In business, leadership, negotiation, and communication styles are often seen as fixed attributes, whereas the technical skills of professions are seen as more malleable. A person with a growth mindset would disagree with this idea. They believe that there is always room for improvement, learning, and growth. This comes in contrast to a fixed mindset, that is the belief that your skills and abilities are relatively static. This exemplifies that in business, we often hold a fixed mindset, underestimating one’s potential to improve skills like leadership, negotiation, and communication. Subsequently, this limits capacity for success.
In our last article, we talked about the common misconceptions about growth mindset. With many misconceptions floating around the business world, how can we create growth mindset cultures that stick? It surely won’t happen overnight. It takes a conscious effort from top-level leadership to alter the way the majority of your employees think. Building it into your hiring, onboarding, and talent management strategy will help.
Top-Level Leadership Support
First, it is essential that your organization’s leadership team aligns on a definition of a growth mindset. The evolution of growth mindset cultures consists of three steps: awareness, adoption, and advocacy. Taking a top-down approach, leadership must be willing to change their language, to drive home consistent messaging throughout each stage. This will help eradicate any prior misconceptions about the term. To spur commitment, top-level leadership must be conscious of their actions, to make sure they practice what they preach. Leaders should encourage their teams and give them permission to try, as well as fail, with the purpose of learning from the process. To celebrate learning, leaders also need to become comfortable celebrating failure.
Hiring and Onboarding
Can you hire for a growth mindset? Certainly! Recruiters can strategically sort candidates based on certain behaviors. Hiring managers should prioritize hiring for curiosity, potential, and a passion for learning and challenge, over credentials and past accomplishments. These characteristics can be evaluated in the interview process. They should also consider hiring from within since after all, a person with a growth mindset believes that everyone has potential to learn, grow, and improve.
To encourage a growth mindset culture, organizations need to rethink their talent management strategy. First, organizations need to provide the resources and training that the employee needs to learn and be successful. In addition, managers should shift their focus towards coaching and maximizing employee potential. Some organizations are even going as far as abolishing the annual performance review and rating system, and instead, evaluating potential. Lastly, managers should encourage employees to shift their focus from the result to the processes they take to get there. Implementing a growth mindset culture might not be easy, but we hope these tips help you get started!