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The next perspective to refine our analysis of what an individual requires from us in order for us to help them to do their best work is mindset.

The video below is from earlier in the course in the productivity section. Although it is primarily concerned with how you can adapt your mindset, it doesn’t take too much effort to think about how you can help someone else to achieve a growth mindset.

To build confidence and a growth mindset, as a leader consider:

  • setting short-term objectives, enabling early wins
  • move quickly from a tell style to involving and facilitating, creating a feeling of “I solved that problem” for the individual
  • encourage self-reliance by asking for thoughts and ideas whenever problems arise [note, this isn’t always easy. As a leader, indeed as a human, our initial tendency will be to help by solving the problem. Hold back.]
  • provide perspective – people with a fixed mindset may assume that a problem is challenging for them but not for others. Explain that it would be challenging for anyone, that it’s unrealistic, given their level of experience, to expect to find easy or that at this stage you felt the same way.
  • offer praise and recognition for progress, and particularly, effort far.

I think it is worth repeating the words of Salman Kahn:

“For instance, praising someone’s process (“I really like how you struggled with that problem”) versus praising an innate trait or talent (“You’re so clever!”) is one way to reinforce a growth­mindset with someone. Process­ praise acknowledges the effort; talent­ praise reinforces the notion that one only succeeds (or doesn’t) based on a fixed trait … students are spending more time learning on Khan Academy after being exposed to messages that praise their tenacity and grit and that underscore that the brain is like a muscle … when my son, or for that matter, anyone else asks me about learning, I only want them to know one thing. As long as they embrace struggle and mistakes, they can learn anything.” [1]

In supporting individuals to develop growth mindset, don’t neglect those who are already there. We all need praise, recognition and thanks.

[1] https://goo.gl/sWJD4A