Dropping anchor will keep a ship in one place. The same is true for the mindset of people.

Take, for example, if you are coaching a competitive team. What do you say when the team loses?

  1. “You were robbed of that trophy! You worked so hard.”
  2. “If only the referees were more impartial you would have won.”
  3. “It’s OK as sports are not overly important in the grander scheme of life.”
  4. “You did not deserve to win this one.”

The first two will likely anchor the team in thinking they are already doing their best. The third would likely anchor the team in thinking it’s not overly important, so why work hard?

The fourth statement can be used to anchor the team into thinking winning will take more practice and hard work. This simple statement becomes the platform for coaching the team to the next level.

Leaders who anchor

As a leader, you need to be conscious of how you anchor the team’s mindset. Are you anchoring them in the mindset that limits their ability to grow and succeed? Or, are you anchoring them in a mindset which has them seeing themselves bigger and better?

For example:

Instead of “I know you’ve done the best you can with what you have to work with.” Make it something like: “You have failed to deliver this time. What can we learn from this to move forward?”

Instead of “I know the quality is out of your control. Just do the best you can with what you have.” Make it something like “The quality of our product is a big problem. I know if you put your heads together you can find a way forward.”

I’m always amazed and fascinated by how much mindset and words matter.

Be mindful of where you drop anchor.