Have you ever had a negative thought about someone at work, perhaps your boss or the board of directors? Maybe you’ve been frustrated while working with them. Almost all of us could say that we’ve been in that position.
The problem is that most of us are busy living our lives and do not take the time to examine our beliefs.
When we slow down and examine our beliefs, we can address them and work with them to create more success and happiness. Consider:
- What do you believe?
- Is that really true?
- What would you like to believe instead?
Did you look for evidence to support your beliefs? It’s human nature for us to do that.
What happens when you look for evidence to support your beliefs?
Let’s take a CEO who feels that her board of directors is not supportive. She can probably find evidence to support that belief, such as:
- The board didn’t want to adopt the new program I recommended.
- The board members don’t make huge annual gifts to support the organization.
- Individual board members miss many of the board meetings.
- Certain board members question my performance and management of staff.
- The board doesn’t want to take on fundraising tasks and ask for donations.
If the CEO is frustrated with the board, it’s easy for her to find evidence that supports her belief that the board is not supportive of her nor the organization in general.
But is that belief really true? It might be an example of how her thinking is holding her back.
A simple exercise to stop your limiting beliefs
There’s a simple exercise you can do right now, in the next three minutes, to help stop these limiting beliefs and improve your performance as a leader:
- Pick up your cell phone.
- Open the notes function.
- Make a quick list of three things that the board has done in the last six months to demonstrate their support of you and the organization.
It sounds simple, and it is. But it’s also powerful.
Are there boards that are truly ineffective or unsupportive of the CEO? Yes. But it’s far more likely that the performance of the board is affected by your perception of them. Or, you see what you want to see.
To start changing your dynamic with your board, change your thinking and your beliefs.
Look for evidence of support instead of evidence of lack of support
As you move throughout the week, I encourage you to add items to your list. It might be that four board members sold tickets to your recent event, or that two board members sponsored a table. Perhaps the board chair accompanied you on a donor call and actively participated in an ask. Maybe a board member volunteered in a hands-on program. List them all.
Keep adding evidence to your list of how the board and its members have supported you and the organization. I promise you, once you begin looking for evidence of their support instead of looking for evidence of their lack of support, you’ll begin to see it.
And changing your thinking about the board is a powerful tool that can impact your performance as a leader.
What about limiting beliefs in your personal life?
You also can use this exercise in your personal relationships if there’s an area of conflict or frustration. I began to make a list of all the things my spouse does to support our little family, and it turned into a huge list. When I started looking for what I wanted to find, I found it. I now appreciate him even more than I used to, and it helped eliminate some frustration.
If you’re struggling to adjust your thinking and beliefs about a situation at work or at home, please reach out to me. Finding a good coach to help you work through your thinking can be a powerful way to improve your performance and bring you more satisfaction and peace of mind.