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Modeling a Growth Mindset For Your Team

When I first started writing my book, From Barista to Boardroom, I had no idea how to begin. I was scared to try something that seemed so far from my then present day skills of crafting Powerpoint presentations and bullet pointed emails.

As a corporate executive, I was conditioned to convey ideas quickly and crisply to inspire others to take action, the exact opposite of what it takes to create vivid descriptions and context required of a memoir.

But this made me want to try it all the more - to take on a new challenge and develop new skills. Staying in my comfort zone would be easier but not nearly as rewarding. My growth mindset kicked in.

The concept of a growth mindset was coined over thirty years ago by Carol Dweck. At its essence, it's about having a deliberate curiosity and desire to improve skills and knowledge through practice. The result becomes the ability to achieve things never thought possible.

I definitely didn't think writing a book was in my realm of possibilities five years ago much in the same way I never thought I'd be a marathoner, corporate executive or take a year off to backpack around the world. But, when we start taking small steps forward, big things can happen.

Having a growth mindset is one of your most powerful and impactful traits as a leader. When you demonstrate to your team that you are open to learning, your humility and vulnerability make you relatable. It can also relieve the pressure of feeling like you need to have all the answers and a growth mindset fosters innovation and creative problem solving which result in better teamwork.

Here are some small steps you can take to model a growth mindset with your team:

  • Ask questions and seek input from others with genuine curiosity

  • Commit time each week (even just five minutes!) to practice something new

  • Bounce ideas off of people that don't know your world of work as intimately as you do

  • Create a culture of experimentation and allow yourself and your team to fail

  • Invite your team members to set learning goals in addition to business goals

Cheers to learning, growing and achieving new things!

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