The "growth mindset" is an important concept when considering how achievement is best encouraged and the potential costs of performance goals. 

The growth mindset was introduced by Carol Dweck, a researcher at Stanford University. The growth mind-set describes the underlying beliefs that people have about learning and intelligence. Recent research shows the link between mindsets and achievement. If you believe your brain can grow, you behave differently. Dweck found that when people believe they can get smarter, they realise that their effort has an effect on their success, so they put in extra time, leading to higher achievement.

In growth mindset, people have an underlying belief that their learning and intelligence can grow with time and experience. The growth mind-set is about developing resilience and developing a mindset that sees failure and mistakes as opportunities for learning.

The idea is we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and solve problems. Neuroscience has shown us that the brain is far more malleable than we ever knew. Research on brain plasticity has shown how connectivity between neurons can change with experience. With practice, neural networks grow new connections, strengthen existing ones and build insulation that speeds up the transmission of impulses. These neuroscientific discoveries suggest that we can increase our neural growth by the actions we take even throughout adulthood. Behaviour, environmental stimuli, thought and emotions may also cause neuroplastic change through activity-dependent plasticity, which has significant implications for development, learning, memory and recovery from brain damage.

But expectations can change neurology. If you have low expectations of someone and express that during formal feedback, their brain can start to function worse. This is something known as the Pygmalion effect. The “Pygmalion effect theory,” from Rosenthal, teaches that people will act or behave in the way that others expect them to. It is very similar to the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The effect has both positive and negative outcomes: a person expected by his or her superiors to succeed will, but the opposite is also usually true. The feedback we receive can either encourage us to choose a challenge and increase achievement or look for an easy way out.

Imagine the tremendous effect that the growth mindset can have in a professional environment. To have a growth mindset in a company we must encourage employees to focus on the importance of developing themselves and their careers by acquiring more sophisticated soft skills and competing with themselves, rather than with colleagues. We should believe that ourselves, our intelligence, our character, our personality can be continuously developed. Our true potential is unknown and unknowable. We desire continuous learning, confront uncertainties and embrace challenges. We should not be afraid to fail because failing is an opportunity to learn.

We provide tools to facilitate growth mindset to develop our professional's maximum potential, such as: 

  • Self-awareness. Self-knowledge strengthens and motivates…
  • Challenges and opportunities. To go outside of the comfort zone. 
  • Continuous feedback. The power of encouraging people to go to the next level.
  • Rewards evolution. Recognise people development in the pay review and promotions process instead of performance. 
  • Training plans to develop soft skills. Competences or soft skills are a form of observable behaviour that persists over time. Acquiring more sophisticated soft skills guarantee more success in the development. 
  • The importance of the journey. We have created a positive employee experience through a tailored employee journey map. It encourages employees to live the everis culture and values, and to enjoy the journey rather than only focussing on the destination.
  • Clearer professional paths and developmental opportunities, to enable empowerment and give autonomy. This allows our colleagues to be the protagonist of their career.
  • Leadership by values. A leadership style that provides vision, purpose and inspiration to our people. 

A growth mindset is the belief that we can constantly develop and nurture our skills, helping us reach our full potential. This develops a more positive mindset and more personal and professional satisfaction. An entire team that possesses a positive and determined attitude, is unafraid to take risks and eager to embrace challenges will always achieve more.