be ten or twenty years from now in your career. The more we ask these questions the more we get to know our colleagues and just like i have discovered over the past many years. You may find that some things you assumed about your colleagues previously are untrue or they are richer than you thought deeper than you thought and more interesting than you thought when we adopt a beginner's mindset towards our peers we can build relationships much more effortlessly. Other people also have assumptions about us whether we know it or not we might be concerned that people could judge us. Maybe we try to filter our behaviors. Or how we show up in our job but people will judge us either way and we cannot really know exactly what their judgment is. The best way to avoid the judgment of others is to be genuinely curious interested in them to have a beginner's mind set in our work relationships moving onto her boss. We might have a boss. Who is the principal of a school. The superintendent of a school district some other level of leader in k. twelve education or we might have an assistant dean a department chair a dean a provost a university president. There are a lot of different people who could be our boss in higher education regardless of who the bosses exactly. We have our assumptions beliefs and thoughts about that person or about their role and when we have those assumptions and beliefs. We show up a certain way. For example if we are assuming something about our dean or our manager in the workplace and we show up inking those thoughts and then we get an email that simply says. I need to speak with you. Can we talk at two o'clock on friday. Whatever our assumptions are at that point are going to fuel our reaction. We might have fear. We might be excited depending on whatever. We're assuming about that person or about their job. We're going to have some kind of related emotional component or thought about the upcoming meeting. And what if we used instead of beginners mindset of curiosity. We could say sure we're gonna meet with them and start wondering what they might wanna talk about. If we allow our thoughts to just remain open about that situation and curious. All kinds of good possibilities can come in or we can also table the whole situation. Pause it not think about it at all and have a really healthy approach to that upcoming meeting with our boss. Whatever the assumption we hold about people who lead our jobs. Our bosses are managers educational leaders and peers. Those assumptions we have will become part of our reaction and our commentary in our minds and out loud. There's a concept. I talk about a lot when i share with other people. And it is this idea of collusion collusion. Means that i see something. I hear something and i make a judgment or i interpret whatever i've seen or heard when i'm busy interpreting that a lot of times i will attach that judgment to it and whatever i think is going to produce my emotions and my behaviors and then i'm going to act in a way that of course stems from my original thoughts about it. My interpretation of other people and their words their actions or their behaviors. Those things actually fuel the way. I move forward with my thoughts feelings and behaviors as well. When i do that. You may have heard of the idea of having a poker face like if you're playing a card game of poker you might want a plane unexpressed faced so that you can play the game without giving away whether you're cards are good or your cards are bad so you cannot have a poker face when you have clear thoughts emotions and behaviors that resist another person or judge another person. Whatever i think about my boss. I'm going to be projecting that and then when my boss and i have a conversation. That person is going to send something from me. It might not be exactly clear what it is. But they're going to get a sense from me that i'm either approachable welcoming friendly and open to what they have to say or that. I'm resistant and defensive. That defensive posture is going to naturally invite my boss into the very same space that i'm in. Which would be defensiveness distance and resistance and when my boss does that. I'm going to do more of the same. And in this hypothetical situation we're going to go round and round provoking each other a little bit in what we call a collusion and that collusion really can be stopped by. Just one of us. Even if the other person never changes the way to stop it is to adopt a genuine beginners mindset so that beginners mindset is curiosity without motive without provocation that kind of mindset does not mean that we have to give away all of our information or be totally sharing everything that we have with the other person in situations where someone else might be taking advantage of us or manipulating us or doing something that we don't want to have happen. It might even be helpful to be a little bit guarded but being guarded and protecting ourselves is different than being resistant and defensive. Being guarded simply means we might share less information a beginner's mindset. Still us to be curious. Get out of the other person and be authentically ourselves without resisting people and getting defensive so just to tie this all together. Let's talk about you in working with your colleagues and working with your boss. Are there areas that naturally. Provoke you or invite your resistance. Whatever those areas might be this week. I like to encourage you to adopt a beginners might set and get genuinely curious. Pause your reaction or your response and start exploring possibilities outside of your normal range of possibility. What else could be possible. If you saw your colleagues and your manager in a new light who could you be if you let go of those judgments even if those other people in your life never change. It really could be a fresh start for you and you might have a positive impact on others of course if your mindset changes and you are the only one who changes in that situation it may take some time for others to notice or to relax a bit but over time. I've seen that change with people and the situation can improve dramatically just by changing your own mindset. Learning about other and being truly curious can make all the difference. I invite you to try it out this coming week and i thank you for being here with season. Two of the mind set for life. Podcast if you're interested in making some changes in your relationship or your work and career please reach out. You can find me on my website at dr. Be coach dot com. Here's to being the best version of you this coming week. Part theme song for the mind set for life season. Two podcast is new. Day performed by danny

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