Episode 3: Understanding and Practicing Humility in the Workplace

Overview: Successful people in the service industry are those who have a growth mindset. SatisFIND Co-founders, Michelle and Gabe continue with the Reboot Program with practical lessons how we can develop the right mindset through humility.

Michelle:

Thank you for joining Episode 3 of your Reboot Program. We designed short learning episodes to help frontliners prepare for the day we open our doors to customers again. In today’s episode, Gabe Baradi will take us through the importance of having the right mindset and how we can take the first step towards this path.

Gabe:

In our first 2 episodes, we talked about dealing with this crisis by taking control of our emotions, and daily decisions. We also talked about how having a mindset of gratitude helps us see the positive in our daily lives.

In this fight to survive the effects of the pandemic, changing our mindset will be what will help us survive. Having a positive mindset despite the current crisis is not easy for many people but this gives us an advantage in surviving the physical and mental challenges we are facing now and will continue to face in the future. This quarantine is giving us the chance to decide if we would like to develop a positive mindset or what we call the “growth” mindset.

To understand what having a growth mindset means, let’s first take a look at the other kind of mindset that is more common around us. 

The opposite of the growth mindset is having a “fixed” mindset. The fixed mindset comes from people’s inner fears and anxieties that we seldomly admit we have even to ourselves and that is why it is not easy to grow out of this mindset. 

It is natural to have a fixed mindset because it is human to feel afraid. Our fixed mindsets are often influenced by our past experiences, beliefs and the culture we have been exposed to. 

At work, what is that thing we are commonly scared of? We are afraid of failure and because of this, we start to fear receiving feedback as well because there is a part of us that interprets feedback as being criticized. What many employees do not realize is, if someone gives us feedback, that person is giving us a chance to do better. Giving feedback takes effort and people who make the effort actually care about you.  It’s also not easy to give feedback for many people, as it goes back to fear. Fear that they could offend the person or they will be misunderstood. But in a “safe” environment, where there is trust with each other, this becomes easier to have, because we know that we are looking after the best interest of the whole team.  Of course, there is a right way to give feedback and we will cover this in another episode.

At work, you may have encountered some people who are afraid to learn new skills because they got used to certain things the old way. This resistance to change causes others to say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” In a fixed mindset environment you may hear this because people have given up on each other. There are situations in the workplace where employees who have been with the company for years feel threatened when someone new joins the team. Instead of focusing on collaboration and the opportunities to learn from the new employee’s ideas and outside experience, some would tend to be closed-minded and stick to old practices because they worked in the past. The problem is not the new employee, our problem is the fear inside us that is resisting to learn from someone who could introduce new or better ways of doing things. In the post-pandemic world, this kind of behaviour will not help us or our employers recover. If you are feeling uncomfortable hearing this from me and a voice in your head is telling you now to pause this video or to quit the Reboot Program. Don’t worry, what you are feeling is normal. This kind of training is new to you, but right now, this is the kind of training that can help you get back on your feet and help you in your work. Finishing this program is so much easier than what you have already gone through in this crisis. 

Any survival expert will tell you, that when we give in to our fears, we lose the ability to survive. The key to managing these fears is to develop a growth mindset by practicing humility. In this crisis, no one knows the answers yet.  We need to practice humility to realize and accept that we do not know everything and that this is all right. 

We need humility to open our eyes and see that everyone and every experience we encounter can teach us something, no matter how old we are or how many years we‘ve been doing this kind of work. The only way to get through this, is to work together. We will be stretched beyond our comfort zones and when you start feeling uncomfortable, that is your fixed mindset trying to hold you back. Keep going, the growth mindset is on the other side, ready to welcome you.

With humility, we are able to acknowledge our fears and shortcomings without feeling shame or that we are inferior to others. Our shortcomings do not define who we are. We are much more than that. 

Humility also teaches us to see everything that happens to us as a learning experience. When you have that perspective, you are in control of your life. 

If you used to fear feedback because you interpret them as criticisms, our new growth mindset allows us to hear what the feedback really means. They want us to be better, they want to give us another chance. 

Even a customer who is angry or frustrated gives us feedback because they care about helping us stay in business. A customer complaint is not an attack against you, personally. it’s about his or her experience not meeting the expectations that we were supposed to deliver. Businesses who cannot grow in mindset to take care of their customers better during this time will take a longer time to recover. 

Growth mindset also converts every problem that comes our way into a challenge. Challenges are not dead-end roads, and there are many ways to solve a challenge. When we are able to start doing this, we are better adapted to survive this crisis.

The growth mindset touches all the topics that we will be discussing in this Reboot Program. To help you develop the growth mindset through humility, here are some things we can practice:

  1. Be grateful. As we discussed in episode 2, having a spirit of gratitude helps you see the positive around you even if things are difficult right now. You cannot be humble if you are not thankful first. Be grateful for your family and friends, your colleagues and employer, and don’t forget to say thank you to yourself for saying yes to tapping into your potential to learn new skills during this quarantine. 
  2. Accept that you do not know everything, but that you can learn new things. Every failure and criticism you hear are actually learning experiences and someone giving you another chance. A chance to learn something about yourself and what you can do to improve for the better. Shift your efforts from punishing yourself or dwelling on what you did wrong, to what you can change to be successful. Growth mindset teaches us that we choose our own limits. If you think you can’t change, then you will not. You have made that decision for yourself. If you are humble enough to accept your shortcomings, you will start to see more opportunities coming to your life every day. 
  3. Accept that other people are also facing similar challenges with their mindset. You may already be practicing humility and the growth mindset, and still be surrounded by people with a fixed mindset. Do not hold this against them, and do not give up because it seems useless to go against the trend. Be humble to accept other people’s shortcomings too, and work with them despite this situation. As you work towards a growth mindset, your actions will reflect this change in your attitude. The people around you will start to see these positive changes in you, and you can be a source of inspiration for them. 
  4. Ask for feedback and help. Talk to your colleagues and leaders. Let them know that you are trying to improve yourself and that you are open to feedback. Accept what they tell you as a chance to make yourself better. You can also ask people for help with whatever you are struggling with at home or at work. Your supervisors and managers at work are there to help you, so take advantage of their experience and expertise. Thank them sincerely for any assistance they give you. 
  5. Cooperate, don’t compete. Look at your colleagues as partners in your success. You have to work together to make your store or restaurant successful and recover from this crisis. When your store is successful, you secure your company and your job. That is everyone’s goal. Everyone’s help is needed now.

In the next days, through these short videos, Michelle and I will be sharing with you more practical lessons on practicing the growth mindset. We will also train you on leadership. Our goal is help you learn new skills and be job-ready after the lockdown. See you in the next episode. 

Michelle: 

We’d like to end this episode with a few questions to help you practice what Gabe shared with us: 

  • What are two challenges you face at work prior to the lockdown? These could be areas of work that you wish you could be better at.
  • Think of the last feedback someone at work or a customer may have given that affected you. Please reflect on this experience but try to use the growth mindset as you process these feelings again. 
  • Is there someone at work who makes you feel uncomfortable and your thoughts about this person are blocking you from being a better team player? Think of this person, and find 2 positive things you can say about him or her.

Taking the first few steps towards having a growth mindset will feel uncomfortable and that is a good sign that you are on the right path. 

If you have questions about today’s episode, we would love to hear from you. Please click the link and share your thoughts or questions with us. We will answer them in the future episodes. Thank you for joining.