It seems like a simple question: Would you rather continually improve or hold yourself back from success? That may sound like a biased comparison, but that's essentially what's happening when you have a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset. Let's explore how that impacts your employees and business.
What Is a Fixed Mindset?
This mentality is characterized by believing that skills aren't malleable, challenges are bad, and feedback is unwelcome. It results in limited freedom, less collaboration, and zero acceptance of failure. And when you apply those ideals to employees, it leaves them stuck where they are — not allowing them to spread their wings and improve their abilities. This, in turn, keeps your business from truly thriving because your staff is disengaged and not encouraged to make things better.
What Is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset means believing that people's talents can be improved — that creativity can be fostered and intelligence strengthened. When this belief is embraced by company leadership, it means that employees are empowered to learn, evolve, and thrive. And when employees grow and succeed, so does the business.
How Do I Foster a Growth Mindset in my Business?
In order to foster growth in your employees, your company needs to have strong leadership, continual learning, and encouraged innovation. Follow these three steps to get started:
Seek Out Learners
You want to avoid running a business where everyone thinks they've reached the top of their game. Why? Because if they're never learning anything new, people will struggle to come up with new ideas. You can combat this stagnation by hiring professionals with a love of learning — curious people who value personal development. It's these passionate learners who don't accept the status quo that will help push your business to grow and succeed.
Carve Out Time for Learning
Fostering a growth mindset means making a real commitment to learning and sharpening skills. This can be as simple as attending industry conferences or taking online courses. But beyond that, consider exposing your employees to ideas and skills outside their job description. Have them shadow a coworker for a day or join a webinar about a slightly different skill set. This can help not only foster better collaboration but help people see things from a slightly different angle — only helping to create stronger, more innovative solutions.
Build a Courageous Culture
Failure breeds growth, which is why you can't be afraid of it. In fact, you should embrace the fact that it's inevitable and forge ahead with confidence and innovation. A growth mindset means learning when you fail, getting back up, and doing it better next time. This kind of culture is built from the top down. As a leader, you need to not only set the example but empower your employees to take on new roles and challenges. They need the freedom to try, fail and learn. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Developing a growth mindset in your business might not happen overnight, but it's well worth the effort. Once you start fostering the potential in each and every employee, you'll get to watch new ideas come to the table as passion and loyalty increase.