A Coaching Power Tool created by Sairam Jayaraman
(Executive Coaching, INDIA)
The first time I read the book ‘ Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ I was captivated by this concept of abundance vs Scarcity. I have always wondered as to why we constrain our thoughts and limit ourselves in any human situation and the win/win theory articulated by the master made perfect sense to me. I’m strongly hoping that the coaching community can use this power tool to shift perspectives of its clients who always have an urge to win and have difficulties in accepting other winners in their lives. We have always heard that a smart manager hires people who are smarter than him/her and empowers them to perform. We also keep hearing that people leave their managers when they quit and the smartest people leave first. When I put both of these contrary piece of information together, I have to conclude that managers by and large have problems creating space for smart people and empowering them.
By coaching the managers on the powerful idea of practicing an abundance mind set, I’m confident we can open up more possibilities and opportunities for these managers and their teams to innovate, invent and thrive instead of being boxed in a resource constrained, desperate situation where survival is to the fore instead of empowered liberation.
Also as the world economy has gone through a downturn and major economies across the world have experienced economic crisis that is un paralleled, the abundance mindset will help to open more possibilities for commerce and trade and will help to break barriers created by resource constraints.
Abundance Vs Scarcity: What does it mean?
First of all we need a definition for the model, and I will borrow Stephen Covey’s words here:
Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.
The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. The also have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.
The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flow out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.
The scarcity mentality can be quite painful for the individual and create a lot of unnecessary fear, anxiety and desperation. An abundance mentality, on the other hand, tells you that there are always new chances and opportunities. This relieves much of the pressure you may feel if you have a scarcity mentality that makes you think that you’ve only got one shot right now. Or it makes you feel like an utter failure just because you stumbled and things didn’t work out. An abundance mentality can help you improve your performance since with it, you’re creating a lot less pressure and anxieties within your own mind.
The following guideline may be followed to avoid scarcity mentality and to practice abundance mentality
- Be on the watch out if you have the scarcity mentality. Too much of anxiety, stress anger, jealousy and deep rooted desire to win at any cost may be rooted in a scarcity mentality. Awareness is the first step
- Thoughts and focus are related. If our thoughts are about lack of things the focus will be on the lack and scarcity. Learn to change perspectives and focus on the abundance aspect. For example if lack of money is an issue, do not focus on the lack of money but focus on the abundance of opportunities to make money.
- Learn to appreciate what we have. Instead of being concerned about what we do not have all the time, we should learn to appreciate the things we have.
- Root out sources of scarcity mentality triggers: Identify sources that trigger the scarcity mentality. Avoid those sources so that you are less triggered. Most time gets spent in worrying and thinking. To act, you need a mind that is more and more positive.
- Develop a ‘Win Win’ mentality by developing mutually beneficial relationship with people
- Design and develop structures to help in self motivation. The right motivation to help you focus on the abundance side of your life.