Real HR leaders foster growth mindsets… here’s how

How is success measured in your business? Is it assessed in terms of the results achieved? Or is the effort exerted also important? In businesses that cultivate growth mindsets, learning from mistakes and focusing on results is a measure of success. As an HR or L&D practitioner, there are many concrete steps you can take to promote growth mindsets in your organisation. Here are four to get you started.

Shift management assumptions

Examine any assumptions that managers have made about their teams. Do some managers assume that their team members cannot take on new responsibilities? Do they talk about ‘stars’ and ‘problem people’? Or do they act on the assumption that people can learn and grow continuously? Help managers shift their thinking by encouraging them to focus on employee strengths and abilities, rather than weaknesses and ‘capability gaps.’

Provide useful tools

Build a workplace environment that is conducive to collaboration and innovation. Equip your employees with the right tools – training, one-on-one coaching and access to relevant literature on positive psychology. Demonstrate that you’re committed to the growth of every employee by investing in development and advancement opportunities.

Teach your people about neuroplasticity

When people understand neuroplasticity, they think differently about themselves. They understand the growth mindset and they learn to embrace challenges. It becomes clear to them that they can learn anything they want. This is why including content on neuroplasticity in all your leadership and management development program is a smart move. Similar content can be included in programs for change resilience, problem solving and collaborative communication.

Recruit for mindset

Use the application and interview process as an opportunity to find ‘the right fit.’ Pose questions about how candidates face challenges. Ask referees about candidates’ thinking skills, attitudes and problem-solving approaches. Remember that skills can be learned, but only when employees believe they can learn. This is why screening for growth mindsets is often more strategic than testing for technical skills during recruitment.

Help managers develop their people

Great managers keep a close eye on employee development. Make this easy for team leaders and managers in your business. Train them in skills such as coaching, active constructive leadership, delivering feedback and building positive team dynamics. Stress the importance of talking to staff during annual reviews – not just filling in forms and complying with ‘HR process.’

Employees who enjoy learning and constantly look for ways to acquire new knowledge always outperform those who do not. Their growth mindsets enable them to make meaningful contributions towards your organisation’s growth. So make sure you recruit individuals who are open to learning and have a natural preference for being in growth-mindset mode.

About the author of this article

Eleanor Shakiba is passionate about helping talented professionals to break through barriers to success. She coaches and trains high performers who want to excel in business. Her core expertise is in the area of positive psychology – she can show YOU how to use positive psychology to become the best you possible. Find out how Eleanor can help you or your team here.