Is talent something only a lucky few are born having? Or can you develop talents that will help you succeed through hard work, continuous feedback, and constant effort?
A lot of people - including business owners, managers, and individual contributors - believe that talent is virtually static. You either have it or you don’t.
If you learn to adopt a growth mindset instead, you can spark opportunities for creativity and innovation that you never thought possible - and encourage your team members to constantly improve and adapt in ways that will surprise you. After all, every team member has an influence on their team - so they’re going to be affected by your mindset!
A growth mindset puts aside the notion that natural talent and intelligence are inborn and locked in place. A growth mindset places an emphasis on the belief that anybody-with enough effort- can develop “hidden” talents, emotional intelligence, and various soft skills and abilities that will make them more flexible and resilient.
Plus, a growth mindset sees challenges and setbacks as opportunities to learn rather than something to simply overcome. Just finding a way through or around an obstacle may be productive, but it ultimately costs you the opportunity to gain new information that could be useful in the future.
In the same way that an individual can have a “fixed” mindset or a “growth” mindset, company cultures can be fixed or growth-oriented. Your team can develop a fixed mindset, which locks everyone into a static role and a set of rigid expectations, or you can cultivate a growth mindset that will let your team members explore, adapt, and shine!
When team leaders normalize the process of asking questions, providing input, offering ideas, and delivering feedback on a regular basis, they eliminate some of the biggest barriers that can limit the creativity and productivity of their teams.
You simply never know what kind of innovative ideas are hanging out in the minds of some of your team members, and you’ll never know if those team members feel like they’re constrained to a particular role within the team or are afraid to offer their thoughts and ideas.
Unlike a fixed team mindset - where failure is seen as a mistake (at best) - a growth mindset accepts failure as part of the process of growth. That acceptance of failure translates into a willingness to experiment and innovate.
Nobody wants to fail if they feel failure will be punished (or, at the very least, looked down on). When team members aren’t afraid to fail, they will often respond by soaring ahead of the curve and providing valuable insights that they might otherwise keep silent. Every failure simply becomes a new starting point.
You ultimately start to cultivate a growth mindset in your team by developing trust. When your team members know that you will respect what they have to say, encourage their efforts, applaud their attempts - even if those attempts aren’t successful - they’ll be more open to the kind of risk-taking that can produce rewards that are far beyond your initial goals.
Cultivating a growth mindset among your team starts with you, no matter what your role is in your organization. You have to be willing to show your own curiosity and willingness to hear honest feedback by asking questions. You have to be open enough to accept honest answers even when they aren’t necessarily flattering or positive. You have to be courageous enough to face your own failures and set about making changes that show your team that personal talents can be developed.
So, how do you do that?
The number one way to cultivate a growth mindset in yourself and your team is to constantly seek out perspectives that are not your own. Simply put, you are not the best judge of your own abilities. Your colleagues and peers have a much better perspective of you than you do.
Similarly, your team also needs continuous feedback. When your team members only receive feedback once or twice a year or at the end of a project, that leaves them in the dark about how they can make improvements over time to their skills and abilities.
Continuous, constructive feedback can help your team make micro changes to their behavior and work on improving their performance in real-time. Because they are constantly getting feedback, they can experience each step of the way and see their actual progress - without having to guess whether or not they’re genuinely improving.
Using a 360-degree model of feedback is also the best way to create a sense of psychological safety and awareness of the potential for growth in all directions. When your team knows that you’re also open to constructive feedback, you encourage transparency and a higher-level perspective. Your team members know that their opinion each have value and they can help you, help each other, and get help with their personal development in return.
Matter believes that the best form of continuous feedback comes from all directions - your peers, your team, your manager, and your clients. When you give and receive professional, honest, 360-degree feedback that is focused on the skill sets you want to grow, you can nurture your own personal growth.
Matter is designed specifically to tailor its feedback tools to the individual, which means that it can be used by every member of your team to help develop their personal goals and abilities. Ultimately, Matter helps each person recognize the stumbling blocks, especially in their “soft skills,” that are holding them back from being the most effective and creative person they can be.
Matter organizes its data in a way that enables each individual can use it to develop a personal plan for self-improvement. Because the 360-degree feedback system is a give-and-take, everyone feels like their opinion has weight and value.
If you’re ready to experience the difference that 360-Degree Feedback can make in your team’s ability to thrive and grow, Matter is ready to help! Our mission is to help you learn, improve, and grow.
Matter can show you how to turn constructive criticism into a positive process that will shift the focus of your team away from labels and titles and toward individual capabilities, personal transformation, and a passion for growth.