When we created Mirro, we envisioned a performance management platform that would work efficiently for team members, wherever they are. Thus, ever since its first days, Mirro was intended as a tool for connecting colleagues and making them feel more integrated, even if they never actually had the chance to physically interact with one another. Now, more than ever, as social distancing is becoming the norm and remote work is replacing the more traditional office, Mirro’s features are becoming more and more in demand.
Five ways in which Mirro can simplify remote work
We put the pen to the paper and came up with five main ways in which Mirro’s features can simplify our work when we are working from home. Here they are, ready to inspire you:
Set up clear objectives, with an easy-to-follow progress
We created the Objectives feature in Mirro after the Key Results framework, believed to be the winning approach to keeping teams connected and aligned towards the same results. OKRs are a great way to improve team cohesion and boost individual motivation.
How? If you are managing a remote team, constantly touch base with your colleagues, discuss blockers, and encourage people to find solutions. On a personal level, do the same exercise, all while asking yourself the same questions.
Don’t forget to regularly check objectives as a way to always keep the big picture in mind, because we know that working from home can come with numerous distractions. Having them written down in a user-friendly tool makes them easier to follow.
Keep up with the latest accomplishments and anniversaries
Take a step back from your daily to-do list and enjoy a break for socializing. Your Mirro activity feed is simply packed with reasons to celebrate: work anniversaries, kudos, and even birthdays, too. Celebrating is easier if you never have to worry about missing a date.
Plus, kudos are a great way to give thanks and show appreciation, in a way that encourages others to do the same. This also inspires a more collaborative environment, as team members will become more aware of how everyone in the company is doing their part.
Know who to count on, when and where from
As a team leader, but not only, it’s very important to know if you can count on the help of a colleague or not. Mirro shows exactly who is on vacation and when, a piece of information very well synchronized with the calendars used by the individual – Gmail, Outlook, etc.
Moreover, Mirro also shows who is working from home or from the office – you never know when you need access to a tool available only at the company’s headquarters. Like this, you can find out exactly who to reach out to!
Give feedback more easily and in a balanced way
Mirro turns the feedback process into routine by making it easy, as it offers the possibility to provide user-friendly input in an easy-to-fill form. This form balances both positive and constructive aspects, and thus sets the tone for self-improvement.
Also, Mirro lets users ask for perspectives, driving the feedback process themselves. All this input is made available privately, so no one needs to worry about prying eyes.
Make performance check-ins an easy task
With Mirro, performance check-ins are no longer a formality. They become a friendly conversation between managers and their team members, who can decide to set them as regularly as they desire.
Reminders are sent in time so that everyone has time to prepare. Well, not that many preparations are needed – because asking for feedback is already part of the routine, and setting up goals is also a great way to get organized better.
Tips and tricks from our colleagues
As the developers of Mirro, we’re also its most dedicated “fans”. So we asked around in Zitec, the company that created Mirro, and we found three of its most adept users: Ana Ciupercă, scrum master, Costinela Nistor, marketing manager, and Adina Nichitean, head of eCommerce. We asked them how Mirro has been helping them, especially after March 2020, when remote work became the norm for the company.
Our colleagues came with useful, first-hand insights about Mirro, both on a personal and team level. Ana separated the two aspects very clearly and emphasized the importance of objectives and the possibility to constantly have a grasp of vacations. Even knowing whether colleagues are at the office or not can come in handy. But let’s pass the microphone to Ana, for further details:
“On a personal level, Mirro helps me set clear objectives, well aligned with the general business perspective, which I can keep track of, either individually or in a team. I like the fact that it also gives visibility to other team members and allows us to collaborate where actions either intersect, or one simply needs to ask for help from others who have identical or similar objectives to yours. Moreover, I find it easier to self-evaluate and discuss my performance with my manager.
From a team point of view, I can say that Mirro, especially during these times of social distancing and remote work, is a must-have. Not only does it help me manage my team better, by giving me information about colleagues who are on leave or who are working from the company offices, so they can help with certain tasks that can be done on location, but it’s also a great tool for staying connected. The fact that we can thank each other through kudos, or that we can learn about our colleagues’ promotions or anniversaries, is our method to permanently stay in contact.” (Ana Ciupercă, scrum master at Zitec)
Costinela on the other hand highlighted another important point which makes remote work easier for those using Mirro: celebrating and appreciating each other’s efforts!
“Especially since the pandemic started, I’ve been using Mirro to set and stay aligned both on company goals and on my marketing team goals, while also recognizing and celebrating our results. Moreover, since we all work from home and it’s more complicated now to interact with my colleagues, I’ve been using the Kudos feature to show my appreciation and constantly share feedback with them. This way, I feel like we’re all more connected and we can highlight the strengths of a project or make suggestions for improvement when needed.” (Costinela Nistor, marketing manager at Zitec)
Last but not least, Adina made sure to mention other important features for remote work: feedback, for instance. As you may know, Mirro gives feedback a balanced approach, encouraging people to always mention positive aspects too, apart from those they would like to improve.
