Almost three decades ago, Carol S. Dweck, a psychologist from Stanford, began her research on students’ attitude towards failure, motivation and achievement. From her research, the term ‘growth mindset’ was coined which describes a belief system that focuses on the development of skills and abilities through dedication and hard work.
This educational philosophy has transcended beyond the classroom and into the other aspects of life, including how it can be applied in business. Entrepreneurs are seeing the benefit of having a growth mindset in the workplace. Here are 4 simple ways on how to get started in adapting the growth mindset in your business.
It starts at the top
Top-level management needs to take the lead in changing the mindset of its employees. Leaders must foster a working environment that accepts mistakes instead of penalizing them. It is only through these mistakes that employee growth is possible. According to Dweck, resilience is essential for great accomplishment. Thus, top-level management should find ways on how to motivate employees during setbacks and how to move forward in achieving their goal. In turn, strong leaders are also ready to own their mistakes, learn from it, thus leading by example.
Dweck encourages educators to recognize a child’s effort in achieving his goal rather than praising them because of something measurable such as one’s intelligence. Educators now place much praise in the student’s attitude while trying to achieve a goal, rather than focusing on what test score they got. In the workplace, it is very easy to be driven by numbers too as everyone is focused on the bottom line. Having a growth mindset requires conscious effort so that managers can spot desirable traits and motivate them further to try again. Even though employees fall short of their key performance indicators, what were the qualities that they displayed while trying to reach them? How could they apply these qualities and improve it further to achieve their goal? These are some of the questions a business owner can ask if he is striving to apply the growth mindset.
Maximize and explore your employees’ potential
Growth mindset rejects the idea that intelligence or talent cannot be improved. On the contrary, anyone has the potential to improve as long as there is dedication and hard work. It can be compared to an athlete practising for a competition. He has to start somewhere but with constant practice, he improves day by day. In a business perspective, when an employee is hired, his knowledge about the business is very limited. But after training them and gathering enough hands-on experience, his knowledge and skills further develop. Employees are more motivated when they see advancement in their career and their potential is being tapped and fully discovered. A good sign that a business maximises their employee’s potential is when they look first for internal candidates before hiring an external one for any job opportunities.
Promote continual learning
Growth mindset focuses on continual development and building a learning culture. The moment learning stalls so does the business’ growth. This can be a challenge, especially for a small business that is just starting out and has limited resources. It is not surprising that continual learning can be quite an investment. Fortunately, there are government-sponsored training programs that a business owner can enrol himself to as well as his employees. If there are limited training programs available in your country, there are online courses that are free or offered at a low price. It just really takes a bit of an effort to find a course with good quality but it is surely worth it!
Indeed, having a growth mindset can help one improve not only while in school but also in the workplace. As a business owner, having this mindset will ensure continuous growth for your business. This mindset fosters strong values and beliefs to anyone who wants to strive for greater success.