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Lead During a Pandemic by Building a Growth Mindset in Your Team

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

You’re on the line now to do way more than manage the day-to-day activities of your team. Overnight change has forced everyone into a “growth mindset”—no matter how experienced people are in their current jobs. More than just being positive about learning, people who share a growth mindset are eagerly seeking new possibilities & skills for how they work and think about work, and for that matter the development they need for life.

Benefits of growth mindset

Growth mindset can lead to innovative solutions, new roles, and new ways of thinking about old problems and new problems. The Neuro Leadership Institute, specializing in the connection between brain science and leadership effectiveness, has done extensive research to show that a growth mindset isn’t just a “nice-to-have.” In a recent white paper, “Impact Report: Growth Mindset Supports Organizations Through Disruption,” they studied five major organizations that showed major benefits of a growth mindset culture.  Such a culture reflects a focus on people “improving themselves, rather than proving themselves” and builds far more openness to feedback than a culture with old assumptions about learning and fear of failure. In these organizations, they observed faster learning, more willingness to learn and apply technical skills, less reluctance, and less fear of failure.  All of these are reasons why “growth mindset is a business imperative, especially given the accelerating pace of technological change and the automation of work”.

So how does this apply to leaders working with remote teams today? 

You must allocate time and energy to develop growth mindsets in each of the people you lead. You can’t distance them from great communication with you. It means emphasizing the value of identifying specific new skills each person wants and needs for the future. It means developing an openness to growth in each of them.

“If leaders don’t treat habits of mind as catalysts for habits of work, disruptive forces—whatever form they take—could cause individuals to fall behind. On the other hand, if leaders recognize growth mindset’s power to strengthen people’s ability to weather changes that come their way, and see their abilities and others’ as fluid, they stand a fighting chance at leading the changes [needed].

The Feedback Imperative book

Read The Feedback Imperative for more tips and strategies for leading remotely

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