Growth Mindset at Work: Why and How?

Posted by Rick Yvanovich

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Our mindset, which reflects our beliefs and attitudes towards our abilities, is a powerful determinant of our behaviour and influence on others. Extensive research has shown that our mindset plays a crucial role in shaping our future success. Essentially, our beliefs can be the driving force behind our achievements or the obstacles that hold us back.


The benefits of a growth mindset for organisations

1. Improve performance

2. Better management

3. Greater diversity

Cultivating a growth mindset at work

1. Inspire more

2. Make room for growth

3. Establish a learning culture

Growth Mindset at Work: Why and How?

Carol Dweck, the author of the famous book “Mindset” has introduced the world to two new terms after years of studying the human mindset: Fixed mindset and Growth mindset

From research, she found the Growth mindset is invaluable in instilling a learning culture and enhancing employee engagement and innovation in the workplace. 

Employees who work in companies that promote a growth mindset are more collaborative, committed, and not afraid to try new things. Meanwhile, for companies that are more on the fixed mindset side, things are more clustered, and people are more careful in their jobs. Thus, collectively, they are moving forward more slowly.

Read more: Why a Growth Mindset Is What You Need for Life Success

The benefits of a growth mindset for organisations

Improve performance

Mindsets influence the way we perceive goals and deal with effort and struggle. Hence, a team with growth mindsets can effectively stimulate development and innovation – not only for the organisation but also for each other.

As for those with a fixed mindset, their reluctance to change can potentially hinder the innovative advancement of the organisation. These individuals would constantly be looking for opportunities to prove their talents (instead of learning). And they view experimenting with new tasks as a chance to fail and risk their performance at work. 

On the other hand, individuals with a growth mindset always welcome challenges and setbacks through which they can see where things went wrong and how to deal with failures and convert them into successes.

Read more: Want to Grow? Move Out Of Your Comfort Zone and Into the Growth Zone!

Better management

Managers with a growth mindset benefit their team substantially. Why? A growth-oriented manager will be more open to feedback and ideas from his employees without misinterpreting it as an attack on their capabilities. 

When it comes to coaching and mentoring, managers with growth mindsets are better at approaching and guiding people due to their belief that one’s ability can be cultivated and developed. They will invest more into coaching and training their employees to become better, thus, nurturing a growth culture in the organisation.

Managers who possess fixed mindsets tend to believe in the first impressions they have of the employees. This means that if the manager regards an employee as a “high performer”, he will retain his opinions even when the employee shows degradation in their performance.

Conversely, a growth-oriented leader will be more attentive to the changes in their employees, meaning both negative and positive changes are well-noted regardless of their previous performance.

Infographic: Understand the Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring

Greater diversity

Organisations that promote a growth culture are more open to establishing a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Leaders with growth mindsets don’t believe in “fixed traits”. Thus, they welcome all individuals who are open to perpetually improving and adding value to the organisation. Moreover, when employees get to work in a growth-attuned environment, they feel encouraged to collaborate more.

Such positivity in collaboration and perception makes people feel safe from stereotype threats and comfortable stepping out of their comfort zones. 

Stereotypes are often common among individuals with a fixed mindset as they believe that one’s talent is permanent. They easily stereotype a group of people to have low performance regardless of their actual accomplishments, particularly those who belong to the underrepresented groups.

Read more: Three Pitfalls to Avoid in Leadership Development

Cultivating a growth mindset at work

Inspire more

Let your employees know that you value their personal growth and that their improvements are highly cherished in the organisation. Studies have found that people tend to learn more effectively when they feel encouraged, motivated, and acknowledged. 

In other words, people will continue to grow and stretch their abilities if they feel ignited to become better and explore all the possibilities to become more successful. 

Studies have found that it is more likely for an organisation to attract growth-oriented candidates if their recruiting posts use phrases like “learn new things” or “highly determined”. Mentioning opportunities to learn makes your organisation appear as growth-oriented and approaches more growth-oriented candidates. 

Moreover, when talking about failures, try to emphasise how you can overcome challenges rather than scrutinise your employee’s performance.

Read more: What Should Your Employee’s Development Plan Contain? (P.1)

Make room for growth

Coaching is one of the most effective methods to develop your talent pool. Coaching sessions are where knowledge and wisdom are transferred from one high-potential professional to another. 

It encourages employees to try to emulate successful recipes from their coaches. Through coaching sessions, individuals also learned to ask powerful questions, identify their strengths and weaknesses, establish goals, and most importantly, inspire and motivate others.

In organisations that have more of a fixed mindset, people are occupied with proving their intelligence and competing against one another, which consequently, can hinder development and innovation in the organisation. 

Read more: Top Business Coaches in The World – Who Are They?

Establish a learning culture

It is important to let employees understand that their current position is not where the organisation expects them to be forever. During your regular performance management, avoid comparing employees. It is better to identify and provide them with the tools they need for improvements.

From the top down, your management board should be the ideal role models for their employees to look up to. As leaders of the business, they should feel comfortable sharing their stories of failures and how they overcame them. Inspiration does not come from success stories but from the journey that led to success.

Awareness is the first step to behaviour change. But many of us don't want to acknowledge that we're not where we want to be. Just because someone avoids the scale doesn't mean they are any less overweight. The same principle applies here. Take the first step and gather an accurate view of your leadership skills. This will set the stage for positive growth that will lead to organisational and personal impact.

Changes bring discomfort because it is a disruption in our daily routine. Nevertheless, changes can be good. Upgrading your leadership skills starts with changing your habits, which is a huge commitment and a long winding road.

In today's fast-paced and ever-changing world, cultivating a growth mindset is more important than ever. With the globalized and diverse nature of the workforce, it is crucial to adapt and embrace new challenges. The old ways of thinking, characterized by a fixed mindset, will no longer suffice in empowering your team to move forward.

To truly understand the importance of diversity and inclusion in today's dynamic economy, it is essential to delve into its root cause. How do these concepts differ from what you have known up until now? Discover the answers by downloading our free whitepaper below.

Don't let a fixed mindset hinder your team's progress. Embrace a growth mindset and unlock the full potential of your workforce.

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Topics: Talent Management

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 Rick Yvanovich
 /Founder & CEO/

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