Employing the Right Mindset

In a separate blog I described the need to hire carefully, including screening out the characteristics you don’t want in your organization. Even if an applicant otherwise seems like a perfect “Star” performer. The book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” offers insight on characteristics that contribute to success. Based on years of research, author and Stanford University Professor Carol Dweck describes two mindsets, fixed and growth, and explains how they impact behavior and the choices people make. For the workplace, Dweck’s discussion of mindset and skill development is useful. Consider applicants and employees with the following mindsets about skills:

Fixed Mindset

  • Skill is the result of natural talent. You either have “it” or you don’t.
  • Failure results from not having enough innate skill.

Growth Mindset

  • Skill is developed with repeated effort. Consistent and sustained effort improves skill levels.
  • Failure is an opportunity to learn, try again, and improve skills.

Many questions come to mind, including…

What mindset is most useful in a new employee? (This may vary based on your organization’s culture!)

How do you identify people with a growth mindset? (Careful interviewing and listening!)

What if you already employ people with a fixed mindset? (Don’t despair! Dweck asserts that people can change and offers action steps to develop a growth mindset.)

To learn more:

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is available for checkout from the MSEC Library.

Contact me with any questions at jmcdonough@msec.org.