“The last couple of months have been for sure difficult for all of us, but it also reminded me that I work with an incredible team. Working remotely is not new to us, but everyone working from home for sure was. The most important things for us were to make sure we are in sync; we focus on the same objectives and we received feedback on your work. Luckily, we use an amazing tool that makes our journey a lot easier, Mirro. The OKRs, feedback, and kudos features helped us a lot to have an overview of our journey, adjust and improve it, and celebrate our achievements.” (Adina Nichitean, head of eCommerce at Zitec)
How has Mirro simplified your remote work?
As usual, we’d love to hear from you. You’ve heard from our most avid users, now it’s your turn to speak up.
What helped you the most while working from home? Was it the option to set goals and follow their progress, give feedback to colleagues in a balanced way, keep track of vacations easier or the chance to never miss an accomplishment or kudos from a colleague?
Just drop us a line in the comment section below – we’re all eyes.
Oh, and ff you’re not a Mirro user, all these details may need a bit more background, so we’re happy to provide it! Simply schedule a free demo with us, and we’ll make sure no question remains unanswered.
Why Performance Management Needs a Social Twist
As the age of industrialism came to an end, step by step, man separated himself from machine. Emotions, as well as the desire to fulfill one’s needs, even the ones ranking highest in Maslow’s hierarchy, slowly garnered more and more interest. Thus, a worker’s performance stopped being analyzed from an exclusively quantitative perspective, i.e. the number of hours spent on a certain task. Other factors started coming into focus – for instance, how well we integrate and work in a team – since, in the words of Aristotle, we are all “social animals” and, might we add, we cannot shut down our needs during office hours, just for the sake of productivity.
According to Forbes magazine, there are at least five benefits to healthy work relationships a.k.a the social aspect of our work lives. Among these, we mention less stress, increased engagement, and loyalty, a healthier life, as well as increased happiness. Of course, simply providing people with a workplace does not imply they will take a liking to one another and the above results will automatically be achieved. There are also some methods through which these effects can be attained, and among these we will mention creating a social spot, giving people continuous reasons to celebrate, and connecting departments.
Being social in a virtual environment
However, what do we do now, that more and more people have started working remotely and some of them have not even met face-to-face? Just like social media can keep us all connected no matter the distance between us, there are ways people can connect for work purposes.
We would like to introduce the concept of Social Performance Management or SPM, in the sense of “the use of a social network platform, whether cloud-based or residing on an intranet, to optimize workplace performance and accomplish HR and talent management functions. Some of the most common applications of SPM are goal management, employee alignment and engagement, development and coaching, talent mapping and recognition”, as Best Practice Institute defines it.
Back in 2014, HR Magazine was anticipating the need for such a concept. “Successful teamwork necessitates interaction and dependencies. Given that team members are frequently scattered geographically and may never meet face to face, it’s essential to have a tool to ensure that they’re on track with their individual deliverables and that they’re knowledgeable about how the team is tracking against all of its goals. Today’s performance management processes rarely provide up-to-date information on performance that motivates and informs teams about their progress.”
Social media that boosts productivity
Yes, you read correctly – social media can boost productivity. “Inspired by social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yammer, SPM systems allow employees to exchange information quickly and easily, fostering ongoing dialogue, coaching, and recognition. Regardless of their level in the organization, all employees can share information ranging from goals to feedback to positive recognition,” according to HR Magazine.
SPM is, in fact, the base on which Mirro was created. The three methods of improving work relationships from Forbes, mentioned in the previous section, can all be found in Mirro, even if virtually. Thus, Mirro has a very strong social element, as it includes an activity feed, with various work-related updates posted by users, such as objectives, work anniversaries or kudos, to mention a few.
Reasons to celebrate take the form of “kudos”, a form of thank-you between colleagues, and work anniversaries, which the app “remembers” automatically. Teams are connected in Mirro through the aforementioned kudos, as well as feedback requests – thus, team members receive a 360-degree perspective of their work, and they also learn about their colleagues’ activity and achievements. The latter can also have another interesting social impact on the colleagues simply reading the updates, as they may eventually aspire to receive the same kind of recognition. Like this, we can say that Mirro also has a very strong motivational element, encouraging employees to become even better through the examples set by others.
Bogdan Ioniță, product manager at Mirro, takes the SPM concept even further, linking it to employee retention. “Nowadays, companies cannot afford to lose top talent on account of ineffective work relationships nor miss business opportunities because the workforce and management are not on the same page. Social Performance Management tools like Mirro can take an obsolete and often dreaded evaluation process and turn it into a user-friendly and fun collaborative communication tool that motivates the whole team to work better together, by giving everyone a better picture of the whole organizational mechanism and how important their part is in it.”
Another very important aspect worth taking into consideration about SPM is that it drives constant engagement, by enabling communication and collaboration on what matters most. By this, we are referring to the goals a company aims to achieve and which Mirro makes visible for everyone in the company. Like this, every team member understands the big picture, the significance of their role, as well as how important it is for members of the same team, and other teams alike, to work together.
