Escaping the Fixed Mindset
Many professionals believe (managers included) that if you are not a natural born leader or organically skilled team member, you may simply be out of luck when it comes to advancing to the next professional step or receiving that much desired promotion within your company. Fortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The most successful managers will tell you that their success didn’t begin by stepping into the professional realm as a winner, but rather in having someone who believed in them and who put in the time and effort necessary to “grow” them.
Growth within is absolutely achievable, and you are probably already equipped to begin the process. Here are a few things to remember when looking to create lasting talent within your team:
Choose Potential Instead of Existing Talent
The biggest mistake trainers/managers/leaders can make is looking for existing talent rather than talent that can be molded and made. It is important to remember that effective employees are built, not born. With proper guidance, the right training, determination and drive, even the seemingly most resistant employee can be fashioned into a team player worthy of praise and capable of greatness. We need to make sure that we do not paint ourselves into a corner by only onboarding only those who have been in the business, but also look for individuals who are dedicated and willing to accept and offer feedback in a symbiotic working relationship, and have the mindset to learn.
Couple Correction with Modeling and Demos
One of the easiest ways to encourage a growth mindset within your group is to start the way you want to finish. If your working relationships begin with a growth mindset that encourages managers and team members alike to take a look at the brain and its ability to change and grow with almost every interaction, you are setting yourself up for success from the very beginning. In Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck asserts that,
“We need to train leaders, managers, and employees to believe in growth, in addition to training them in the specifics of effective communication and mentoring…Finally, it means creating a growth-mindset environment in which people can thrive. That involves:
- Presenting skills as learnable
- Conveying that the organization values learning and perseverance, not just ready-made genius or talent
- Giving feedback in a way that promotes learning and future success
- Presenting managers are resources for learning. “
To help all team members understand that skills are teachable, and that they, too, can develop those skills that will see them at the top of the game, is putting the proverbial money in the bank for all involved. It is this belief in the development potential of your team, fostered by mindful and genuine training, that will add true and endless value.
Opt for a Growth Mindset Instead of a Fixed Mindset
If you judge your employees based on your first impression(s) of them and rely only on your initial take of their abilities, you might just be stuck in a mindset that impedes your progress, as well as the progress of your employees and your company. People are never simply what they demonstrate in one moment of their lives, and neither are those who work with or for you. Make sure that you are open to imagining the very best in people, as well as the fact that most are apt and able to learn from their mistakes, as well as from the input of someone who truly wants to be a part of their success. As a manager, make sure that you approach your team members with an eye on those things that you can improve with just a bit of time and effort. Seeing your employees as capable and willing human beings who want to know more…do more… will only set you up for success in the end. Managers with a growth mindset understand that talent is just the beginning. They know that they need to be open to receiving feedback, as well as offering it, understanding that a healthy give and take relationship that offers opportunity for reflection is where true growth (and success) takes place. The most exciting part of this is that growth mindset can be taught to managers.
When we believe in our employees as human beings who are capable of being developed, and when we believe in our own ability to develop them, we are truly embracing the concept of human resources. Make sure that you are using your position and talent in ways that will reap a lifetime of benefits for all involved. After all, we are at our best when we are working together, and in ways that grow all involved.