Thursday, August 13, 2015 by julie
When employees are placed in an environment where they are given clear and challenging goals, targeted feedback in regular performance-focused conversations and opportunities to learn from their successes and failures, they can and will grow. And if they can grow, the business can grow. This philosophy is called a Growth Mindset.
This philosophy is built on evidence-based, scientifically proven research conducted by Dr. Carol Dweck, a professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Through more than three decades of systematic research, she has figured out why some people achieve their potential while other equally talented people don’t. The key she found isn’t ability, it’s whether you look at ability as something inherent that needs to be demonstrated or as something that can be developed.
Her work has led to the identification of two distinct talent mindsets: A fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset is a belief that talent is fixed or static. In other words, employees are fixed in a certain way and can’t change. If you have to put forth effort to be successful, it must mean you lack talent.
Companies and leaders with this orientation may:
• Create easier, task-oriented goals and avoid challenge and risk taking, because failure proves you are “not smart”
• Assume employees have a decreased response from coaching and therefore use feedback primarily as a tool to “manage performance” and identify the people who aren’t performing vs. using it as a tool to unlock potential.
• It also drives a tendency to be past orientated and focused on title, grade and pay in performance management
Dr. Dweck believes the best managers are those with a growth mindset. In other words… those who believe in the ability of an individual to change, the transformative power of effort, and the conviction that learning is the way forward.
A key to understanding growth mindset is the concept of neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to reorganize itself with learning. Also fundamental to this mindset is the belief that criticism may not always be agreeable, but are necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body, it calls attention to an opportunity, and allows us to readjust, recalibrate and improve.
With this orientation, companies and leaders will:
• Achieve a winning mentality
• Seek and relish opportunities to exchange feedback and engage in challenges
• Be future oriented and focused on development, excellence, and mastery
• Create goals with a stretch element that consistently raise the standard of success
Bohan & Bradstreet can help you find your opportunity to grow.