Four Steps To A Winning Mindset

 As Henry Ford so wisely said: ‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t - you’re right.’ The ability to develop a winning mindset is what differentiates successful people. It enables them to challenge the status quo so they can raise the bar and achieve the extraordinary. So, as a commercial skills trainer and coach with more than 20 years’ experience, here are my top tips to help you adopt a winning mindset that enables you to ‘think you can.’

1. Silence Your Inner Gremlins
One of the most iconic examples of a winning mindset is the All Black’s performing the Haka; no one can fail but be impressed by the way it galvanises the team, boosts their confidence, and prepares them for the match ahead. Now I’m not suggesting you do a war cry before each meeting, but whenever you feel your self-esteem is taking a tumble, take the time to identify your key skills and strengths. Silence your inner gremlin – that negative voice inside your head that tells you why you can’t achieve something – by finding evidence of when you successfully turned around a situation that seemed impossible at the time. By believing in yourself, you are more likely to convince others that you are a force to be reckoned with.

2. Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone
The ability to move outside your comfort zone is easier said than done. However, as the saying goes, what doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you! This is true whether you are learning a new language or training for a marathon – and especially the case if you want to achieve commercial success. So, have the confidence to face your fears and make a plan to move into your stretch zone – this could be negotiating a large contract with a new client or negotiating a pay rise with your boss, scenarios which push you outside your comfort zone but don’t have you running for the hills in panic. You will soon reap the rewards of increased confidence and improved performance.

3. See The Glass Half Full
As humans we are hardwired to be more negative than positive – there is an evolutionary basis for this; it helps us survive threats and manage risk. However, it also means that when circumstances don’t turn out like we’d hoped, it’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of negative thoughts. In extreme cases, people can start catastrophising by imagining worst-case scenarios. Emotionally resilient people on the other hand, have the ability to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones. For example, if you’re worried your negotiations with a supplier may end in deadlock, be an optimistic person and think: ‘What other variables can I bring to the table?’ By being creative, you will see the positives and are more likely to go on to achieve your desired outome.

4. Be Proud Of Your Success
Remember to own your successes – don’t put them down to luck. Being proud of yourself, your team and, your work are powerful ingredients that drive success. By picturing what good looks like, you are more likely to develop a winning mind-set. Finally, don’t forget to walk the talk - just as it’s difficult to say something negative with a smile on your face, the opposite is also true. To build a winning mindset, your body language, tone of voice, and inner chatter all need to be positive.

By believing in yourself, moving into your stretch zone, adopting a positive outlook, and owning your success, you will be well on your way to developing a winning mindset that will set you apart from the competition – for as Muhammad Ali famously said, ‘Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.’

Nicole Soames is a highly qualified coach and EQ practitioner with extensive commercial experience gained from twelve years leveraging large sales teams for Unilever and United Biscuits, followed by thirteen years developing and delivering training programmes across the globe. In 2009, Nicole founded Diadem, the leading commercial skills training and coaching company. With over 85 clients in more than 15 different countries, Diadem has helped many thousands of people become commercial athletes in negotiation, selling and influencing, account management, marketing, presenting, strategy, coaching, and leadership and management.

Nicole Soames, author of The Negotiation Book and CEO of Diadem Performance, a market leading training and coaching company that helps people achieve their commercial personal best in negotiation, selling, presenting, leadership and management, shares her expert advice on the steps to developing a winning mindset, no matter what the situation.

For more information about Nicole, visit, follow her on twitter @nicolediadem or visit to find out how Diadem can help you become a commercial athlete in negotiation, selling, presenting and management.

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