I recently spoke at the HRDISRUPT Conference which took place on Thursday 5th October at the NDRC about what I have learned that “Mindset Trumps Talent.”
It was a fantastic event with a lot of thought-provoking topics, innovative ideas and a community who wanted to share their experiences with others.
I spoke about how mindset trumps talent and how having a constructive feedback session with those around you proves to be a valuable process of discovering what makes people tick and what doesn’t. Referring to Carol Dweck’s book, I discussed how people can either have a fixed or growth mindset, which determines whether or not you reach your potential.
Individuals with a fixed mindset have a desire to portray themselves as smart and feel threatened by the success of others. Meanwhile, individuals with a growth mindset love the process of learning. They look at the bigger picture, seek solutions and embrace challenges.
Companies can also have these mindsets. I stressed that organisations should embrace a growth mindset as it will have a positive impact on employee’s performance and engagement, reduce churn, increase profits, improve innovation and create an environment of transparency.
Four questions to determine mindset
I have spent over a year interviewing people from all walks of life on the What I Know Now podcast, such as top-level CEO’s, elite athletes and top performers. I gave a brief overview of the research I accumulated by asking them four questions and depending on their answers, I determined whether they had a fixed or growth mindset.
An example of a question I ask to determine an individual’s mindset is as follows:
“You came fourth in a race of eight other cyclists. Which statement most resonates you?
A: You are too slow
B: You need to speed up
Those that chose A believe their ability is fixed and those that chose B believe their ability is something that they can change and develop. An individual can change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. However, a company can’t become a growth mindset company unless senior management has the same mindset themselves. They need to encourage the process of learning, rather than focus on the end results.
Key actions you can take
Three strategies you can pursue are:
- Present skills as learnable
- Give feedback in a way that promotes learning and future success
- Position managers as resources for learning
It is important to note that transitioning to a growth mindset is a daily journey which requires willpower. Each morning, you should ask yourself how am I going to learn and grow today.