Learning Mindsets Enable Employee Development at Work

David Perkins

David Perkins

People adopt differing mindsets when trying to achieve quality results and increase learning at work, according to Harvard’s David Perkins, Michele Rigolizzo, and Marga Biller.

They expanded the distinction between fixed mindset and growth mindset described by Stanford’s Carol Dweck, and assessed with a brief questionnaire.

  • Michele Rigolizzo

    Michele Rigolizzo

    Completion mindset focuses on finishing a routine task with little mental investment.
    Accidental learning occurs with this stance, and employees who experience fear of failure, impersonal work environments, and monotonous tasks usually operate with this mindset.

  • Performance mindset aims to complete a task  without reflecting on how to can re-apply the process in the future.
    Marga Biller

    Marga Biller

    An example is temporarily using a technology but not investing attention to become an expert user.
    Incidental learning is a by-product of this mindset, described by Columbia’s Victoria Marsick and Karen Watkins of University of Georgia.

  • Development mindset seeks to complete a task and to learn applicable approaches when completing similar future tasks.
    An example is leading an effective kickoff meeting to set the tone for productive work sessions.

    Victoria Marsick

    Victoria Marsick

    Intentional learning occurs with active involvement in observing, analyzing, and reflecting on the process.

To move beyond a Completion stance, Perkins and team suggested that organizational leaders  encourage quality work and active reflection on that work to set the expectation of a Development mindset.
In addition, leaders can also implement collaboration and feedback systems with time for reflection on completed tasks.

-*How do you enable team members to adopt a Development Mindset?

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