This column is called ‘Destination Mindset’. We know that as Communications practitioners in pursuit of mindshare, we study the mindsets of our target audience and then weave in our key messages to communicate. Our delight is when we ignite our desired response based on our communications objectives aligned to business plans. Then the needle shifts upwards and we celebrate!
Your mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and yourself. It influences how you think, feel, and behave in any given situation. There are various kinds of mindsets in this world. These include ‘Positive Mindset’, ‘Learning Mindset’, ‘Focused Mindset’ among several others. When you develop a mindset of a lifelong learner and focus on continual learning of new, in-demand skills, you claim the power to face the future of work successfully.
What is a Paradox Mindset?
In this world today, work and family life continue, regardless of our choices. Even if these tensions are resolved today, tomorrow will present a new and different challenge. A paradox mindset shifts the focus from the need to choose between work and family, to instead learn how to constantly balance these demands over time. We, very often, consciously or unconsciously live life linearly, solving problems through logical processes while prodding our intellect to understand life through reducing it to its parts and then trying to put them together in different patterns to try and make sense of it all.
Life throws a lot of paradoxes at you. For example, you need to work as hard as humanly possible but you also need to have a life. You need to listen to customers but you also need to ignore them sometimes too. You need to be innovative and take risks but you need to stay lean and efficient as well
However, it’s is not just achieving a ‘Work Life’ balance that we are talking about, but a basic change internally to deal with paradoxes simultaneously and positively handle them.
How can you develop a Paradox Mindset?
There is this popular saying ‘The Mind is like a parachute, it only works when it’s open’ but this mind has an unbelievable capacity to change and adapt. Anyone can learn well and quickly but the trick is putting your learnings into practice. Developing a Paradox Mindset is no different. There are two focuses. The belief focus and the transformation focus. The first i.e the belief focus only happens if you truly believe it the concept of the paradox mindset and want to sincerely evolve to it. Transformation focus is the focus you need to change and transform. In a way it’s like transiting from single tasking to multi tasking
So how do we adopt a paradox mindset? It’s easy to say and harder to do. But put simply, it is by altering our attitudes and appreciating that two seemingly opposite goals are mutually reinforcing. By understanding that these tensions occur naturally, and accepting these inconsistencies. By focusing not on one or the other, but creatively exploring the possibilities of both. So the question becomes less, “How can I work under these circumstances” and more “What new possibilities does this situation offer?”
Your own job may already contain many contradictory goals that could inspire paradoxical cognition. In the past, you might have assumed that you need to sacrifice one for the other – but if you want to cultivate the paradox mindset, you might spend a bit more time considering the ways you can pursue them both, simultaneously. Rather than seeing the potential conflicts as something to avoid, you can begin to view the competing demands as an opportunity for growth and a source of motivation. (And if there aren’t any external pressures, you could create your own – asking, for instance, how you could increase the efficiency and accuracy of your performance on a particular task, if only for an exercise in paradoxical thinking.) There may be no immediate solution, but the very act of thinking about the possibility of reconciling those issues could still lubricate your mind for greater innovation elsewhere.
“In contradiction and paradox, you can find the truth” Denis Villenueve
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