Last but not least, SPM tools like Mirro are also a great means of feeling connected, especially in times of social distancing, and not just for productivity purposes, but even as morale boosters. Let’s think, for example, about the need for entertainment brought by the social element in our work lives. Just like employees take the occasional coffee break, go to lunch together, or participate in team-building activities, performance management works better if it’s a bit more fun and casual. By mirroring various social networks that we all take pleasure in checking every now and then, Mirro has implemented a simple feature: people can comment on kudos and work anniversaries, by writing a message and making it more fun through the use of emojis and gifs. Work becomes a bit more fun like this, and SPM helps people feel connected even when apart.
To conclude, SPM tools work best when combined with other efforts for engagement. For example, the Mirro team has regular online improv games like word association or collaborative stories, during which we get to know each other better and build stronger connections. We also occasionally hold virtual coffee breaks in the morning and even the casual after-work beer
How do you make your work life more social during these times? We’d love to read about your experiences in the comment section below. 👇
How to Ask for Help at Work: the Leader’s Approach
Asking for help is often perceived as a sign of weakness because it makes us feel vulnerable and dependant on others. This, we think, might reflect poorly in the way our managers see us, as well as our colleagues. However, asking for help is an important part of being an active and involved member of a team. In fact, knowing how to ask for help is a prerequisite for being a leader, and we will show you how such an approach can radically change your perspective on the matter, with email and face-to-face examples, as well as when never to ask for help situations.
The unspoken rules – never ask for help like this
Whether we realize it or not, most of our professional experiences come down to negotiation tactics. How we ask for help at work is yet another transactional exercise, which can often end in failure. Yet that is no reason to give up, but to try harder, and consider a different approach. But more about this a bit further down the line.
So, indeed, it all comes down to how we tackle such situations. People generally feel good about being involved, yet such positive emotions tend to fade out into the background as they begin to feel coerced into providing assistance. One such situation, as presented by Heidi Grant in the above-mentioned book, occurs when people “are instructed to help, when they believe that they should help, or when they feel they simply have no choice but to help.”
Does this sound familiar? At the workplace, such circumstances generally occur when there’s a new colleague in the team and the manager makes it a certain member’s exclusive obligation to provide support and assistance to them. When obligation leaves no room for personal choice, this may begin feeling like coercion, which in the end will lead to poor results.
People need to help because they feel that it was their option, rather than just another task that they have to cross off the list before the end of the workday, which removes the human part of a usually emotionally-charged effort. This, indeed, is a case for never asking for help in such a manner.
Another situation in which to never ask for help is when you’re not feeling prepared to do so yet. Whether we’re discussing a more introvert nature or simply an inappropriate situation, it is best to approach someone for assistance only when ready, which simply involves preparing a strategy that is hard to refuse.
Perspective shift: the power of asking for help
Here is a hypothesis that may come as a surprise to some: being vulnerable can be a strength. First of all, as Peter Bregman acknowledges in his Harvard Business Review article, recognizing our own weaknesses and limitations is more sustainable for us in the long run since it helps us realize our non-superhuman nature. Because only a superhuman would be able to pull through an interminable list of daily tasks without even considering the possibility of seeking support from others.
Second of all, as author and CEO Bregman continues, being a true leader implies knowing how to connect with others, and people always create better connections with those they find more relatable, rather than those who believe they can do everything themselves, the “one-man army” kind of individuals. Vulnerabilities become stronger when we don’t admit them – they do not disappear if we pretend they aren’t there, especially in the workplace, where our every move is so carefully analyzed.
The leader’s approach means involving others. By asking colleagues for help, in reasonable amounts, of course, they feel more involved and needed. But one doesn’t have to be a natural-born leader to have such an approach, just someone that uses a few simple tips and tricks:
Be clear and confident right from the start
Introduce yourself, if necessary – for instance, when you want to propose a business partnership and have never met your interlocutor
Begin with the issue you require assistance with
Make the next steps simple and clear, so that the person you ask knows exactly what is expected of them
Set a deadline for the support you need
Suggest that although help is optional, it is very much appreciated
Don’t forget to show thankfulness.
With these considerations in mind, it gets easier to ask for help. To better illustrate how these techniques can come in handy in real-life situations, we’ve created some email examples, that can also be easily turned into face-to-face approaches, should the context arise. However, knowing how many people work remotely these days, or how busy some days get, sending an email seems like a good strategy – with follow-up, if necessary.
How to ask for help in email, with useful examples
The first thing we need to consider when reaching out to someone via email is how full their inbox must be and how our email must stand out from the crowd. The subject line is our main hook, so it should be clear and provocative. Also, once this barrier is crossed, the second one is the email itself – so make sure to write it in a clear, concise, and scannable manner.
Example 1 – How to ask for help from a colleague
Example 2 – How to ask for help from a team member, as a manager
Example 3 – How to ask for help from someone from another department
Example 4 – How to ask for help from a higher-ranking member
I hope you found our examples useful and can apply them in your day-to-day activities. Apart from these examples, I was also curious how some of my colleagues ask for help or encourage such a culture because I also remembered my first days in the company and the initial need to ask many people for support while hesitating a bit to do so, because I was afraid of a refusal or maybe of creating the wrong first impression.
Right from the get-go, I was, however, happy to discover a culture where curiosity is nurtured and encouraged, so soon enough, no question seemed too silly to ask. In the words of Simona Lăpușan, COO and Founding Partner at Zitec, and Chief Dreamer Officer at Mirro, this is strongly encouraged in our team, because “Curiosity is one of the traits we built Zitec on, so it was natural for us to encourage our colleagues to ask questions, to share knowledge and to pick each other’s brains as part of our daily work. In our team, asking for help is not seen as a sign of weakness, but as a sign of trust and courage. It is only when you are eager to learn more, that you grow and improve.”
This is another great illustration of the leader’s approach when it comes to asking for help. Requesting someone’s assistance means trusting them enough to tackle a task you would normally, so it’s also a sign of courage, of boldness – which is exactly what another colleague of mine said, without knowing what other answers I may receive.
So, in the case of Diana Nicolae, our Product Specialist at Mirro, asking for help has always been encouraged, as a different way of approaching things: “I’m proud I’m part of a team that inspires me to be bold and to think outside of the box. My colleagues helped me from day 1 when I was asking all kinds of questions about Mirro.
You may wonder how we support this kind of way of thinking in our team. The Mirro platform is a great means of promoting this ethos of helping one another. The Kudos feature allows people to thank each other, publicly, thus emphasizing how helping is encouraged and applauded within the company.
Also, by nurturing a culture of feedback, Mirro enhances communication, which enables people to know each other better and sets the proper context for better collaboration, which paves the way for asking for help whenever necessary, without feeling embarrassed or worried of a potential refusal.
Eight Proven Ways to Show Appreciation at Work
Your definitive guide on how to create a culture of gratitude in your company
As kids, thank you was one of the things we said most frequently. Those two little words and all the appreciation that came from them were the social glue holding it all together. But as we grew up and started getting jobs, a strange thing happened. The harsh reality of adults hit us in the face: you can expect more gratitude from strangers than from your coworkers most of the time. Now, psychologists and researchers are proving that’s not the way things have to be.So, read this article to learn all about gratitude and appreciation at work. You’ll understand why you must show your thankfulness and start a culture of gratitude in your company. Appreciation pays dividends, so I’m going to teach you how to be more heart-forward, even in the dog-eat-dog world of offices. Let’s begin.
What’s the meaning of it all
First things first: to understand appreciation, you must know about feedback.In communication, feedback is information about reactions to things like a person’s performance or an action, and it’s used as a basis for improvement.There are three types of feedback, and each one of them serves a different purpose:
Evaluation is learning where you are compared to others or a standard. This kind of feedback is mostly used to align expectations and clarify consequences.
Coaching guides you towards a better way of doing something. Done skillfully, it can help you improve your skills and grow as a person.
Appreciation is all about giving thanks and recognizing an A-game. For it to be effective, it needs to be authentic, specific and delivered just right.
You can think of appreciation as acknowledging the value and meaning of something and feeling a positive emotional connection to it. A close relative of appreciation is gratitude.Gratitude is one of the almost 600 words in the English words used to express emotional experiences. Most of us have our understanding of it, but at its core, gratitude is the quality of being thankful.If you’re a visual thinker, here’s a scheme of the interactive nature of gratitude:Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, gives it a more in-depth, two-part definition:“First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts, and benefits we’ve received. This doesn’t mean that life is perfect; it doesn’t ignore complaints, burdens, and hassles. But when we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life.The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. It didn’t stem from anything we necessarily did ourselves in which we might take pride in. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I think true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others: We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.”
To simplify things, think of gratitude as a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life.Now that we’ve got all our bases covered and we’re on the same page about the definitions let’s start our deep dive.
The trouble with appreciation at work
Even though appreciation is part of the feedback process, and you might expect it to be a staple in workplaces, it’s not the norm. We all seem trapped in thankless concrete jungles because of the pervasive idea that, at work, everything is transactional. Your thank you is your paycheck, and you can’t expect anything else. You must stay in your lane and don’t show any emotion. Don’t even attempt niceness; everyone knows that’s sucking up in disguise. Research from The John Templeton Foundation backs this up with some sad findings: people are less likely to allow themselves to feel or express gratitude at work than anyplace else. And their job is dead last on their list of things they’re grateful for.But it’s not like we stop being humans with a fundamental need to be seen and appreciated the minute we step into an office. Sure, we don’t just work out of the goodness of your heart, but trying to disconnect from our needs for eight hours a day only brings trouble. The same study from Templeton shows that almost all participants reported that saying thank you to colleagues makes them feel happy and fulfilled. But, on a given day, only 10% acted on that impulse. Almost 60% said they either never express gratitude at work or do so perhaps once a year!Ironically, 93% of them agreed that grateful bosses are more likely to succeed, and only 18% thought that gratitude made bosses “weak.” Most reported that getting a thank you at work made them feel good and motivated.The conclusion? People actively suppress gratitude at work, even if it means robbing themselves of happiness.
