When problems need to be solved, the mindset you hold towards those involved can be the difference between strengthening or weakening a relationship. In this issue of Negotiation Insights we highlight the importance of choosing a constructive mindset.
On April 4th 2016 the Courier Mail reported that Neil Henry, the NRL Gold Coast Titans’ coach, “has introduced brutal honesty sessions after creating a leadership group to bring accountability”.
So what can business learn from honesty sessions in sport?
For a start, honesty sessions can move those involved from a destructive mindset that attributes blame to a more positive mindset by asking, “What is my contribution to the problem?”.
Because apportioning blame makes us feel less guilty, it can be the easier choice. However apportioning blame causes us to look backwards and possibly miss an opportunity for personal growth. In addition, it places unnecessary strains on relationships because unhelpful behaviours surface, which can include impatience, sarcasm, a focus on differences, and the erosion of trust that occurs when information is withheld.
In contrast, choosing to consider how you might be contributing to the problem can create feelings of empowerment because it encourages you to identify new ways to influence and problem solve, and doing so enables better outcomes, stronger relationships and unexpected personal growth.
So next time your leadership team is confronting a major problem or is having relationship difficulties, it might be worth considering improving the group’s mindset and accountability by holding an honesty session!
Quick tips – Building a constructive mindset
- Create learning opportunities by asking for feedback about how the other person interpreted your attitude and behaviors
- Create reflection time to increase your situational awareness of how you might change the influencing process
- Think and act in the relationship’s long-term interests by building the common ground that brings you together