5 Myths About Growth Mindsets

Like any psychological concept that booms in popularity, the term ‘growth mindset’ is ripe for misinterpretation. A growth mindset is the dual belief that skills and abilities can be improved, and that developing your skills and abilities is the purpose of the work you do.

According to Heidi Grant, Mary Slaughter, Andrea Derler in Harvard Business Review, preliminary analyses have revealed that some of the top organisations in the world have been working the growth mindset concept into their work and talent processes for years. Those that stick closely to the science of growth mindset are weaving it into the employee experience across on-boarding to talent acquisition and succession planning, to leadership development and career development.

Hoping to learn how organisations put growth mindset to use in a rapidly changing work environment, the NeuroLeadership Institute spent the last two months interviewing HR practitioners at more than 20 major organisations around the world. The goal? To find out what, exactly, leaders are doing when they implement growth mindset around their organisation. However, their research team also identified a startling trend: In organisations that have not spent adequate time studying the science behind growth mindset, leaders and employees are misusing and misunderstanding the concept.

Here are some of those myths:

Myth #1: Growth mindset means striving for business growth.

Myth #2: Businesses, rather than people, can have a growth mindset.

Myth #3: Growth is unbounded — or, anyone can become an opera singer.

Myth #4: Growth mindset is binary.

Myth #5: Growth mindset means having a positive, can-do attitude no matter what.


Read the full article from HBR here.


About the authors:

Heidi Grant is a social psychologist who researches, writes, and speaks about the science of motivation. She is Global Director of Research & Development at the NeuroLeadership Institute and serves as Associate Director of Columbia’s Motivation Science Center. She received her doctorate in social psychology from Columbia University. Her most recent book is Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You. She’s also the author of Nine Things Successful People Do Differently and No One Understands You and What to Do About It.

Mary Slaughter is Executive Vice President of Global Practices and Consulting at The NeuroLeadership Institute, headquartered in New York. As NLI’s most experienced C-Suite practitioner, Mary drives the integrated strategy across all practice areas and aspects of client consulting. In her role, she partners with clients to apply the insights of neuroscience research to disrupt and transform conventional human capital practices, and create sustainable behavior change.

Andrea Derler, Ph.D., joined the Neuroleadership Institute in March 2018 as Director of Industry Research. She is an Human Capital industry analyst who specializes in talent, leadership and performance management research, drawing insights from both business and academic research. Andrea holds a doctoral degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Philosophy.


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