Sep 2020 What Is a Growth Mindset and How Does It Benefit Your Business?
Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, first coined the term “growth mindset” in 2006 in her book “Mindset”. Since then, many businesses and educators have used her theory to help employees and students thrive.
So, What Is a Growth Mindset, and Is It Easy to Develop?
If a person believes their talents and ability can be developed through hard work, persistence, good strategies, and guidance from others, they have a “Growth Mindset”. They tend to achieve more and learn faster than people with a fixed mindset (a belief that talents are something you are born with). Can a Growth Mindset be developed easily? Yes and we can help ourselves, our employees and our business by giving attention to the following principles.
Know The Difference Between Growth and Performance
Many businesses base their company culture around performance, winning designs, winning quotes and hitting targets per project. Recognising success and profits is important, but to cultivate a growth mindset, a company should also recognise and reward effort, individual team member improvement and learned experiences. It also involves learning from failures, so employees are willing to challenge themselves. Such an approach will help build a strong and appealing business culture.
Failure Paves The Way for Growth
Part of a Growth Mindset is to encourage your employees to challenge themselves with new tasks, skills, and responsibilities; but if they fail or make mistakes, it is essential that you help them understand that they failed because of their action (and that they don’t blame someone else or something else), and then help see what they have learned. Also praise their attempt to take the action they did, so next time they will do better. Such an approach will minimise the possibility of a repeated failure or mistake. To cultivate a Growth Mindset in your company, you must create a culture in which employees do not fear failure or mistakes.
If we reflect back on our lives, we know that it’s the challenges (small and large), that have been very rewarding on many levels. So it is essential that you and your employees continue to accept new challenges. Challenges will often place us out of our comfort zone, but the benefits we receive are vast, often pivotal, and long lasting.
Regular Education and Training
Look at your employees’ deficiencies as opportunities, rather than shortcomings. See them as an opportunity to set up training in-house or outsourced. As business owners, we should be constantly thinking about ways to develop our knowledge and skills and that of our employees.
Time to Reflect
In a study conducted for an IT company, new recruits were subjected to an initial 4 weeks of training. One group of employees continued with the training until close each day. The second group were instructed to spend the last 15 minutes of each day writing down the lessons they learned. On the final training test, workers who had been given time to reflect performed more than 20% better.
Creating project reviews once a project has been completed is an ideal way for site supervisors, estimators, project managers and designers to learn, improve and implement the discoveries going forward. The same applies to any project or area of your business.
Applying Growth Mindset to Other Parts of Your Business
As business owners, having a growth mindset means that we look at various areas of our business that may be annoying us and looking for the opportunity to discover the problem or inefficiency, plan a way to improve, implement the strategy or method, and learn from the approach.
For example; you may have met many of the prospects calling you recently only to find that a considerable percentage have been unsuitable as potential clients. This gives you an opportunity to create a process to better qualify each prospect, so you are no longer wasting time. It also gives you an opportunity to review the marketing strategies that are attracting these prospects to your company and plan ways to attract the prospects you want.
The Growth Mindset positively affects how we think and behave so we, our businesses, our employees, and our business culture will all benefit.