How to create a culture of giving and receiving feedback with the right mindset: Growth VS Fixed Mindset

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Growth VS Fixed Mindset

A dramatic shift in the job market has led many companies to turn to feedback to improve employee retention rates. To some, giving candid feedback more often may seem counter-productive, but a 2009 Gallup Inc. study shows that 98% of team members fail to be engaged when managers give little or no feedback. As a result, companies are investing more in new feedback technology to encourage the exchange of feedback between managers and team members

When given and received effectively, feedback can be a powerful tool to not only improve professional skills, but also to motivate, increase productivity and raise the profile of your company’s work culture. However, as a manager you will not only need to adjust your mindset towards giving and receiving feedback, but also that of your team members’.

Why is feedback important for me as a manager?

Changing your mindset

To realize the benefits of a feedback culture, you and your team members will need to overcome common misconceptions about feedback. As a manager you may be hesitant to give constructive feedback to your team members and risk hurting or offending them. When it comes to your top performers, you may stick to showering them exclusively with praise as a way to demonstrate how satisfied you are with their work. When it comes to receiving feedback from your reports, you may

feel uncomfortable or even defensive when given constructive criticism. You may question whether opening yourself up to feedback will undermine your position as a manager. 

If this sounds familiar you may have what Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck terms a “fixed mindset” towards feedback. People with a fixed mindset see their intelligence and personality as static features. Constructive feedback is therefore taken personally and can elicit a more emotional response. People with a “growth mindset”, on the other hand, see their abilities as learned traits which must be exercised and enhanced to develop over time. 

People with growth-centered mindsets will view feedback as a way to re-assess and hone their skills. Remember that team members with fixed and growth mindsets may react differently to your feedback. If a team member becomes defensive or emotional when you review their performance, this may be a sign that they have a fixed mindset.

To create a positive feedback culture, it’s essential that you coach your team members on how to open themselves up to and benefit from feedback.

How to create a feedback culture in the workplace:

It starts with you. 

Become a role model for open communication by asking for more feedback. Creating an open environment in which team members feel comfortable reviewing your performance will help you to improve your management skills and encourage them to see feedback from a different perspective. It is likely that some of your reports will be hesitant at first to give you honest feedback. 

Here are some ways you can break down these barriers.

Encourage team members to come to you for feedback

Be sure to make yourself available when team members seek feedback and follow up with them after giving it. 

Giving your team members feedback more often will motivate them to come back to you for advice when they need it. 

The most important part is to learn how to give a mix of positive and constructive feedback and work on delivery. 

Communicating feedback in a clear and constructive way will ensure that it’s received well and taken into consideration.

Ask for more feedback from your team members

Ask for more feedback from your team members. Encourage team members to come to you for feedback Promote peer to peer feedback. Coach team members on how to achieve a growth mindset.

Promote peer to peer feedback

Getting used to giving and receiving feedback from each other will help team members improve their interpersonal communication skills and build a greater sense of team spirit.

There may be some team members who continually take on an informal mentorship role. Help them to develop their potential leadership skills by providing extra training on how to give effective positive and constructive feedback. 

Identify and coach team members with fixed mindsets

Team members with fixed mindsets will need extra coaching to overcome their defensive tendencies. Consider holding one-on-one sessions where you can discuss their reactions to feedback, and come up with a plan to overcome their inhibitions.

Key take-away:

When given and received effectively, feedback can be a powerful tool to not only improve professional skills, but also to motivate, increase productivity and raise the profile of your company’s work culture. However, as a manager you will not only need to adjust your mindset towards giving and receiving feedback, but also that of your team members.

  • Ask for more feedback from your team members.
  • Encourage team members to come to you for feedback
  • Promote peer to peer feedback
  • Coach team members on how to achieve a growth minds

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