Does receiving feedback from a manager make you nervous, or do you look forward to hearing how you can do better next time? Do you view a mistake as reflecting badly on your abilities, or as an opportunity to improve a skill?
If the latter resonated with you, you’re likely demonstrating what psychologists call a “growth mindset,” the view that skills can always be improved and aren’t set in stone. And as we explored in our latest white paper, “Transforming Performance Management With a Growth Mindset Approach,” it can have a significant impact on workplace performance.
Below we describe three important situations where mindset makes all the difference.
Responding to feedback
Research shows that mindset has a powerful effect on how an individual receives feedback. With a fixed mindset, a person believes that skills are inherent, and strives to show that they are good at a specific skill. As a result, a fixed mindset individual may feel threatened by what they perceive as criticism of their abilities.
By comparison, growth mindset brains are primed to respond positively to constructive feedback. With a growth mindset, the region of the brain used to process feedback is more active, helping individuals to quickly shift their thinking and integrate new suggestions. With the right mindset, feedback becomes an opportunity to show growth and improvement.
Recovering from setbacks
Mistakes happen. Which means success depends on how well your team can recover from the mistake, correct, and move forward. Instead of viewing a mistake as evidence of poor skills and becoming defensive, a growth mindset enables someone to see the potential for learning and adjustment for next time.
With an eye towards perpetual improvement, a growth mindset individual turns a mistake now into increased performance the next time around.
The growth mindset team
When working together, teams with a growth mindset demonstrate higher levels of trust in their teammates. Rather than viewing colleagues as competition they need to beat for recognition, growth mindset individuals are open to new ideas from teammates and are more likely to share their past learnings with the group. Team challenges become an opportunity to reflect, collaborate, and grow, with better results for everyone.
Where mindset takes us
In our latest white paper, we dive even further into these aspects around how growth mindset impacts performance. By exploring both scientific research and the experiences of major companies who have had their own growth mindset culture shift, we can get a clear picture of the benefits to changing workplace thinking.
When managers reward their employees for growing and improving their skills, they become more open to constructive feedback, more effective at working with teammates, and better able to recover from setbacks along the way.
Learn more about the power of a growth mindset by grabbing a copy of the white paper, and start exploring what’s possible when you shift how you think about feedback and setbacks.
Authors: Emma Briggs