In our last blog, we talked about why growth mindset cultures are valuable to organizations. A growth mindset is the belief that people can improve their skills and abilities. Improving these skills and abilities are viewed to be your purpose at work. In contrast, a fixed mindset is the belief that your skills and abilities are relatively fixed. In a fixed mindset, you are focusing more on performance and competition than self-improvement. It can be difficult to implement a growth mindset culture when many of your employees hold preconceived ideas of what it means. Below, we discuss common misconceptions people hold about growth mindsets.
Our Business Is Growing, Therefore We Have A Growth Mindset
Just because your business is growing, doesn’t mean that you have a growth mindset. A growth mindset culture might help your business grow, but it is not a qualifier. It is all about the belief that skills and competencies are malleable and therefore can be improved.
In fact, businesses can’t have a growth mindset, they can only have a growth mindset culture. It is a way of thinking. Since a business doesn’t have a brain, it can’t have a growth mindset. It is the people that make up the business that can have these mindsets. Once that way of thinking becomes the norm, it becomes a part of the culture.
It Is Either Something You Do or Don’t Have
Just because a person might have a fixed mindset doesn’t mean they are stuck with it forever. A growth mindset can be developed! We can train our minds to adopt a mindset.
It Implies You Are Limitless
Some people interpret growth mindset as believing that one is capable of anything and everything. In reality, it makes a much weaker claim, suggesting that everyone has the ability to learn. Learning and growth are naturally bound by time and our cognitive capacity. It is easy for managers to overload employees and blame their fixed mindset for not getting things done, but this can inhibit long term progress. Instead of overloading them, managers should give employees ample time and resources to learn how to do the task, so that they can complete it successfully. The construed idea of limitlessness can be dangerous, considering it can distract employees from what they were hired for in the first place.
You Can’t Be Successful in A Fixed Mindset
Wrong! People can be successful in a fixed mindset. It all depends on their definition of success! People with a fixed mindset often measure their success based on outperforming their competition. Their confidence fluctuates, yet often people with a fixed mindset do experience moments of success. On the other hand, in a growth mindset, success is often measured in personal improvement. Since people with this mindset are competing with themselves instead of the competition, they experience more prolonged confidence and success.
In order to combat these common misconceptions around growth mindset, leadership must align on a true definition for the term. Training your employees on this definition is the first step to eradicating the myths and implementing this kind of culture. In our next article, we will further discuss tips on how your organization can work to implement this mindset into your culture!