How To Use the Growth Mindset Feedback Approach to Improve Performance

October 17, 2022 Lynne Levy

How does receiving feedback affect performance? Does positive feedback lead to successful performance management conversations?

Are the gurus at Mckinsey & Company right, that success in the corporate world requires the “talent mind-set”?

Hear more from Lynne Levy on feedback, growth, and development in the latest episode of WorkHuman Radio, embedded at the top of this post.

What are the benefits of companies who implement a growth mindset feedback culture?

Workhuman strives to help companies create a more people-focused work environment, and we want to give you some guidance for providing constructive feedback to your co-workers with a growth-mindset.

In this article, we’ll explain what a growth mindset is, explain its importance, and describe how you can create a culture of growth through feedback.

What is a growth mindset?


A growth mindset is a belief that your innate abilities can be improved and developed over time with hard work and practice.

Employees or students with a growth mindset approach believe that they can move forward in their careers by enhancing their skills and developing their talents.

Growth mindset plays a huge part in employee confidence. With this mindset, employees embrace advancement through a dedication to hard work, ability to receive feedback and not take it as negative feedback, and the use of learning strategies.

Successfully embracing a growth mindset requires some humility.

Instead of trying to seem smart and confident at all times, individuals must realize that they have much to learn.

This allows them to accept meaningful feedback from others and can give them the impetus to work harder.

With a growth mindset, you see mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve instead of as an indication of lack of ability.

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How does a growth mindset compare to a fixed mindset?

Coined by Carol Dweck, renowned psychologist and author, fixed and growth mindsets are used to describe the beliefs and attitudes people have about learning and intelligence.

A fixed mindset is a common attitude that many people carry throughout their entire lives.

Dweck notes that these people believe that they are born with their abilities and that they are unchangeable.

They typically feel that even with hard work, persistence, and learning, their skill level will remain stagnant.

This can take different forms, depending on the individual in question.

Some people have a very high opinion of their own skills, which can lead them to reject constructive criticism and attempts to improve their performance.

These individuals may also avoid challenges since they will risk looking incompetent or less intelligent than they are.

With a fixed mindset, they do not admit and correct their deficiencies. One study showed that almost 40% of students with a fixed mindset lied about their scores when asked to describe their experience after some hard math problems.

Why is a growth mindset important?

A growth mindset makes a wide variety of benefits available to employees, managers, teachers, and students alike.

In fact, research by Carol Dweck “has found that a growth mindset can lead to greater resilience and academic achievement among students facing difficulty.”

Examples of growth mindsets include:

Increased innovation

If business leaders successfully instill a growth mindset in their employees, this can completely change the way that a company operates.

A growth mindset encourages employees to seek new skills, level up in their training, and take risks.

All of these factors can create a workforce that produces new ideas and thinks outside the box. Over time, this can result in greater innovation and opportunities for a company.

Employee satisfaction

A growth mindset allows employees to embrace their skills and expand them.

This can make workers feel like their unique abilities are respected and utilized, giving them a greater sense of meaning in their careers.

If you’re a manager, this can give you all the benefits of a motivated workforce.

Satisfied employees are more likely to stay with the company, which can help you maintain a strong base of relevant skills.

It can also reduce turnover and the hiring and training costs associated with it.

A growth mindset will also help employees accept the feedback you provide and work to enhance their performance.

Greater Productivity

Constant improvement is one of the biggest benefits of a growth mindset culture.

Employees who embrace this attitude see challenges as an opportunity to excel and are often motivated to develop their talents through hard work.

This can lead to increased productivity and operational success throughout a business.


Many employees stagnate in their careers because they fail to improve their skills over time.

Others turn down promotions because they’re afraid of taking on new challenges and responsibilities.

A growth mindset is a great way to overcome these obstacles and advance your career.

It will help you understand that promotion is possible with hard work and an emphasis on learning.

It can also help you embrace challenges as a way to expand your skill set and grow in your field.

Skill acquisition

If you want to learn new skills or improve your existing ones, a growth mindset is essential to success.

You first have to understand that you’re capable of growth and change with the help of hard work and feedback from knowledgeable colleagues.

How do you demonstrate a growth mindset at work?

Here are some of the techniques you can use to demonstrate a growth mindset as a manager or employee in your company:

Demonstrate problem-solving skills

With a growth mindset, you’ll be able to come up with more creative ways of approaching problems that arise in the workplace.

This can help you find unconventional solutions and take a greater leadership role.

If you’re trying to demonstrate a growth mindset at work, be proactive when problems arise. Remember that solutions come from learning and confronting challenges head-on.

Seek and provide feedback

People who are trying to grow in their roles often benefit from feedback.

If you’re looking to advance your career and enhance your skill set, seek guidance from your experienced co-workers.

