Our redesigned Mindset Assessment has collected enough responses that we are publishing an update to our initial results post. In this analysis, we compare the data collected by our online portal (the “beta-test” group) with the data collected May 22-24, 2017 at the Association for Talent Development’s International Conference & Expo.
Background and Definitions
For the redesign, we created a 10-question Individual Mindset Assessment, retaining the 10 questions from our previous Mindset Audit in what we’re now calling the Organizational Mindset Assessment. The Individual Mindset Assessment measures your own mindset on the inward-outward continuum, while the Organizational Mindset Assessment provides feedback on your perception of your organization’s collective mindset.
Both assessments also give scores in five categories: Awareness, Helpfulness, Accountability, Vertical Alignment, and Horizontal Alignment.
- Inward Mindset – Self-focused, attuned only to one’s own needs, challenges, objectives, and results
- Outward Mindset – Others-focused, caring about their needs, challenges, and objectives, and about collective results
- Awareness – Understanding of one’s own mindset and others’ needs, challenges, and objectives
- Helpfulness – Adjusting efforts to make others’ jobs or lives easier
- Accountability – Checking in with others to ensure those adjusted efforts are, in fact, helpful
- Vertical Alignment – Degree of awareness, helpfulness, and accountability toward managers, senior leaders, and direct reports
- Lateral Alignment – Degree of awareness, helpfulness, and accountability toward coworkers and customers
Overall Assessment Results
|INDIVIDUAL MINDSET ASSESSMENT||ORGANIZATIONAL MINDSET ASSESSMENT|
|Beta-Test Average Score||64.6/100||53.7/100|
|ATD Average Score||65.3/100||46.4/100|
(0=Inward Mindset; 100=Outward Mindset)
Interestingly, although the two groups rated themselves similarly on the Individual Mindset Assessment, the ATD group scored their organizations considerably lower than the beta-test group did. This could mean our beta-testers work for more outward organizations, although numerous other factors may be playing a part as well.
More importantly, both groups show a gap between the Individual and Organizational Mindset Assessments. Beta-testers rated themselves 20% higher than they rated their organizations, while ATD participants rated themselves 41% higher. This is an important finding that suggests a self-deception gap exists. (Read more about the self-deception gap below.)
|Beta-Test Individual||Beta-Test Organizational||ATD Individual||ATD Organizational|
(0=Not At All; 10=Completely)
Here, we see that the trends we saw in the overall data appear fairly consistently in the more detailed analysis. The individual-organizational score gap holds across four of five categories, and the beta-testers consistently rated their organizations higher than the ATD members.
On the Individual Mindset Assessment, beta-testers and ATD members responded with similar scores in all but one category: Horizontal Alignment. Here, beta-testers averaged 1.8 points (37%) higher than the ATD group. This could indicate that beta-testers consider themselves more aware of, helpful toward, and accountable to their coworkers and customers than the ATD respondents. But, again, other factors could be playing a role as well.
The Self-Deception Gap
The individual-organizational score gap reflects a common human problem: self-deception.
The problem of self-deception: When I have an inward mindset, I don’t think that I have one – or I blame others for my inwardness. I justify my bad (or unhelpful) behaviors and cannot see how I am part of the problem.
This justification can appear in sneaky ways. For example, I might defend myself by pointing out all the good things I’ve been doing for another person. I’ve been helpful in all those ways, so that must mean I can excuse my unhelpfulness in this one, tiny situation, right? This is false logic. Beware, because it’s easy to do!
What Does It All Mean?
These results reflect some of the most common, basic challenges we face as people and as members of organizations. We all slip into inward mindsets sometimes. We struggle to notice, connect, and collaborate as effectively as we’d like to. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, only that other people are dealing with the same thing themselves.
The key to cracking the self-deception barrier is to turn outward and focus on the impact of what we’re doing. We turn outward by applying the outward mindset pattern: See Others, Adjust Efforts, and Measure Impact.
To learn more about the outward mindset pattern, read this interview with Arbinger Founding & Managing Partner Jim Ferrell: Behaviors Drive Results, but Mindset Drives Behavior.