You may have heard of the terms “growth mindset” and “fixed mindset,” they seem to be tossed around as buzzwords more and more as organizations are putting a larger focus on learning and development. But these mindsets are more than just buzzwords, they could be a factor in your company’s success. According to Harvard Business Review, when entire companies embrace a growth mindset, their employees report feeling far more empowered and committed, resulting in higher performance. In contrast, people at primarily fixed-mindset companies report more of only one thing: cheating and deception among employees, presumably to gain an advantage in the talent race.
Before we get into how to coach a growth mindset, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Dr. Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology and leading researcher on motivation and mindsets, defines them as:
Coaching a growth mindset starts from the top down. If you do not exhibit a growth mindset, it’s unlikely that your team will. By being a member of SGI, implementing new processes, attending Expos and networking with other members, you are already demonstrating a willingness and desire to learn and grow. Additional ways you can make the shift to a growth mindset is attending training, reading, listening to podcasts, and most importantly thinking and speaking more positively. Instead of getting overwhelmed and giving up, say to yourself, “I’ll try again with a different strategy,” or instead of, “This is too hard,” say, “This may take some time and effort, but I can do it.”
Once you adopt a growth mindset for yourself, your team will take notice. With coaching, you’ll be on your way to create a growth-mindset culture. To do this, you will need to make continuous learning a priority, regardless of experience level, through training, ride-alongs, and of course 1:1 coaching. Here are some questions and responses you can use during 1:1 coaching to encourage a growth mindset: