A managerial mindset refers to the way a manager deals with the work, employees, and world around them. Mindset is the perspective a person takes or their way of thinking. In Harvard Business Review, management professor Henry Mintzberg outlined the five types of managerial mindset that exist. To be a good manager, you don’t need to be an expert in each mindset. But it helps to know what is required of each and how each mindset supports your efforts to manage your team, company, and self.
Take a look at the five types of managerial mindsets and see where you might have room for improvement.
Change is part of doing business and your company will likely want to evolve and grow as time goes on. Developing an action mindset allows you to embrace and prepare for changes in your organization.
With an action mindset, you can put together and execute strategies that help your company grow. Those strategies might include a plan to move into a new market or to introduce a new product.
Another critical component of an action mindset is being able to recognize what needs to change and what can remain the same. Along with making needed changes, it can involve maintaining certain functions and keeping what works.
The analytical mindset allows a manager to make decisions for their organization from both a qualitative and quantitative point of view. With an analytical mindset, a manager reviews all the data available to make choices that will have the greatest impact on their company.
Developing an analytical mindset involves going deeper with data. There’s more to data than what’s on the surface. When a manager can truly analyze and understand what the numbers mean and how the data influences the structure of the organization, they can make the best possible decisions for the company’s future.
A manager needs to be adept at cultivating and maintaining relationships with people. After all, management roles usually require a person to work alongside of others, including subordinates, colleagues, and bosses. In describing the collaborative mindset, Mintzberg encourages you to move away from viewing others as assets or resources that can be transferred, fired, or sent away without a second look.
Instead, the collaborative mindset involves focusing on the relationship between people, teams, and projects. Managers are encouraged to focus on how they relate to those they work with. A key part of collaboration involves engagement. Think about how you interact with your employees and team members. Collaboration means listening as much or more than you talk. It also means giving your employees space to try ideas out or to decide the best way to approach a project or task.
A manager with a collaborative mindset won’t be overly controlling and will never be called a micro-manager.
Reflection involves looking inward. A manager with a reflective mindset can look into themselves in order to get a better idea of what’s going on in the outside world. A reflective manager thinks about past experiences and uses what they gained from those experiences to make better decisions in the present.
Critically, a reflective mindset allows a manager to examine the space between their own experiences and the world around them. A reflective manager can look inward while at the same time looking forward.
With a worldly mindset, a manager embraces experience and seeks to learn from the experiences and knowledge of others. A worldly manager looks to other cultures, situations, and ways of doing things to get a better understanding of their own methods and preferences.
It’s important to note that being worldly is not the same as being global or spreading an organization across the globe. It’s not about taking over the world, but about finding ways to weave different components together to create something cohesive.
As a manager, you might not excel in each of the five mindsets. And that’s fine, as managers are people, too. Knowing what each mindset entails and requires can help you make adjustments to your style and allow you to get help when you need it.
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