Managers have it all wrong
As human beings, we’re wired and primed for gratitude. And while everyone is thinking about how underappreciated they are, no one is willing to take the lead and express gratitude first.The American Psychological Association discovered that more than half of the people looking for new jobs feel underappreciated and undervalued in their current position. They’re also disappointed in the employee recognition practices their job has in place.Gratitude is a topic researchers have visited time and time again, coming to the same sad conclusions: recognition isn’t a thing in the workplace, despite all its benefits.Kenneth A. Kovach is a professor of human resource management and labor relations. In one of his studies, he looked at staff members’ and managers’ perceptions of job reward factors.His findings illustrate how much people crave appreciation and how little attention managers pay to it.As you can see, appreciation is in the top 3 for people, but in the bottom 3 for managers.Wondering what got us into this mess? You can partly blame it on the extrinsic incentive bias. That’s our incorrect belief that other people work for external gain (aka money), rather than intrinsic reasons, like building skills or being drawn to a task. But there are other factors at play as well.For example, it can be easy to measure the impact of a salary increase on productivity. This is something objective we can measure. But it’s hard telling if the extra time you put into being helpful to your team is hitting any mark or having a positive impact. It’s all intangible. As a result, managers often underinvest in appreciation and gratitude.Adam Grant is an American psychologist, teacher, researcher, and writer. He is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning at work, and live more generous and creative lives. On Hurry Slowly, a podcast about pacing yourself, this is what he had to say about the power of appreciation:“I think we dramatically underestimate how powerful appreciation is. Sometimes, the time you spend with people is meaningful to them in ways you never foresee and you’d never know if they didn’t follow up. How meaningful was it when someone told you in a genuine way what they appreciated about you? And, you know, isn’t that an experience you want to create for someone else?” Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of showing gratitude at work and why thankfulness should be the norm in companies.
The benefits of gratitude
The link between gratitude, well-being, and social relationships has been widely researched.For example, Robert Emmons studied more than one thousand people, from ages eight to 80. His research indicates that people who practice gratitude consistently enjoy benefits like:When it comes to the workplace, gratitude has a lot of benefits. And this is not something wishy-washy; all the findings are backed by science.
Research shows people are more satisfied with their jobs when they work in a place that promotes a gratitude culture. Appreciation amplifies and expands in companies, having a positive effect on everyone’s job satisfaction levels.
Gratitude wins you new friends
Two simple words like thank you can have a considerable impact. For example, when you use them on someone, science says you’re providing the other person with the valuable signal that you are someone with whom a high-quality relationship could be formed. It doesn’t matter whether you thank a stranger for holding the elevator or a colleague for helping you out, acknowledging their contributions can lead you to new opportunities.
Gratitude helps you with social connections
If you want to form and maintain social relationships, gratitude is the multi-purpose ingredient you can’t skip.Gratitude has a find, remind, and bind function:
By getting in tune to the thoughtfulness of others, gratitude lets you find people who are good candidates for future connections;
It reminds you of the goodness in the relationships we’re already a part of;
It binds you to your partners, collaborators, and friends by making you appreciate them and getting you engaged in behaviors that prolong the relationships.
If you want to learn how gratitude connects to business numbers, decreased turnovers, fewer sick day, and more productivity, this video is for you:
The challenges of gratitude
Gratitude is good, but it’s far from easy or simplistic.What happens when you take the time to count your blessings is almost always humbling. The realization that you are not alone and probably can’t make it on your own forces you to acknowledge and give credit to other people.When you take a closer look at your support system, you feel more responsible for protecting all the good that comes into life and turns gratitude into a motivating emotion. But maybe one of the most difficult aspects of gratitude is that it challenges our deep need for control and makes us face a daunting reality: we can’t always be in charge. If you still think gratitude is all positive thinking, unicorns, and rainbows, take a look at this video. It will probably change your mind:
Are you a giver or a taker?
To understand gratitude better, you need to know about the kinds of people you might find on a team. This is where Adam Grant comes into the picture again.Based on values and intentions toward others, he determined people have three interaction styles in companies:
Takers have a default of “What can you do for me?”. They try to take as much as possible for themselves and avoid giving back unless they really have to. The problem is that they’ll always try to do what’s best for them individually, and not for the people around.
Givers think in terms of “What can I do for you?”. They enjoy sharing their knowledge freely, they like to mentor, and they’re often looking for ways to contribute to the team. Because their norm is generosity, they’re willing to help, even when they don’t get anything in return. Since they share information freely, givers pave the way for creativity and innovation.
And while givers tend to sacrifice themselves, they always make their teams and organizations better.
Matchers are trying to strike a balance between giving and taking, trading favors evenly. It’s a classic quid pro quo. And since they have such an appetite for fairness, you’ll often see them learning, teaching, and collaborating effectively.
For more details on this fascinating classification, watch Adam’s 2016 TED talk, where he explores what it takes to build a culture of productive generosity: The makeup of a team will largely determine their success. As Adam puts it:“We have a huge body of evidence — many, many studies looking at the frequency of giving behavior that exists in a team or an organization — and the more often people are helping and sharing their knowledge and providing mentoring, the better organizations do on every metric we can measure: higher profits, customer satisfaction, employee retention — even lower operating expenses.“If you’re interested in learning if you’re a giver, a taker, or a matcher, take Adam’s test for free. All you have to do is give the answer that comes naturally to you for each question. But remember, your results will only be as accurate as you are honest—and self-aware.Once you know your type, you’ll have a better indication of how easy setting up or adapting to a culture of gratitude will be for you.
