By Laurie Cure

As a leader, encouraging yourself and your team to keep moving down the path of learning, expansion, and growth has positive implications for both personal and business outcomes. Cultivate a learning mind-set by practicing the following skills.

  1. Building Critical Thinking Skills requires a combination of observation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, inference, explanation, problem-solving, and decision-making. 

Build these skills by questioning data, looking deeper into cause and effect, asking questions, and considering opposing perspectives. 

  1. Cultivating a Growth Mind-Set comes with the belief that failure and challenge result in learning. Feedback is imperative for development, and trying new things supports success. 

Strong teams capitalize on failures and are open to feedback to improve behavior, processes, and decision-making.

  1. Embracing Multiple Perspectives enhances decision-making skills. This includes incorporating multicultural, racial, generational, personality, and gender lenses into your thoughts, beliefs, and judgments. 

Leaders who embrace multiple viewpoints ensure their teams include diverse individuals. They facilitate conversations that allow different perspectives, and they incorporate these frames of reference into their decision-making.

  1. Reducing Bias aids learning and growth. Embracing diversity requires you to address your own biases – we all have them. For instance:
  • Anchoring bias, you believe the first piece of information you hear, and all other information is judged based on that initial “anchor.” A learning mind-set allows you to consider new and old information equally. 
  • Group think occurs when team members align their thinking with a majority opinion. When leaders too quickly adopt a decision that seems well-supported, they fail to critically evaluate viable alternatives.
  • Confirmation bias is when you seek to confirm information you already believe is true. You can mitigate this by actively seeking information that supports an alternative viewpoint. 
  • Stereotyping is one of the most common biases. Breaking stereotype bias requires you to intentionally seek to understand others.

Building self-awareness and actively working to reduce biases are critical steps in developing a learning mindset. 

While the facts might seem irrelevant at the time, the learning mind-set you support in the process will serve you immeasurably as you grow and effectively process new information throughout your career.