My previous two blogs on growth mindset focused on how we may fake the growth mindset and the practices to adopt for the growth mindset to flourish. Here is where you can read them. 

This blog illustrates 3 ways in which you can amplify your growth mindset.  These 3 ways also support you in shifting your public identity and how peers, bosses, and other stakeholders regard you.

A growth mindset as we know needs constant practice. It involves many permissions that we give ourselves and it takes time to develop. As we develop the muscle of a growth mindset we can see that we become confident in these three areas:

  • Requests
  • Offers 
  • Promises


Often we feel this is a very trivial aspect but making effective requests is an important leadership skill. Leaders often fail to do this and then they wonder why they don’t get effective action from their teams. Making requests is a significant language action for leadership.

A request is when we seek assistance from another person to satisfy a concern that we have.  Effective results depend on making effective requests.

  • A request can satisfy our requirements.
  • It creates an opportunity to address our concerns and hence create a new future.
  • It is made in the present moment and invites a future action in others.

Elements of Requests

Making requests includes paying attention to the following elements. I borrow from the work of Chalmer Brothers. 

I) Speaker of the request: This is the person who makes the request. As a requestor, it is essential to be clear and specific about what is required.  We must also be clear about what we might not know and still need to figure out.

II) Listener of the request: This is the person or persons to whom the request is made. Do they understand the request and are they clear about what is required is vital here?

III) Conditions of satisfaction: Some basic standards that a requestor may have are:

  • What is to be done?
  • When?
  • For Whom?
  • By whom?
  • Why?
  • What is the standard to be met?

If enough attention is not paid to the above, commitments that are made cannot exist leading to a breakdown in the tasks and relationships.

IV) Shared background of obviousness: A shared background of the context of the request when absent between the speaker and listener causes discrepancies in understanding as well as communicating the request.

V) Mood of the request: Requests made in the mood of openness and dialogue are significant as they can open the listening of the other person/s. The mood of the listener is equally important while receiving the request.

A leader pays attention to these elements while making requests as requests allows another to participate in our life and in our cares. When we see requests as a way of connecting with our colleagues, teams, and community we no longer hesitate to make them.

Examples of powerful requests

  • A request for volunteers who form a knowledge-sharing group. This group was tasked to create a rich 3 hours of learning each month for their business. The leader outlined what she considered a rich 3 hours. The mood of this request was ambitious as the leader outlined her aspiration for her business to be energized with a  solid learning culture. Her conditions of ‘ rich’ being defined gave the organizing team a clear picture. The speaker and listener of the request were clear too. 


  • A request for coaching and mentoring a leader made to his boss. He earmarked 3 areas where he wished to make progress. He defined what specific competence he wished to achieve in 6 months and requested a cadence of review and meetings to be guided. He went on to set up their calendars and requested a few simple challenge assignments to start his learning process.

Pointers for making effective requests:

  • I will make direct requests that are clear & specific.
  • I will invite the other to participate in a meaningful way.
  • I cannot know everything and it is okay to ask and learn.
  • I say what I expect and why.
  • I ensure that the other & I have a shared and clear understanding.
  • Moods of curiosity, openness, and dialogue are important to me.

Do hear me speak about unlocking the power of making requests here.


An offer is what we make to satisfy a need either in the other person, a team, or an organization. A valuable offer can change others’ and our own future. Our offers must address an important need in the other. 

Elements of an offer

Just like requests offers too have certain elements:

  • There is a speaker and a listener.
  • There are conditions of satisfaction that will be met for the other when the offer is made.
  • Offers need to be specific.
  • Offers are a powerful language of action.

If the other accepts our offer we negotiate how to move forward and participate together in the future. An offer allows leaders to recognize and value their own competence, experience, and skills.  It is a way of participating and being a contributing member. 

Offers are a way to expand ourselves and care for other’s needs as well as take care of our own cares that matter to us. As a professional, we personally are also an offer. This is because we bring our skills, capability, unique strengths, and expertise to bear on a task. Offers shape our professional identity and how we are perceived in our organizations.


A leader offered to plan and host an innovation conference. Her CEO was really glad about this because it allowed them to show thought leadership in their domain and their organization brand would get some great mileage. Making the offer was the start of a bigger process of making a team, curating the scientific program, and social media and marketing efforts too. 

Pointers for making effective offers:

  • I will look at places where I  can contribute
  • I can function from my strengths and make offers in that space.
  • I will show up,  raise my hand, and lead
  • I make offers that matter to my boss and business.
  • I make offers that bring me and my business visibility.


The response to a request can be a promise.  It can be us who makes the promise or a promise can be made to us. When a promise is made it means the promisor has understood what is required to be delivered and what the conditions for satisfaction for the other are. When we promise, we commit to produce a particular future action or result for ourselves or for another.

Chalmers Brothers say “Promises and agreements underlie everything that we do with others.  They are the most basic level, the ‘actual action’ that we use in very different ways as we do what we do in the world”.

Promises exist in the mind of the listener.  The establishment of trust in relationships is based on the promises we make and those that are listened to. 

Promises impact four aspects of our identity when they are met or not met:

  • Trust
  • Relationship
  • Success
  • Self-esteem

Chalmers Brothers presents 3 types of promises:

I) Strong promises: These are promises we are absolutely committed to, backed up by our energy, efforts, and plans.

II) Shallow promises: Although they appear like strong promises they are not in reality.  Often moods, convenience, and circumstances are the basis for these.

III) Criminal promises: These are promises we make that we have no intention to fulfill and are fully aware of while making the promise.  

Managing promises is all about taking full responsibility to fulfill the promises.  This is a relationship skill in itself.  One must not confuse expectations with promises. Often we confuse both.  Conversations connect the space of promises.  When leaders shape the promises in alignment with what they care about they shape their identity in the world. 


A leader promised his team that he would be more available to them over the year. His team was going through a big transition and his presence would help them navigate better. During the week there were many many times they needed to refer back to him for the proposals they were making but he was never available. The frustrated team’s work was impacted and a slow attrition began. The team saw this leader who said one thing and did another. They felt their requests received no significance. His promises had no honesty. 

Pointers to make promises:

  • I will ask questions to clarify. Understanding details is important before I promise.
  • I Understand the context of the request before I promise
  • I can take your time to respond.  Pausing to think is of significance.
  • I can choose comfort over overwhelm and say no.
  • I commit to managing my capacity. I will not over-commit.
  • I grow your self-esteem by doing what  I say I will do 


A growth mindset for this year is not only an option as owning it allows you an expansion like never before. It also allows you to show up in a new way through making requests and involving others, through making valuable offers to your business and also your clients. Making strong solid promises helps your team see you as a person of your word because you say what you do and do what you say. 

So which area are you going to begin with?
Connected Reads:

Sailaja Manacha

Sailaja Manacha

Sailaja Manacha, a Master certified Coach from ICF, is known for her programs and coaching methods that combine psychology with leadership practices. In her work, Sailaja draws from Psychology, Ontology, NLP and Spiritual frameworks as well as rich, real-world experiences.

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