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5 Questions That Identify Growth-Minded Employees

Smiling curious businesswoman raising hand at group meeting

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

5 Questions That Identify Growth-Minded Employees

A growth mindset is where opportunities lay and is ideally what you want your employees to bring to the table. To inculcate a growth-minded culture, here are five questions to ask (and drill into employees every day):

1. How have you become better?

Here, you’re looking for two things: self-awareness and keywords. In other words, is the employee cognizant of his or her developmental progress thus far as well as growth opportunities?

What specific words does he or she use to demonstrate that awareness and achievement? Does he or she use qualifiers such as, “I think,” “I’d like to,” “supposed to,” or more assertive phrases such as, “I believe,” “I’ve learned,” or “I will?”

2. How aware are you of other departments’ goals?

The goal of this question is to identify inter-departmental awareness or the degree to which one is focused on the macro (the organization) rather than just the micro (his or her silo). The more aware people are of each other’s efforts, the less the propensity for duplicative efforts and miscommunication.

3. What process improvement area are you working on?

Each piece of the organizational puzzle must do its part to fit (play nicely) with the other puzzle pieces. If there’s no fit, then the puzzle doesn’t operate smoothly — and just looks ugly.

Constant and never ending improvement isn’t just something one “checks off” for the day. Rather, it’s a mindset of perpetual improvement displayed through habit.

4. When did you last receive coaching?

From the people perspective, training and development curriculums are good because they fill knowledge gaps, but they fall short of the experiential component that really drills down into one’s emotions and makes that learning stick.

A good way to promote personal growth is to continually push for mentorship and coaching, just as David Farr, chairman, and CEO of Emerson Electric, continually asks, “When did you last receive coaching?”

5. Who’s your greatest competition?

Ideally, the answer should be the company’s external competitor rather than another internal department or individual. Unfortunately, many times our greatest enemy is not only ourselves but also others within the organization. If this is the case, there’s a lack of shared purpose that binds the company together.

There’s nothing more important to a company’s growth than having the right people in the right seats on the right bus. There will always be those problem children in the rear doing things they shouldn’t — that’s beyond our control — but if the majority of “good” outweighs the “bad,” then you’re set up for success.

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