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3 Ways to Embrace an Ownership Mindset and Encourage it Within the Team

3 Ways to Embrace an Ownership Mindset and Encourage it Within the Team

An ownership mindset is all about taking responsibility for yourself and your actions. You can, however, extend this mindset to your team and encourage others to work with this approach.

Written by:Tara A. Collison, Ph.D.

When we talk about the importance of an ownership mindset and encouraging it within our teams, what do we mean? First of all, it’s not about stepping on toes, and it’s definitely not about pointing fingers. Rather, an ownership mindset is about taking responsibility for your actions and the end result, as well as the work that goes on “upstream” and “downstream” of you. So, while personal accountability and self-reliance are aspects of this mindset (you should always understand your role), it’s equally as important to adopt a “we’re all in this together” kind of attitude instead of an “every man for himself” approach. 

How Does an Ownership Mindset Support Your Team?

An individual who exhibits the ownership mindset is ready for action when the team needs help. You can trust that if things go south, they won’t sit back and blame every other player on the board. They take initiative to fix issues and move forward, but own their losses as much as their wins. This kind of behavior builds trust, increases cooperation and motivation, and causes other individuals to step-up their game. 

To help you make the collective transition to an ownership mindset, we came up with three ways to embrace and encourage this unique brand of responsibility:

  1. Encourage team members to regularly ask themselves and others, “What else can I do?” It’s a good habit to have! You should set the expectation that in quiet moments or spare time, people should check in with themselves and others to see what else can be done to impact the end result of any given project. 
  2. Address all roadblocks immediately and together. A true ownership mindset — one that values group responsibility — calls for alignment and alliance. If you can create an environment where people are comfortable sharing and tackling problems together, they will be less insecure and more reliant on each other.
  3. Build personal connections within the team. Not only will this make them more comfortable sharing new perspectives, but it also gives them a sense of responsibility for each others’ work and the sense that they are in this together. If they know employees A, B, and C are going to give 100%, they will too. 

There you have it! Three quick ways to jumpstart your efforts to embrace and encourage an ownership mindset. It takes time and consistency, but if you’re persistent, it will pay off in spades with a team full of people who want to work not only for their own betterment but for the betterment of their coworkers and the company as a whole.

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