5 Ways a Crisis Can Help to Cultivate a Growth Mindset

How a Crisis Can Help to Cultivate a Growth Mindset

Every business goes through their crisis moments.  Here’s a summary of 5 suggestions that help managers during our current Covid crisis, looking to leverage the transition to remote work and nurture a growth mindset in themselves and their teams. 

Be patient.

By now, most everyone knows how to share a screen or a run a breakout session on Zoom, but it may take longer to reshape deeply ingrained work practices for a remote environment. Be patient with yourself and your people. Remember to recognize effort, even if outcomes don’t yet live up to your expectations.

Teach the growth mindset to others — and reinforce it in yourself.

Consider the value of nurturing a “learn it all” culture rather than a “know it all” culture. One small example might be dedicating part of a weekly or monthly team meeting to a discussion of what team members have learned during the crisis so far.

Send the right signals.

Both what you say and how you act send critical messages to others. Sending signals to your team might include asking about learning, or informally rewarding progress made, lessons learned, and recovery from mistakes as much as star performance. To model what a growth mindset looks like in action, you might share not just your final triumphant plan, but also the setbacks and potholes along the way.

Reset expectations and revisit established practices.

The shift to remote work provides a perfect excuse to reset your team’s expectations around giving and receiving constructive feedback. Modeling openness to feedback will make it easier for your colleagues to accept feedback themselves. This crisis is also a good time to encourage your team to assess and improve established practices.  Online work is significantly less forgiving of coordination and leadership failures, so it’s a great opportunity for involving others in implementing immediate course corrections. This might involve starting meetings by communicating what you know, indicating that much is still unknown, and inviting teammates to share not only their knowledge, but also their concerns and questions. By getting things out on the table, more issues can be addressed.

Get to know your teammates better.

Working remotely, we’re coming to know our teammates in a different way. We see their workspaces, their children, and their pets. No worries now when someone’s child pops in or a pet jumps in their lap! In fact, Studies suggest that being less worried about social evaluation and embarrassment stimulates experimentation and creativity, both of which are key to growth. Additionally, other research shows that personal identity expression at work can also boost employee creativity.

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