The Value of Mindset: Why is Mindset Important?

Welcome to our new blog series relating to mindset (and mental health) within the Coronavirus crisis.

During the pandemic and lockdown, we have seen industries, communities and companies come together to share experiences, share knowledge and support one another in a way that’s never been seen before.

Mindset and mental health have become crucial at this time, as we all come to grips with completely new and unexpected pressures.

We want to provide a platform to share experiences and advice to our candidates and clients alike. In this spirit of collaboration and supporting one another, we’ve spoken to some of our clients about all things mindset.

In each blog, we’ll be sharing their perspectives, knowledge and advice relating to different aspects of mindset.

Our first article is here to set the scene about why mindset important to our clients – and why it should be important to you, too!

Our interviewees expressed the benefits of looking after your mind and having a positive mindset in four key areas:
– Everyday life
– During the pandemic and in a crisis
– Organisational
– Mental health

 

Everyday Life

Defined as a ‘mental attitude or inclination‘, mindset holds importance in many facets of our lives.

As Stuart Beeley, headteacher of Wellington School, summarises – “Mindset is everything”.

Recognising its prevalence, Stuart further explained how “it determines how effectively we function in both our personal and professional lives.

“Inevitably it is governed by and intrinsically linked to physical and mental well-being.

“Working every day with bright, young people it is especially important to remember that mindsets are not fixed.”

A growth mindset is what Stephen is describing which is the belief that your ‘most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work – brains and talent are just the starting point’.

Karen Adegoke, Corporate Director – Bollington Insurance Brokers agreed on the importance mindset holds every day, conveying how it “impacts everything I do from both a work and a personal perspective”.

For Karen, mindset is also important when it comes to how others view her, adding “I’m very conscious of the mindset I’m conveying to everyone I come into contact with.”

 

During the pandemic and in a crisis

The impact of COVID-19 and lockdown has had on our world is undeniable. Huw Jenkins, UK Divisional COO at Leidos, succinctly captured this impact – “Lockdown has accentuated the importance (of mindset) because real external stimulus has been dramatically reduced.

“The ‘echo chamber’ like impacts of social media are well documented, but lockdown is restricting positive external influences.

“So, how you set your own positive mindset and take responsibility for only what you can control is of paramount importance – arguably more than any other time in our professional careers.”

A positive mindset that Steve refers to here, ‘is rooted in a sense of gratitude, and that helps us tap into the reality of abundance’.

Positive mindset often becomes extremely relevant in times of crisis and can help aid with the overcoming of challenges and difficult times in our lives.

By seeing the positive in the negative, we create positive energy and allow space for growth and the overcoming.

Here are some of what our other clients had to say on the importance of a positive mindset in the face of adversity:

Andy Hall, Aftermarket Director at Groupe PSA – “Mindset is key due to the need to think positively… on a day to day basis to get things done & not foster negativity, as hard as that can be in a sector which has been greatly affected.”

Barry John, Managing Director, Leveraged Finance at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Europe (SMBC) – “A positive mindset keeps me focussed driven and enthusiastic and by remaining positive during the crisis, it allows me to remind myself that the current situation is temporary.”

Raman Sankaran, CEO of VDS – “Working with a profession that has been hit hard by the lockdown, maintaining a positive, but realistic, mindset is key for the benefit of our staff and our customers.

 

It is important to have a positive approach but honest and able to challenge how we have traditionally worked and served our members.”

The current situation can be, at times, incredibly overwhelming, and maintaining a positive mindset can be difficult in itself.

Judith Hutton, HR Director at Pure Innovations, recommends that you “give (yourself) time and space to process what is happening, to reflect at the end of each day and to adopt a positive mindset for the future.

“Focus on the good and what we have learnt and will do better in future rather than just on the doom and gloom”.

 

Organisational

Mindset is not just important during a pandemic or on a personal level. Organisational mindset is important too, as outlined Simon Jackson, CEO of Frontier Medical Group – “A positive, growth-focused mindset from the CEO, Board and leadership of a business sets the tone for the whole organisation.”

Judith Hutton, HR Director at Pure Innovations, also divulged the importance of making sure you’re aware of how your staff are currently feeling – “physically staff can present as fully in control but they can be struggling internally to balance work, home and personal life, even more so now that there is the added complication of the virus to contend with.”

Les Leavitt, Managing Partner, LWA Chartered Certified Accountants, recognised this within his own business too. Les also explored how business success and mental health are intrinsically linked –
“(a) positive and healthy mindset is key to a successful business.

“People are our biggest asset in a service-based business.

“If they are mentally unhappy, mentally exhausted or feeling isolated this will affect not only their personal well-being but the performance and levels of output they produce.”

Others have experienced this too. Neil Ejje, – Founding Partner of Leathwaite, “I feel the link between a positive mindset and business results, and conversely negative mindset, has a fundamental effect on results and productivity.”

Looking after the mindset and mental health of your workforce should, therefore, be one of your key takeaways if you’re a business leader.

 

Mental Health

“It is important to be aware of and understand that looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health” explains Judith Hutton, HR Director Pure Innovations.

It is easy to often neglect our mental health and mindset, as it may not be an obvious, visible ailment.

However, as Darren Goodson, Principal Enterprise Architect at AstraZeneca, shared with us the experience he had when struggling to maintain a positive mindset – “I know the impact it can have on my own productivity and the impact that can be felt by colleagues taking on the additional responsibilities needed to cover”.

If neglected, your mental health can impact both yourself and others around you.

It’s important to learn to recognise feelings of stress, anxiety and depression – and seek help if needed.

Here are some resources we’ve compiled from charity Mind that can help you to identify stress, anxiety and depression and where you can seek support for yourself and others:

Signs of stress: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/stress/signs-of-stress/

Signs of depression: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/about-depression/

Signs of anxiety: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/anxiety-symptoms/

Where to seek support: https://www.mind.org.uk/need-urgent-help/using-this-tool

 

Thanks for reading – we hope you found this blog interesting!

Keep an eye out for part 2, where we will be sharing more insights on ways to keep a healthy and positive mindset.