Eight proven ways to show appreciation at work
Now that you understand what gratitude is and how transformative it can be for your professional life, let’s look at eight science-backed strategies to nurture it in your company.
1. Ask for help
As counter-intuitive as this might sound, asking for help is the best way to kickstart a culture of gratitude. Remember the giver-receiver-matcher classification? Here’s how it plays out: “Help-seeking isn’t important just for protecting the success and the well-being of givers. It’s also critical to getting more people to act like givers because the data say that somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of all giving in organizations starts with a request. But a lot of people don’t ask. They don’t want to look incompetent; they don’t know where to turn; they don’t want to burden others. Yet if nobody ever asks for help, you have a lot of frustrated givers in your organization who would love to step up and contribute, if they only knew who could benefit and how.“Adam Grant in his 2016 TED talkWhat’s more, if you’re in an environment where it’s safe to ask for help, you feel more supported, appreciated, and less inclined to leave. And all these fuzzy feelings lead to higher morale and overall, more happiness in your life. Amazing, right?
2. Change your definition of success
It’s in your power to change the way you define success. You can let go of the narrative where it’s all about winning a competition, and instead, focus on your contributions. The most meaningful path to success might be helping others succeed.You can start by setting some metrics. Consider these questions:
How intensely do I show my gratitude at work?
How frequently do I express gratitude at work?
For how many circumstances in my professional life, do I feel grateful?
Toward how many different people in my office do I feel thankful?
Give yourself a score from 1 to 10 for each of these questions. Little by little, work on increasing your numbers.Make sure you know your boss, mentor, and coworkers about this, so you can be helped and held accountable. You’ll be starting a ripple effect in no time!
3. Count your blessings
This practice originating in the field of psychology came to be widely known as gratitude journaling. In this specific case, it involves writing five things you’re thankful for at work weekly. Sure, this will put you in a good mood, but take it one step further and make someone else’s day. If a teammate is on your gratitude list, let them know about it. Share your appreciation!
4. Three good things
If you want to count your blessings with more intention, this one’s for you.Here’s the process:
Step 1: Take some time at the end of a day to reflect on everything that happened to you since you got to work.
Step 2: Describe three things you are grateful for.
Step 3: Identify what caused them.
For example, if you’re grateful for a ping-pong table you have at work, it might be there because someone in HR wanted to encourage breaks and improve morale. So, drop them a thank you note, even if it feels very out-of-the-blue. It’ll do the job and put a smile on their faces.Now, the original format of this exercise encourages you to do it daily. But if you keep reading, I’ll tell you all about the research that proved that more isn’t necessarily better when it comes to gratitude.
5. Mental subtraction
Mental subtraction is another variation of the counting blessings strategy. All you have to do is imagine the course of your life if some positive professional events had not occurred. You’ll achieve what researchers call the George Bailey effect, after the protagonist in the 1946 movie It’s A Wonderful Life.This exercise forces you to dig deep and reveals critical moments and influential people for your professional life. Reach out to the ones involved and let them how much they’ve helped you.
6. Want what you have
The purpose of this exercise is to identify and appreciate the good that’s already in your life.Here’s how it goes:
Step 1: Identify one less-than-grateful thought. For example I’m jealous John was put in charge of the new account.
Step 2: Come up with some grateful, supportive arguments to counter this idea. In the spirit of our example, it could be something like: I am thankful for the skills I have and put to good use with the clients I already manage.
Step 3: Meditate on your supportive argument.
Step 4: Translate that positive inner feeling of appreciation into action. To wrap it up with our example: try thinking about your current position and what you can do to further your growth and development to get assigned bigger clients in the future.
This approach centers you, puts an end to unproductive comparisons and helps you understand you’re in charge.It can be hard work, but it surely pays off.
7. Gratitude visits
Gratitude visits are pretty simple yet fun and engaging.If your circumstances allow it, instead of sending an email or an instant message, go directly to the person you’re thankful, and express your gratitude out loud. This works great, especially in circumstances where you feel you haven’t properly thanked the person in the past.
8. Keep a surprise log
Record events that are unexpected or surprising. Most of the time, they turn out to be excellent sources of gratitude.What’s more, this kind of log can lift your spirits on not-so-happy-days, reminding you of all the good that you’ve experienced and will keep experiencing in your life.
How to express your gratitude at work
After uncovering eight strategies for nurturing appreciation, it’s time to discover the best ways to show your gratitude at work.Here are some science-backed tips for you:
First, check-in with yourself. Don’t force yourself to feel all grateful when you’re in a rush or upset over something.
Don’t just go through the motions. Make a conscious decision to become happier and more grateful. Think about how you’d like the recipient of your gratitude to feel afterward.
