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Changing mindsets

Changing mindsets

Changing mindsets

At one time or the other, one comes across people with biased minds. Such people may prefer the opinions of a particular group even when the opinions are patently wrong or dangerous. Seen in the larger perspective of the well being of an organisation or society, changing their mindset is a challenge. Sharing of first hand experience of using mind reading techniques with examples is welcome.

rajiv krishen

RE: Changing mindsets

generaly people hear things from people, who they believe not form the experts. because to explain the problem they are in need of the person whom they can realy on. if that person is not constructive, it happends as you said. bacause the biosed mind is not in a position to analyze the situation and find the better solution.  i am also looking for guidence in this regard.


RE: Changing mindsets

These days the information and technology available is overwhelming. Most of the time, the market will make you change with the times. If that doesn't work, then relating the overall good of the company to the change is the only route you have. When that too fails, you can only change the company's ways by removing the mind that hinders the progress. If this is a mind under you, (your employee) fire him or let him quit. You are doing him a favor by showing him that other companies require him to change as well. This cannot be learned until you have worked at several different companies. If this mind is above you, (your bosses) put up or shut up. Put up with it till that boss retires, quits, or moves on to another company, or shut up and walk out the door to find a different company. You need to match your personal standards to that of the company's. If there is conflict there, you will never be happy. This is not what you want to hear, but it is reality.


RE: Changing mindsets

There is also another possible situation. Your superior could be stuck using old technology because he/she feels most comfortable with it, and feels that changing to new technology will mean the complete loss of the knowledge gained with the old technology. He or she may want to change because they know it would be an improvement, but
1. they don't want to take the time to learn,
2. fear of new situations is stronger than the intent to change, and
3. the new technology is unproven and not as effective, in their eyes.

I am in a situation like this, and I am finding that perseverence and (extreme) patience will eventually prove to win out.

Any advice on perhaps speeding things up a little?

RE: Changing mindsets

Yes, relate the new technology to the one thing all superiors understand. Money. Your new technology solution should be cheaper, easier to install, have a higher reliability, easier service and easier to maintain. If it isn't, then why would you change to it? All of this needs to add up to about 10% cheaper than the old route and it will make the idea hard to pass up, even if he is comfortable with the old technology.


RE: Changing mindsets

Financial considerations usually are a fulcrum in the business world, but using this as an attack point for altering mindsets does not always work.  If it is your intention to alter the mindset of another you should ask yourself a few questions.  What are the factors for this person’s unwillingness to investigate alternatives: financial as Twong has suggested, control and comfort of one’s environment as suggested by Mathman, and I’ll add the relational components. How is your relationship and how will this affect your influence on the other?  Does this person trust your suggestions? Will they see your attempts as usurpation of power? Do they see you as a threat?  One must first be willing to listen to the sender before they even consider the information the sender is offering.  If you want to read another’s mind you must first attempt to grasp what they enjoy reading.    

RE: Changing mindsets

I would have to agree with postman, too.  I have a feeling that my relationship with my superior is not as open as it should be because of the age/experience difference.  I have been trying to justify some new tools to do our engineering function.  I crunched the numbers, showed him the return on investment, and foreshadowed the potential that these new tools have to offer.  His response is typically, "I have more experience designing these products and I've always been able to do it with what I have.  We don't need anything new."  From there the discussion sometimes gets heated and emotional, something you definitely don't want.  Best just to walk away at that point and realize that the conflict may be for only this topic.  To continue my example, my supervisor absolutely has much more experience in the design or our product and when I need advice on that subject, I go to him to learn.  He is more than willing to offer assistance.  As far as the new tools, even at a younger age I feel I have more experience and am better qualified to make a good judgement that I hope he would trust.  I KNOW these new tools would benefit the company.  The thing is, he may very well KNOW, too; but he has more information to make the judgement that it may not be beneficial RIGHT NOW.  So, I just have to be patient and trust his judgement.

Something else to consider when dealing with this subject is ego.  Everybody has one.  Some managers (typically underachieving ones) boost themselves onto a pedistal by cutting the legs from under their employees.  The age/experience problem shows itself even more fiercely in these situations because no well-experienced (egotistical) manager is going to let some young up-start steal all his glory.  When ego is involved, best just to put-up and shut-up (or leave).  If you feel very stongly about the matter, though--and can risk getting fired--you can always try going around your supervisor.  This is definetly not the recommended approach; but if you suspect ego (and you better be very sure), then usually others have seen it also and have been afraid to speak up until someone else does.  Ego has no place in any company and needs to be dealt with at the proper level.  Going around your supervisor may be the only way to notify the proper level.

--Scott Wertel

RE: Changing mindsets

Hi Rajiv
Big challenge that! Changing mind-sets.
If you find an answer let William Haig know.
I've found that when I meet someone who needs a mindset overhaul (assuming it's not racist or dumb in some other way) I usually end up moving my position towards theirs a little. See what I can contribute.
The inventor of the electric light and many other things, Thomas Eddison was a man with a very strong mind set. Successful people very often have unshakeable single-mindedness.
Don't knock it!

RE: Changing mindsets


To me too it seems the problem is not in attempting to change the mindset, but to handle it.

If there is any mindset bothering you in your professional life, then usually it is that of your boss. And as mckday283 pointed out, it is a tool bosses use occassionally. Kind of saying "no". He needs it. Some show it. Some do some manipulations to keep it. Stuff like you recommend something, the boss doesnt comment, next week something else moves in. And you get busy with that something else, not the boss.

I have been thinking about this and my solution is as TWong said-keep quiet or quit. I choose to keep "master" quiet. I mean I dissapear, do my stuff quietly and a bit differently, when done I submit it. Most of the time the bosses have no time to go against something complete.

I am interested in the subject, especially if it relates to mindset of a boss.


RE: Changing mindsets

Quietly withdrawing to familiar settings is, of course, the easiest and the safest. One has to resort to that at times to keep one's sanity intact. The key phrase is "at times", but if made a practice, the strategy becomes self-destructive. Why should one not speak out? I find it very hard to remain silent whenever a boss attributes an 'event' with meanings when there are none. Haven't every one of us, at some point of time, expected to be treated with the same kind of behaviour that we exhibit towards our sub-ordinates, peers or associates? The problem takes a sinister tone when the policy makers, the superiors, suddenly turn around and start singing in symphony with the top boss because it suits their personal goals, no matter if contrary is professed  by the same persons on other occasions. Also because the top boss will not budge from his mind set. The organisational goals then take a back seat. Though it is criminal to take patently damaging situations lying down, yet, the price to be paid for calling a spade a spade in today's corporate world is professional martyrdom. A very heavy price indeed.

Is Tommy Wong's post of 8th January the solution?

rajeev krishan

RE: Changing mindsets

He hit on an essential ingredient for every one of us in our employment situation:

You have to match your personal standards (ethics, vision, etc.) to that of the company you work for.  

A friend of mine once warned me about partnering with anyone, stating that your possible ownership of a company would yoke yourself to others who may not share your personal priorities in life and work.  

While we all don't have the ability to start our own company, investigating our company's values and methods of operation are very important to our own success and fulfillment within the organization.

RE: Changing mindsets


There’s a great line from George Bernard Shaw, "progress is determined by the unreasonable man, the others just compromise". If your boss is unreasonable, progress is still made, but it's his progress, in his direction, not yours.
This usually doesn’t fit in with the company/organization, but when has that bothered the senior managers fragile ego when youngsters are showing them the way?
Taking Shaw’s message a little further, if you want to progress then don't compromise your ethics/career, be unreasonable (in his eyes) and leave.
If you can't leave for whatever reason, then learn to compromise, just realize that progress will be non-existent.
Whatever you do make sure you are technologically superior

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