A caterpillar is one of nature’s wondrous insects on its own. But imagine if it stayed stagnant and never blossomed into the beautiful butterfly. This begs the question, which would you rather be, the caterpillar or the butterfly?
Although there is no right answer to this question, it may reveal the type of mindset you have. “Becoming is better than being” is a phrase that was popular in the 1960s, according to Carol S. Dweck in her book, Mindset. The book explains the notion of a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset. People tend to have one or the other mindset in how they approach different aspects of life.
People with a fixed mindset might live by the expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” With this mindset, one believes that personality or traits cannot really change. Conversely, people with a growth mindset believe that personalities or traits can drastically change with time and hard work.
Dweck further explains that people can have a fixed mindset in some aspects of their lives while having growth in others. Perhaps the caterpillar has a fixed mindset at the beginning of its life until finally embracing the growth mindset that leads to chrysalis followed by transformation.
Understanding that people have different mindsets can help, especially if you’re a manager. Managing a group of people is challenging on its own. How do you manage a team that has members with different mindsets? What if the team has an opportunity for significant improvement if they can change their mindset? In these situations, begin by explaining to the team or colleagues, “the power of yet.”
The Power of Yet
Dweck discusses “the power of yet” in a TED talk. She explains how a Chicago high school required students to pass several classes to graduate. Students who did not pass a course received a grade of “Not yet.”
This anecdote perfectly explains the power of yet. By obtaining a “Not yet” grade, students could continue working toward their goal of graduation without the stigma of failure.
Students with a fixed mindset, faced with a life of receiving either passing or failing grades, believed they were either a success or a failure. This black and white thinking does not serve anyone well, especially in a mostly gray world.
Providing this anecdote to a group is a perfect introduction to the different mindsets individuals and groups have.
Follow the steps listed in this Harvard Business Review article. Shift your groups’ mindset from output to effort.
Leading by example is another approach to changing your company’s mindset. For example, you can begin by changing hiring practices, and rewarding and praising employees for adhering to the growth mindset. Employees will see that the focus is on effort rather than success.
Finally, realize that change takes time. As the article states, there are no firm results yet linking growth mindset-oriented companies to higher performance levels rather than their fixed mindset siblings… Yet.
Some findings suggest that growth mindset firms have happier employees and a more innovative, risk-taking culture. Companies are already experiencing employee disengagement. The more that can be done to increase employee happiness and innovation, the better.
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HR teams that outsource employment verification to i2Verify have more time to focus on other critical tasks, like changing your company’s mindset to help improve performance. i2Verify works directly with all lenders, background check vendors, and government agencies to make sure that we fulfill all employment verification requests securely and quickly.
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