Growth mindset is a personal characteristic that is nowadays necessary to adapt to the current organisational context. We speak of an attitude that — many authors agree — leads to success. This particularity allows us to fully develop the potential of the individuals who possess it.
Unlike the fixed mindset, which is not thinking outside the box, taking very little risks or staying within the comfort zone for a long time, the growth mindset is more oriented towards taking on new challenges, being curious to learn new things, developing to improve every day and growing professionally.
When we talk about a fixed mindset or growth mindset, we refer to beliefs, and these can be changed. We refer to the attitude with which we take on daily challenges in all aspects of life.
Why growth mindset in organisations?
Companies with a growth mindset don’t focus only on the innate talent of employees, but instead they encourage them to develop and improve skills and abilities.
In 2007, Carol S. Dweck, a researcher and professor of Psychology at Stanford University, published a book entitled The Attitude of Success, in which she states that a growth mindset leads to guaranteed success in our professional career.
Some of the benefits of companies that encourage and develop a growth mindset on employees are:
- Greater cooperation: people with a growth mindset often share their opinions and points of view with their peers, since they see an opportunity for improvement in each situation. This leads to a pleasant and trustworthy environment.
- Enhanced productivity: as people with a growth mindset seek constant learning, this inevitably results in doing things increasingly better. They’re passionate about knowledge and continuous improvement.
- Constantly overcoming new challenges: unlike people with a fixed mindset, individuals with a growth mondset are encouraged by facing new challenges because they are able to handle uncertainty more easily. They enjoy facing obstacles; for them, everything is an opportunity.
But how do I boost the growth mindset in my organisation?
Creating an organisational culture that promotes a growth mindset is a long journey that requires leaders to motivate and encourage through some guidelines, since, as previously mentioned, a growth mindset is a belief, and all beliefs can be changed or developed. Stimulating constant feedback, recognising progress — and not just the end result — are some examples of practices that companies can adopt.
Emotion management plays a key role in this journey, because, as we all know, intelligence is not static, but can be shaped. In fact, the best way to learn is to work hard while always being willing to fail along the way.
Below are some strategies that leaders can adopt to drive a growth mindset in organisations:
- Improve emotion management: having a quality program that helps identify people’s negative thoughts is essential. Negative thoughts are always tricky, as they tie us down and don’t let us move forward, contrary to what is necessary for developing a growth mindset.
- Encourage constant feedback in your team: studies show that the more feedback there is between peers, the better the individual results, and, as an immediate consequence, the organisational results. Feedback is an ally for individuals who want to face challenges as opportunities.
- Build a good visualisation plan: the role that challenges play in teams is important, and when they are clear and embodied in a visualisation plan, we can see the horizon and, based on that, work from a positive approach.