As a leader, it’s likely you understand how outcomes can change based on having a positive mindset versus a negative one. But what about adopting a growth mindset? According to Standford Professor Carol Dweck, there are 2 types of mindsets you can have: a growth mindset or a fixed mindset.
First, let’s define Fixed Mindset:
People with a fixed mindset believe that people are born with a certain amount of intelligence, and they can’t do much more to change that. According to Dweck, “In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.”
Traits of Individuals in a Fixed Mindset
-These people focus their efforts on looking smart over learning.
-They see effort as a sign of low ability.
-They retreat when faced with a challenge.
What about a Growth Mindset?
Those thinking with a growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed. Dweck states, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”
Traits of Individuals in a Growth Mindset
-These people focus on learning over just looking smart.
-They see effort as the key to success.
-They thrive in the face of a challenge.
For a full introduction into the idea of Growth versus Fixed mindset, watch this short video.
Here are 4 Ways You Can Foster a Growth Mindset with Your Team
Place a High Value on Learning
It’s unfortunate, but when resources are tight it seems like career development and education are the first things to be cut. True growth-mindset organizations view learning as essential for survival. Invest in programs that develop new skills, offer new experiences, and fuel the intellectual curiosity of your team.
Admit Failure and Capitalize on the Opportunity
Those in a growth mindset view failure as an integral part of their journey to success. They don’t sweep failure under the rug; they embrace it. Have regular check-ins with your team to discuss what’s going well and what’s not working. When a project is complete, conduct a post-mortem and review how the team can learn from mistakes. Remember to reward the effort, not just the outcome. You want your team to be willing to take risks that have potential to fail.
Develop as Many People as Possible
Employees working in a fixed mindset organization often describe career opportunities, or new contributions, as being limited to just “a few rising stars.” The opposite is true of a growth mindset organization. Recognize that great ideas can come from anywhere and expanding the diversity of talent and thought is necessary for effective problem solving.
Remain Open to Feedback
The largest roadblock to growth is a leader who isn’t open to receiving feedback. Setting the tone for a growth mindset starts with you and trickles down to your team. Stay open to feedback and invite your team to be truthful about what’s going on in the business.
As leaders, nurturing a culture of growth mindset may be the key factor that allows your organization to outdistance the competition and experience success through innovation.