When it comes to leading a team, one of the most important things leaders can do is help the employees grow a growth mindset. A growth mindset is essential to help employees become more resilient and adaptable in the face of challenges and is key to business success. Here are five tips on how leaders can help employees develop a growth mindset.
Tip 1 – Engage in continuous learning yourself
As a leader, it’s essential to model the behaviour you want from your employees. By taking time out of your busy schedule and investing in improving skills yourself, those around will see that there are no boundaries on growth opportunities for them! Framing workplace culture as one that promotes learning sends a powerful message about what is expected from everyone who works here.
Tip 2 – Improve feedback practices
One of the most significant factors in developing a growth mindset is how a leader provides feedback. State what you observe in giving feedback. where possible, use specific examples and avoid being judgmental. “You don’t give off a lot of energy in meetings” is not as helpful as, “In the meeting with James yesterday, I noticed you were silent and did not offer any suggestions.” Point out the direct impact of this behaviour, and again be as specific as possible. “When you don’t participate in meetings, nobody is motivated to hear your ideas” is a more helpful statement than “You disengage from the meeting.”
Middle managers especially have the immense task of cascading decisions and directions down from senior management and aligning direct reports towards executing tasks. If they cannot provide good feedback, their direct reports will never learn to spot issues and correct course. Consequently, they will make the same mistakes repeatedly, wasting valuable time and team productivity.
Tip 3 – Focus on progress, not perfection
If you constantly point out your team’s flaws and tell them what they should do, it can be hard for them to think independently. How does one cultivate a growth mindset when they have no opportunity to reflect? Perfectionism is a big obstacle to progress.
The best leaders can empower their team members and give them freedom of thought. This is done by providing feedback without pointing out flaws in what they’re doing, but rather asking probing questions that encourage independent thinking from the individual while also guiding them along on a path towards success.
Tip 4 – Reward effort, not talent
Leaders can encourage a growth mindset by acknowledging effort over talent, actions over traits. The rewarding of effort is important; this provides encouragement and motivation to your employees. Tell them how proud you are of their growth and what they have learned from the experience when they do something right. This growth mindset leadership style helps give meaning to each employee’s work and improves engagement at work. Everyone has different talents like intelligence, creativity, physical strength etc. A growth mindset is not about focusing on intelligence or other natural strengths but developing habits that can make everyone better.
Tip 5 – Give growth opportunities to everyone
Growth opportunities should be equally distributed to everyone on your team. Allocating them based on performance and not a title or seniority status will make sure that no one feels left behind, which has been shown as an effective way of creating a growth mindset culture in organizations. A little bit more than just some common sense advice here: Give every employee the same chance for professional development so they can keep improving themselves without feeling like their ideas are less valuable simply because of where they rank within this company’s structure.
We know that employees with a growth mindset are happier and more productive. Our team is always available to answer any questions or provide more resources for your continued success. Let us show you how we’ve helped other organizations build a culture of personal accountability in their workplace through our learning and development services!
What other tips would you add?