CONNECTIONS: Professional Services Customer Service – mini mindset challenge #05

These challenges are simply for your own personal reflection. “Food for thought” if you will … with the intention of strengthening your self-awareness and boosting the amount of time spent in the “growth” mindset.

I wish you well and look forward to hearing your comments, improvement suggestions and queries.

Tracey McGrath

The importance of mindset


Providing further evidence for the case that mindset is critically significant for any form of success including in professional services customer service.

Connection to improving professional services customer service

  1. Provides a framework for seeing challenges positively rather than negatively. Seeing something negatively reduces the amount of energy that we have to bring to bear on the situation.
  2. Increases our responsiveness by encouraging the growth mindset which views challenges as learning opportunities and a reason to take – rather than avoid – action.
  3. Increases motivation to tackle issues.

Why all this fuss about mindset?

The single most important thing we can do for ourselves is to get our minds working for instead of against us.  This is why mindset is so significant and why it is a foundational element of this program.

Both mindsets can achieve – albeit with significantly different emotional costs and ultimate outcomes.

Irrespective of what goals we set for ourselves, even if it is simply turning up to work every day and earning our pay, there will be challenges and setbacks.  Difficult customers, colleagues we don’t see eye to eye with, work we don’t like, outmoded or rigid systems that impede progress.  That’s life!  The significance of mindset is that it influences how we respond to such challenges.

One significant area is our attitude towards making mistakes.  Our mindset determines how we respond to challenges.

The fixed mindset wants to avoid mistakes at all costs as it is seen as a sign of inadequacy (along with the belief that this inadequacy fundamentally can’t be changed).  This avoidance can lead to watering down our goals (or even worse never even admitting that we have them to ourselves), limiting the sort of experiences we have or the sort of people we associate with – in effect it encourages us to be “less” than we are capable of being.

If we look at the research on “mindset and depressed students” it was found the both groups got depressed.  What was significant was the way they responded.  Fixed mindset depressed students withdrew.  They stopped attending class, stopped reading their textbooks, maybe slept for a long time every day or went off and played – what they didn’t do, was continue with the activities that would actually help their grades.  This was the difference between them and the growth mindset students.  They also felt depressed, however they continued attending class, kept reading their textbooks, doing their assignments, and generally kept to a constructive course of action.

So here’s the challenge for this week:

Take five minutes and think about how you typically respond when confronted with an error or a challenge in the workplace?

  • Would you say you were more “fixed” or “growth” mindset in your responses?
  • Do you display different mindsets depending on what sort of a challenge it is?

For example, when it comes to relationships do you have a growth mindset and recognise that all relationships need effort, and will go through rough patches?  Yet, do you have a fixed mindset when it comes to time management in that you firmly believe you will never be any good at organising your time.  And because it’s a fixed mindset … you don’t have any concrete plan in place to improve.

  • Can you work out why you might be fixed one area growth and another?
  • Can you think of what influenced you to be one way or the other? Was it something you were told about yourself?  Was it something that was implicit in your background or schooling?

The truth is we can all change!  Mindset is a choice that most of us didn’t know we could make.  The research is very clear concerning the benefits relating to adopting a growth mindset.

Following on from this five-minute reflection, what one change – if you made it – would dramatically increase your professional services customer service effectiveness?


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