Would you believe me if I told you that a three-minute video led one group of employees to have higher engagement, higher performance, and lower blood pressure two weeks later than another group of employees who had seen a different video?
Well, it happened! The study was conducted by Alia Crum, Peter Salovey, and Shawn Achor.
The video the employees saw was designed to change the employees’ mindsets about stress. The group with the positive outcomes watched a three-minute video about how stress is enabling. The group that had less positive outcomes watched a three-minute video about how stress is disabling.
One of the big takeaways from this study, and really all studies on mindset, is that our mindsets dictate our thinking, learning, and behavior. Correspondingly, our thinking, learning, and behavior drives our success. Thus, our mindsets are foundational to our success in nearly all facets of our lives, including our work and our leadership.
Despite decades of research and hundreds of studies demonstrating the role and importance of mindset, few talent developers give it much attention.
When we overlook mindsets, personal and organizational development is met with resistance. Yet, when mindsets become a focal part of the development process, personal and organizational development occurs naturally. I’ll demonstrate.
The figure below depicts the typical development process, where someone is trying to pull either success or thinking, learning, and behavior forward to a more positive state. But, when this is done without considering the role of mindsets, what ends up happening is that there exists a tension between where the employees’ or organization’s mindsets currently are and the development of the top two levels of the pyramid. Ultimately, this means that the development is more difficult than it should be, and likely not long-lasting, as the top two levels of the pyramid are likely to resort back to where the mindsets reside.
I believe the primary reason why mindsets get overlooked is because most of the research on mindsets has occurred outside the management and organizational domains, and while there are a variety of different mindsets that have been found to drive success, they have not been brought together into one body—that is, until now.
Check out this mindset self-assessment that brings together multiple domains of research and evaluates individuals across four sets of mindsets that have been proven to dictate individual thinking, learning, and behavior.
Bottom line: Because mindsets drive our thinking, learning, and behavior, they are foundational to our success in life, work, and leadership. Knowing this, you are now empowered to harness the power of mindsets to bring about higher quality and longer-lasting development with your employees and organization.
Remove the comma after “learning” in this image—the serial comma is omitted when an ampersand is used. (Make the same change in the version that follows as well.)