Be honest. We can all tell when praise isn’t honest. Don’t make a fool of yourself and only express your sincere feelings.
Make your gratitude specific. Instead of listing a bunch of superficial reasons for which you think you are grateful, focus on one particular thing, and elaborate it in detail.
Don’t assume it goes without saying. You might think that positive feedback on a job well-done implies you’re thankful for someone’s work. Without being transparent and saying thank you, the other person won’t hear or feel your appreciation.
Be consistent. When you’re in a management or leadership position, pay close attention to your habits. If you offer your thanks inconsistently and only to some people, it will look like bias and favoritism.
Acknowledge and adapt to various preferences. Not everyone has the same preferences, so take your time to discover how the person you’re grateful to would like to be recognized. For some, it might be a large company meeting; for others, an email.
Pay it forward. Don’t give kudos only to people you know have reasons to be grateful to you. Share your appreciation with someone who doesn’t expect it.
Don’t treat it as a one-time thing. You’ll never be able to build your gratitude muscle if you don’t use it often. Stop waiting for special days or extraordinary opportunities to show you care.
Sometimes, we hold back on our appreciation because we don’t want to make the receiver feel awkward. But people rarely tend to feel this way. And that’s because we all love to feel appreciated.To get over this, put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. Even if they feel uncomfortable for a minute, the joy of it will trump it all.
Sprinkling gratitude versus chunking it
I’ve been getting you all excited about gratitude, and maybe now you’re ready to express it several times a day. Well, not so fast. Let’s take a look at what science has to teach us.In his interview on the Hurry Slowly podcast, Adam Grant shares a little story. When working with live audiences, he often asks people how they’d go about gratitude. Given a chance, would they express it every day, or chunk it and dedicate it some time once a week?Before we continue, take a moment. How often do you think it’s most beneficial for you to express your gratitude? Ready? Great.Almost 80% of people tell Adam they’d sprinkle their gratitude, devoting time each day. Maybe this was also your reply. But research shows us that more isn’t always better. In a study of gratitude journaling, Sonja Lyubomirsky discovered that people who tracked their gratitude once per week are happier after six weeks. Those who did it three times per week were not. Quite the twist, huh?Chunkers reap the most happiness from their giving, while sprinklers ended up overwhelmed and burnt out.For more details on her research, watch Sonja:Sprinkling gratitude can be nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But chunking it puts you in the driver’s seat, so:
Pick a day of the week;
Schedule time in your calendar for appreciation;
Be deliberate about your gratitude efforts;
Get ready to turn someone’s day around.
Sure, adapt your gratitude practice to your life and activity field, but try chunking it as much as possible.
Delaying your kudos is OK
Imagine this scenario: you ask someone for advice. You get it, thank for it, then move on with your day. Some time goes by, and you finally follow that recommendation. Everything goes great, and you remember your adviser fondly. Do you get back to the person to share how everything worked out in the end? If you’re like most people, your answer might be no. And that’s something you might consider changing.On Hurry Slowly, Adam Grant says this type of delayed gratitude is actually more fulfilling for the person advising than a quick thank you. Learning how everything unfolded and what role they ended up playing is more rewarding than knowing just a chapter of the story. So, thank people who help you out right away, but also remember to let them know when their guidance starts making an impact.
How to create a culture of gratitude with Mirro
While it can be easy to start a gratitude journaling practice for yourself or to send thank you notes to your close friends, things might not feel intuitive when it comes to showing gratitude at work. You can’t build a culture of appreciation by yourself; you need all the help you can get. And that’s precisely why we’ve created Mirro, a radically simple all-in-one performance management software.There’s no heavy lifting for you to do with all the structures for gratitude baked right into the product. When using Mirro, wins are no longer lonely victories:
You can show your appreciation publicly or privately for anyone in the company, and tie it to things like OKRs, work anniversaries, or personal achievements.
You also learn all about what makes you a valuable team player.
Bogdan Ionita is Mirro’s Product Manager. For the past years, he’s been in the privileged position of working both with and for Mirro. If you want to learn all about the gratitude hurdles Mirro can help your team overcome; he’s your guy:“I feel very fortunate to be working in an environment shaped by Mirro’s mission and values. I love taking ideas and turning them into reality, all with a can-do attitude. Seeing everything come together and knowing how my efforts make an impact is exhilarating to me. But, far too many times, we’re rushing, jumping from one task to another, not taking the time to be in the moment, or to enjoy the process. Milestones go unnoticed, apathy sets in, and we fall into routines where saying thanks is the last thing on our mind. I believe this is a pattern we should break, and Mirro helps us do just that. Now I can show my appreciation for my teammates, offer encouragement, and point out all the progress we’re making. By laying down the foundation for a culture of feedback and recognition, Mirro gets people on the same page, eliminating adversarial attitudes. We’re banking it all on alignment, openness, and growth. And this invites gratitude in naturally, sometimes right from the get-go.”If you want to make gratitude part of your habits at work, ask for a demo of Mirro today.
