What is a Fixed Mindset Manager?

Does your manager only focuses on the negatives? Are they quick to dismiss new ideas for improving performance? How do they handle failure? Maybe you’re a manager who’s noticed your team loses enthusiasm and motivation when you’re around. Want to know what makes a fixed mindset manager? We share 3 signs that you’re dealing with a fixed mindset approach.

3 Signs That You’re Dealing With a Fixed Mindset Manager

Managers who adopt a fixed mindset can be pretty rigid in their thinking. As a result, it can be challenging for others to develop, thrive and perform at their optimal level. There are 3 powerful indicators that reveal a manager is adopting a fixed mindset approach:

  1. How do they handle failure? Do they look around for someone to blame? Managers who adopt a fixed mindset are more likely to make lasting decisions about a team member’s abilities when they fail. Consequently, any exciting opportunities to develop won’t be directed towards someone who has made a mistake. Instead of viewing failure as a data point on the learning curve to mastery, a manager with a fixed mindset approach will regard it as all defining. As a result, the whole team will know the score – make a mistake in this team and you’re toast. If you’re a manager it’s worth reflecting on how you manage failure.
  2. Do they give great feedback? Feedback delivered from a fixed mindset perspective can be crushing. For example, “Everybody else got this on their first day here” or “You’re always so slow” contains no specificity of the issue or detailed suggestions for improving and developing performance. As a result, when teams receive fixed mindset feedback, motivation – and results – can flatline.
  3. Are they open to new ideas? A growth mindset manager understands the value of creativity and innovation. Consequently, they’ll encourage the sharing of ideas and experience. However, when a manager works with a fixed mindset approach, they’re more likely to shut down new ideas. For example, “We’ve always done it this way” or “That wouldn’t work here” without examining ideas in any detail.

The Impact

Gradually, a manager with a fixed mindset will suck the life out of any team. As a result, people become wary of trying new things, stretching their existing skills and sharing ideas. The net result is a demotivated team, who will begin to look elsewhere for career opportunities.

See our next blog for more tips on how to identify and change a fixed mindset in the workplace.

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