We hear a lot talking about ‘growth mindset’ and how important it is to have one for a successful business, but what does it really mean??
In a nutshell, it looks like that individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a ‘growth mindset’. Researchers say that they tend to achieve more than those with a more ‘fixed mindset’ (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning. When entire companies embrace a ‘growth mindset’, their employees report feeling far more empowered and committed; they also receive far greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation. In contrast, people who work in ‘fixed-mindset’ companies report more of only one thing: cheating and deception among employees, presumably to gain an advantage in the talent race.
If a leader can apply their own ‘growth mindset’ to those within the organization, they will be more willing to invest in programs and strategies designed to encourage new or enhanced skills – which, ultimately, is more likely to produce the intended results faster and better than checking off boxes on a performance review.
So, as a business owner, how can you develop a ‘growth mindset’ and how can you make sure that your entire organisation will embrace it? Here are a few tips:
- Accept the challenges your organisation has to face
The greatest rewards are offered to those willing to take largest leaps. The reward you receive will only ever be as big as the risk you were willing to take. And risk is rarely ever attached to anything easy, anything that doesn’t require stepping out of what’s comfortable. So if you beat a challenge, you’ll get the rewards. If you don’t, you‘ll still have learnt some valuable lessons.
- Expect setbacks, learn from them and come back up feeling empowered
Setbacks happen, you have to expect them. Developing a good dose of resilience and persisting in the face of setbacks will help you develop a routine of falling down and getting right back up — smarter, wiser and more experienced than before.
- Learn from criticism and use it in your favour
Always listen to negative comments and use the feedback to improve your business. Criticism can be difficult to digest but, if you are embracing a ‘growth mindset’, it’s something that you can’t ignore. Your customers are your audience, you have to listen to them and build your business around what they really need.
- Every effort is worthwhile, even the smallest ones
Your ultimate goal is as important as your journey to get there. The road to success can be long and it’s definitely not straight. You need to focus on smaller, more easily achievable milestones, otherwise you risk to lose your focus and your motivation. Keep in mind your ultimate goal but take the time to celebrate the smaller milestones.
- Look around and be inspired but other people’s success
Don’t be afraid to connect with people, especially successful ones. Don’t be threatened by the success of other entrepreneurs, instead learn from their experience and let them inspire you. The most successful entrepreneurs know when to ask for help and when to reach out and help others. And remember that people are not always as confident as they seem. If you shake off your negative feelings towards other people’s success you will see things as they really are. There’s a great opportunity in learning from other people’s mistake as well as from their achievements.
It’s hard work, but individuals and organizations can gain a lot by deepening their understanding of ‘growth mindset’ concepts and the processes for putting them into practice. It gives them a richer sense of who they are, what they stand for, and how they want to move forward.
Do you think, as business owner, that you are doing enough to create and develop a ‘growth mindset’ within your organisation? Do you have any secrets or any tips that you want to share?