We’ve all had the experience where we’ve hired that person with the “perfect resume.” Most companies now even have an online application process that weeds out those candidates that don’t match their criteria. Yet, while this is a common practice, most of us have also had the experience where some of those candidates fell short in getting the job done.
Early on in my career I learned the lesson that an employee’s mind map for success was equally important, if not more important, than their resume. I will never forget when I landed a big account and needed to hire a consultant immediately. While I found someone who matched my education and experience criteria, my gut alerted me to not hire her when she brought in her big box of Kleenex on both interviews. While my gut knew this gesture was a bit dramatic, my logical mind rationalized her behavior because I needed another consultant now—and she fit the profile.
Unfortunately, we all know how the story ended: I had to eventually let her go because she called in sick far too often.
While it may seem difficult to pinpoint someone’s mind map for success, it really is not when you listen to your gut alert you to cues at the tip of the iceberg. When you ask the right questions, you will get the information you need to understand someone’s mind map. For example, when you ask a potential candidate about their past, ask about what obstacles they faced and how they overcame them. Specifically, ask them the following questions: Where did you fall short of other’s expectations? How did you reconcile their disappointment? How did you manage a demanding boss, client, or team member? What was the biggest mistake you ever made, and how did you reconcile it?
If they can’t own the fact that they have faced these situations and can’t articulate how they created success: be concerned. Also, pay particular attention to the victim mindset who is always blaming others, or their circumstances, for their failures. Be equally as concerned if they are always the hero in every story. Remember: There is no “I” in teamwork, so always being the hero does not reflect a mind map for success.
Our unconscious mind map gets developed between birth and eight years old. I call it an “unconscious imprint” in my book, “The Cheetah Method.” It is the first of my seven steps to help people reach their goals. In my opinion, I think it is the most important step. For example, if you unconsciously believe, “I am not capable enough,” you will likely create a self-fulfilling prophecy by quitting in the face of adversity or putting in less effort to succeed. This is because you may say to yourself, “I know how this is going to end, so why bother!” If that is your mind map, you likely had a demanding and perfectionistic parent you could never please. In some cases, the opposite occurs: Someone is trying so hard to be enough, they become obnoxious to the other teammates who sense they are always trying to get validation.
The good news is rewiring one’s mind map for success is possible. It’s much like rerouting Google Maps when it takes you on a route you don’t want to go. First, you must make a conscious choice you want to go in another direction. Then, you need to turn in that different direction. After you have made your decision, you’ll notice that Google Maps will keep chattering at you until it realizes that you are not going to listen to it anymore. Then, finally, it will recalibrate to your decision and give you the directions you need.
To reroute your negative imprint and mind map, you do the same thing: You hear where your mind map wants to take you, but you choose a better route instead. When your mind chatters, just notice it. Pretty soon, it will calm down. Then, use this powerful question I give my clients to create a success mind map: “How might I…?” or “How might we…?” Fill in the blank with your subject such as, “How might we get the client to buy into our price increase?”
You can immediately stop your mind from taking you down a negative road such as: “Why bother?!” “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me!” “I am not enough,” or “I never seem to have enough time to get it all done!” By learning how to replace your old mind map with “How might I…?” or “How might we…?”, you will get a mind map to success!