Are you looking for ways to foster a growth mindset in your team? Then it’s time to harness the power of “yet”! When we view our challenges and accomplishments through the lens of possibility, teams can unlock their greatest potential. This article will explore why this simple three-letter word is so powerful and how business and team leaders can foster a culture of positive motivation by leveraging its benefits and encouraging further learning by adopting a growth mindset for yourself and your team .

    A frustrating leadership challenge is when you find yourself having to influence or engage team members who may appear set or “stuck” in their views, or seemingly caught in what feels like an endless loop of “ancient history”. Or you may be the one who is impeding innovation and higher performance, because it is actually YOU who is “stuck”.

    Carol Dweck is a researcher and expert on human motivation and has dedicated her career to describing a growth mindset and how it is essential for success. A key concept to the growth mindset is what she describes as the power of “yet”. Instead of focusing on what hasn’t been accomplished, using the term “yet” encourages further learning and growth. Before we explore how we move ourselves or our teams into a growth mindset – yes, it is possible to coach a growth mindset – let’s first define the growth mindset.

    Carol Dweck describes the difference between a fixed and growth mindset.

    Growth mindsetsomeone with a growth mindset views knowledge, capabilities, skills and talents as learnable and improvable through effort. They embrace new challenges and view mistakes as learning opportunities.

    Fixed mindset: someone with a fixed mindset believes knowledge, capabilities, skills and talents as inherently unchangeable. They avoid new challenges and view mistakes as failure.

    I have been fortunate to take a program offered by Dr. Irena O’Brien who started The Neuroscience School. She has also researched the growth mindset extensively and relates it to willpower and motivation. To expand a growth mindset in yourself or with your teams, knowing how to encourage willpower and intrinsic motivation are key.

    One way to build and maintain our motivation is to expect success by making progress. We can achieve this by breaking down our goals or expected outcomes into small enough pieces that we are sure to be successful at each task. Being able to successfully complete a small step or task in a larger process or project, despite the size of the task, creates a sense of accomplishment.  And this in turn creates a sense of progression, success, and positive motivation to continue.

    It doesn’t matter how small the task or piece of work is, you just need to make sure that the team member(s) can be successful at accomplishing what you choose. Success breeds success. And feeling success is motivating and promotes more learning and progress (or action).

    Here are some other ideas for leaders who want to coach and promote abundance within their organizations, moving others towards a growth mindset:

      • Model a growth mindset: As a leader, you should be the example for the growth mindset you want your team to demonstrate. Show them how you embrace challenges, learn from failures, and persist in the face of setbacks.
      • Encourage risk-taking: Create an environment where it’s safe for team members to take risks and try new things. Celebrate failures as opportunities for growth and learning.
      • Praise effort and progress: Instead of solely focusing on achievements or outcomes, praise your team members for the effort they put in and the progress they make towards their goals.
      • Provide feedback and support: Regularly provide feedback to your team members on their work and offer support and guidance to help them improve. This will encourage a continuous learning and improvement mindset.
      • Foster collaboration and learning: Encourage your team members to work together, share their knowledge and skills, and learn from each other. This will create a culture of learning and growth.
      • Set high expectations: Challenge your team members to set high goals and expectations for themselves. This will motivate them to strive for excellence and continuously improve.
      • Encourage continuous learning: Provide opportunities for your team members to learn and grow, whether through training, mentoring, or other developmental programs. Show them that learning is a lifelong process and that there is always room for improvement.
      • Emphasize the power of “yet”: Encourage your team members to use the word “yet” when they encounter challenges or setbacks. For example, “I don’t know how to do this yet,” or “I haven’t figured this out yet.” This simple word can help shift their mindset from one of fixed limitations to one of growth and potential.

    Ready to discuss how to coach your team to growth and success? Reach out to our People & Culture experts today.