With over 10 years of research on neuroscience and neuroplasticity, Dr. Carol Dweck identified two types of mindset: Growth and Fixed. With brain wave research and studies on various groups of students and employees, the research repeatedly shows that those with a growth mindset are motivated to find solutions and reflect traits we seek in high performing employees: achievement orientation, problem solving, creativity, effort, and persistence. Whereas those with a fixed mindset believe they have a certain level of intelligence (like a fixed trait); and often avoid difficult workplace challenges.
Dr. Dweck notes that our beliefs about our mind and neuroplasticity are paramount. Those with a fixed mindset turn away from learning and trying new things. Those with a growth mindset seek answers and solve problems; and they outperform those with a fixed believe. These growth mindset people believe that abilities and intelligence can be developed and enhanced through effort, persistence, and learning activities.
In a wonderful analogy, Dr. Dweck reminds us that babies are always in a growth mindset, she states, you never see an unmotivated baby. Yet, somewhere between this, and our development into adulthood, employees tend to have either a continuation of the baby view, eager to learn and gusto in finding solutions. Do you have the strategies to develop your leaders to motivate their employees? Coaching and leadership is critical. There are strategies that support nurturing a growth mindset. Some include positive reinforcement and recognizing effort, strategy and progress; teaching about neuron formation and improving brain processing. Are you hiring and promoting those who work their brains like they do their muscles? In today’s VUCA workplace (high speed business environment that reflects a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous), hiring and developing for a growth mindset may provide the talent to outperform your competition.