Break your mindset habits

By now, you should have discovered all the phases and mindsets of the design thinking process. In order to help you train these mindsets, here are some short exercises that you can do every day. Try to do them (at least) for one week. At the end of the week, reflect back if these exercises helped you see something in a new way! We welcome you to share your learnings in our design thinking community!

#1: Optimistic mindset: “Yes and…”

In the coming week try and replace the word “but”  with “yes and…”

Every time you want to start a sentence with “But…” , replace it with “ Yes and…”. This will help you to think of opportunities and possibilities instead of problems and restrictions.

#2 – Curious and empathetic mindset: “Active listening diary”

In the coming week, when you are having a conversation with someone, try to actively listen to them. Try not to steer what they are saying with your opinions and try to ask only clarifying questions, without letting your experiences influence the conversation. At the end of the day, ask yourself:

Did you learn something new from a conversation you had? 

Did you already have an idea of what they would have said?

How much did your biases and experiences influence the story the other person was telling?

 This exercise will help you to reflect – and to be aware of how actively you listen to others. It is normal to steer conversations based on your experiences, but it is good to be aware of it to avoid doing it during your customer research.

#3 – Celebratory mindset: “Let’s celebrate failures!”

At the end of every day, think back on a failure (big or small, professional or personal)  you experienced and what you have learned from it. When did you fail, make a mistake or think you messed up? What did you learn from these failures? Don’t forget to appreciate these experiences – they will help you grow!

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