This can show them that you have a dedication to learning and a desire to improve your performance.

If you’re in a leadership role, feedback is a great way to instill a growth mindset in your employees.

Make sure to stay positive and recognize when a good effort has been made. If you have to critique someone’s performance, make sure to convey your belief that they can improve through hard work and learning.

Accept feedback with a positive attitude

In order to create a growth mindset, it’s important to accept feedback as well as give it.

Approach feedback as a tool for growth and try to tell your co-workers how you plan to improve in the future.

Make sure that you don’t take corrections personally and remember that in most cases, your supervisors and co-workers are looking out for your best interests.

Admit your shortcomings

It’s only possible to improve when you admit that you have room to grow.

If you’re struggling with your responsibilities, it’s important to tell others about the challenges you’re facing.

This will open up a dialogue and give you access to the feedback you need to be a more effective part of the company.

It can also show that you’re dedicated to cultivating a growth mindset.

Accept challenges

A fixed mindset often makes people avoid challenges so that they have fewer opportunities for failure.

It’s helpful to recognize that failure is an integral part of success and can give you opportunities to grow.

If you want to demonstrate a growth mindset and advance your career, be sure to take on any challenges that are presented to you.

Use them as an opportunity to learn and demonstrate leadership among your peers.

Pursue learning opportunities

Continuous learning is one of the key pillars of a growth mindset and it’s never been easier to develop your professional skills.

There are a wide variety of platforms that provide professional development courses online, and they can be accessed whenever you have time.

You can also take advantage of any training that your company provides.

Demonstrating a love for learning is a great way to show your peers that you’re dedicated to growth and can help you earn more responsibility.

Ask questions

If you aren’t sure how to do something, make sure to ask a co-worker or manager about it.

This isn’t just a great way to avoid mistakes, it can also demonstrate your growth mindset to your co-workers.

Even if the question seems foolish to you, it can show that you take your work seriously.

Examples of how to give constructive feedback with a growth mindset

The way you provide feedback to your co-workers has a huge impact on the mindset that they have in the workplace.

By developing your feedback skills, you can help change the culture of your company into one of growth.

Here are some steps you can take to instill a growth mindset in your employees through feedback:

1. Change your language

If you want to provide feedback that encourages a growth mindset, it’s vital to examine the language that you use.

The first step is to avoid critical or negative language. Instead of saying something was a failure, tell your co-workers that they have an opportunity for growth.

Whenever you’re looking for improvement, be sure to tell your co-workers what they can do to enhance their performance and make resources available to them.

It’s also helpful to create a common company language around feedback. Make sure that everyone in the company is using positive language and try to reframe reviews around development instead of discipline.

If your company uses ratings, it might be useful to change that system, as it can put employees into boxes and encourage a fixed mindset.

2. Lead by example

If you expect your co-workers to embrace a growth mindset, it’s important to demonstrate the same attitude in your own work.

You may struggle with leadership, and it’s vital to show that you’re trying to overcome your shortcomings as part of your team.

This can help you avoid the appearance of a double standard and can encourage a positive culture of learning in your workplace.

3. Create trust

Trust is a vital element of workplace relationships and it allows employees to seek feedback without fearing repercussions.

If you’re in a leadership position, try to show that you have your employees’ best interests at heart.

If they’re struggling with a task, make sure to recognize their effort, even if they’re not having much success.

Try to detach routine feedback from consequences like demotion and termination and make sure that employees understand that feedback is designed to make them stronger members of the team.

4. Develop a two-way conversation

In order for employees to really embrace a growth mindset, it’s important for them to have resources.

They need to have access to feedback so that they can own their own growth and improve their skills.

Make sure to encourage questions and try to create a two-way conversation in which employees always know that they can come to you with concerns.

5. Provide rewards

Rewards can be a powerful incentive in the workplace and can show that a company values professional development.

If you want to encourage a growth mindset in your business, try to create a system of rewards for employees who invest in their personal growth.

This can be anything from a public shout-out to a gift card or a bonus.

How peer feedback impacts professional development

As professionals, our peers are some of the most valuable resources we have for accomplishing our goals.

Many of us have experienced life-changing advice from an experienced coworker that transformed the way we approach our job.

When done respectfully, peer feedback allows all the individuals within a company to share the same rich source of experience and knowledge.

That’s a quick overview of what a growth mindset is and how it can develop through feedback.

Workhuman provides a wide range of software solutions to make your company a more human and rewarding place to work.

If you’re looking to create a culture of growth through feedback, our Conversations platform is the perfect tool.

It focuses on driving frequent, high-quality feedback and assessments to keep your team connected and growing. If you’re interested, feel free to request a free demo.


Want to learn more about building a culture of trust and growth? Check out the video below about Conversations.