6 ways to encourage a growth mindset in your team
As a leader of a busy agency with ambitious plans, one of my priorities is to create an environment in which my teams can work efficiently and feel set up for success.
Developing a growth mindset is an important part of this – I know that if my colleagues believe they can improve their performance and grow in their roles, they can achieve greater things.
At its core, it’s about encouraging positive thinking, which in turn creates openness and a willingness to change and learn new things. In other words, it means being open to improvement and embracing challenges, a cornerstone of growth and success.
A growth mindset helps teams build better relationships, improve communications skills, and develop innovative ideas. So how can you embed it into your organisation’s culture and everyday operations?
- Champion development. The foundation of a growth mindset is accepting that anything can be learned – and mastered. It pushes back on those fixed beliefs around talent or ability that suggest you’re either good at something or you’re not. Research shows us that people stay in an organisation longer if they feel the business is invested in their development. This really is growth mindset 101.
- Think differently about failure. If someone in your team fails at something, it might seem natural to pass that responsibility to someone else in future. But that is the very definition of a fixed mindset. Much better to discuss with the person in question how you might be able to support them better next time and what they think they need to be successful so they can try again, which builds resilience at the same time.
- Team building. Working together on a non-business activity builds trust and respect for each other. The objective is to create a sense among individuals that they belong to something bigger than themselves and share a common goal, which they are more likely to achieve together. This positive environment for collaboration always leads to better results – not to mention how much fun team building activities can be!
- Create a feedback culture. Appraisals and regular check-ins are standard practice at Aspect as they are in most organisations, but it’s only when we create a culture of two-way feedback – top down, down-up, peer-to-peer – that we can unlock a growth mindset in our teams. Normalising this process demonstrates that the focus is on learning, growing, and valuing diversity – not just relying on the usual “experts”.
- Show them you care. This is a big one for me and very personal. Our business is fast-paced and pressurised. I spend a lot of time focused on how I can reduce stress levels during a normal working week to ensure our teams feel supported. Apart from the bigger picture things mentioned above, the whole agency has daily check-ins where we discuss pain points and anticipate any problems before they arise – that way, nobody feels exposed or isolated.
And finally: Lead by example. None of this will resonate with your team if you don’t inspire them with your own actions. Lead with a growth mindset and you will succeed in creating a culture of people that are proactive, accountable for their own development, motivated solution-seekers and resilient to tackle new challenges. All of which will accelerate innovation and business growth.