Individuals who believe that their skills, abilities and talents can be developed through hard work, good strategies and positive relationships have a growth mindset.
Teams and employees with a growth mindset are able to thrive when faced with obstacles, and bounce back quickly after challenges and failures.
The growth mindset concept was introduced by Carol Dweck. Dweck’s research found that when teams and companies have a growth mindset their people are 34% more likely to feel committed to the joint mission, and 47% more likely to trust their colleagues.
In contrast to this, employees and teams with a fixed mindset believe that no amount of effort can help them improve their skills and talent.
This is why, not surprisingly, employees with a growth mindset regularly outperform their peers with a fixed mindset.
There are ways to encourage your people to develop a growth mindset:
- Walk the talk
This is probably my favourite value – have integrity! Developing a growth mindset is not solely in the hands of individual employees.
Leaders must have a personal commitment towards modeling a growth mindset. They must recognise the untapped potential of team members and, most importantly, their own growth potential.
- Reward efforts
It is common for organisations to emphasize a performance driven culture where desirable outcomes and results are celebrated.
Dweck’s research shows that this leads to employees avoiding challenges and difficulties altogether, as they only go after goals that can be easily achieved. This slows down productivity and innovation as teams fall into a fixed mindset.
To help develop a growth mindset, spend time brainstorming, praise efforts, acknowledge steps taken towards a goal, and give regular feedback.
- Seize failure
Organisations and leaders should create a safe space where team members can experiment, acquire new skills and learn from their failures.
This decreases fear and encourages them to take on ambitious tasks and continuously improve, which fuels creativity and innovation.
Challenges and limitations should be looked at as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than obstacles that should be avoided.
- Commit to an “always learning” mindset
Teams with a growth mindset enjoy challenges, and strive to learn and develop new skills.
Provide employees with learning and networking opportunities to build new skills and get out of their comfort zone. This will help them evolve, and commit to achieving their goals.
When leaders and organisations support and empower their team by focusing on their growth and continuous learning, employees are more motivated and find meaning in their work.
As a result they are more engaged. This not only has a positive impact on organisations, but also allows every employee to reach their full potential.