Mindset is everything. Research by Carol Dweck indicates that having a growth mindset is the key to success in almost every area of life. People with a growth mindset believe that any skill can be learned through hard work, consistent effort, and persistence. Those with a fixed mindset, though, believe that people are naturally born with gifts and talents, meaning they are “fixed,” or static.
People with a growth mindset also believe that failure is simply a springboard to success. Focusing on developing a growth mindset will be important for you as a manager—after all, you were not born with managerial and leadership ability but are learning and developing it through practice.
The following are the behaviors of those with a growth mindset:
- Embrace challenges.
- Persevere through setbacks and mistakes.
- Take risks by pushing past their comfort zone.
- Seek and listen to feedback.
- Encourage the success of others.
- Are lifelong learners.
Managers are required to develop people and talent. With this responsibility, it is critical to adopt a growth mindset. Dweck’s research found that beliefs strongly “affect what we want and whether we succeed in getting it.” Therefore, these beliefs will either propel us to fulfill our purpose or prevent us from even trying.
First, you are capable of learning and improving on any skill that you are willing to dedicate deliberate practice to. Second, you help your team members understand that any skill can be developed with hard work and dedication. Studies have found that when we help others switch their mindset from fixed to growth, it increases their motivation, achievement, and productivity.
How can you cultivate a growth mindset within your team? These questions will help develop your team’s overall mindset.
- Reflect on a skill you have always wanted to master or a skill you have always admired in others. If you cultivated a growth mindset, could you deliberately practice and improve upon this skill? What is holding you back?
- What about members on your team—do they have hidden talents or skills you could help develop? What actions can you take to encourage your team members to have a growth mindset?