The snowball effect of gratitude
Simona Lapusan is the founder of Mirro, and she’s been a manager for over 18 years now. She’s seen first-hand all the benefits of encouraging and nurturing a culture of gratitude in a company. And she knows just how impactful recognition in the workplace can be:“When people say thank you and give public recognition to their colleagues, it creates a snowball effect where more and more people start sharing their gratitude. This kind of positive acknowledgment has a powerful impact on every individual and can fuel them for a long time.What’s more, even the simple act of saying thank you can make people feel seen and appreciated. And from such a place, they can then be calmer, more positive, and focused on everything that’s in their control, performing better.Recognizing our teammates’ efforts and achievements creates a safe space where they will ultimately feel secure enough to experiment, adapt, and innovate.”Laying the foundation of appreciation and gratitude at work is worth it. And once you commit to it, benefits are quick to follow:“Each month, I have conversations with our new hires. I like to know how they’re adjusting and get clues on how to make our onboarding process even smoother.People tell me all the time they’re impressed to see their teammates so supportive and willing to help. They’re always trying to improve themselves and to inspire others to grow as well. I think this is a direct result of us practicing gratitude and recognition as a team, and I couldn’t be more thankful for this!”Simona Lapusan, Mirro FounderIf we’ve inspired you and you’d like to have such a place for gratitude and appreciation for your team, consider Mirro. We’re here to support you each step of the way.
It’s your turn to show some love
Congrats on taking in all this information! I hope you now feel better equipped to practice gratitude and appreciation at work.Now it’s time to step into the limelight and share everything you’ve learned so far!
Discover whether you’re a giver, taker, or matcher;
Schedule time in your calendar for gratitude at least once a week;
Don’t shy away from asking for help;
Incorporate gratitude and appreciation into your definition of success;
Exercise expressing your gratitude on the regular;
Start a much-needed conversation with your manager and your team about gratitude. You can always send them the link to this article for frame setting.
If you’re willing to model gratitude and appreciation behaviors, others will get inspired and follow your lead.In case you need more guidance or have any questions, leave me a comment below, and I’ll get back to you. I appreciate you for your curiosity and your growth mindset, and thank you for reading!
Refresh Your Mindset: How to Give Better Feedback, with Examples
Let’s face it. Giving feedback is one of the most difficult aspects of the job, whatever kind of job we’re talking about, even though managers are probably most often faced with it during their everyday activities. However, those in other positions are not exempt from the much-feared feedback, either, whether we “have to” give it or receive it. That is why we believe how to give feedback should attract a lot more attention from managers and non-managers alike, and mind you, here is some food for thought: it should even be a bit more regulated, as some may be a bit too loose with it.
But first things first.
Why you need a culture of feedback in your company
By definition, in an organizational context, feedback is the information sent to an entity, be it an individual or a group, about its prior behavior so that the entity may adjust its current and future behavior to achieve the desired result.
However, stepping aside from an academic framework, feedback is also something that is trending nowadays. Everyone gives it, but too many times, it is unsolicited, and if done without tact, it can even come with unexpected consequences.
How, you may ask?
Just imagine this scenario: Linda, a more experienced software developer refers to the code developed by Sam, the new colleague, as “sloppy”, in a probably playful, “like-you-kids-do-nowadays” manner. However, Sam, who looks up to Linda, is very affected by her comment and, since she is a senior member of the team, he considers her to be the voice of other members of the team.
Sam begins to feel underappreciated, starts underperforming, and maybe even begins looking for another job.
The above example may seem like a mild exaggeration, but the reality is that it is not. We are encouraged to speak our minds ever since kindergarten, however, we should do so considering a few simple aspects: that we should always keep things professional, as the office space does come with a set of dedicated rules, and maintaining a diplomatic approach when dealing with our colleagues should always be one of them. Familiarity is welcome, but perhaps other contexts are better suited for it.
This is where a carefully designed and well-thought culture of feedback steps in. By definition, a culture of feedback equips absolutely anyone and everyone in the organization with the proper tools to give constructive criticism to anyone else in the company. However, the emphasis here should be on “constructive”, because feedback is much more than just an opinion we speak, and that should always be considered beforehand.
Giving feedback is more than being randomly honest, it’s about being considerate too. And that, in the pursuit of appreciation from peers or just for the sake of standing out, is often forgotten.
In the words of our expert, Elena Ungureanu, senior HR specialist at Mirro: “Feedback is about honesty and it is a way to build trust. It’s important to recognize the people you work with, to help them understand both their strengths and contribution to the company, as well as the skills they need to improve. I encourage them to be honest, to give concrete examples, and to deliver it in a candid way. Also I suggest they think about how they would feel if they received that feedback, before giving it.”
So, without further ado, here is…
How to give better feedback in ten easy-to-implement steps
We know, ten steps may sound like quite the effort. However, you may have already implemented many of these and not even known it. All they need now is a more unitary approach so that they can integrate better into the concept of a feedback culture within your company. But let’s start at the beginning:
Be the first to set an example
True leaders inspire their followers through concrete actions. It’s your job to show that the company and its people are open to constructive feedback – so be the first to set the tone on how this is done. A moderate, diplomatic, and well-balanced leader will inspire the same kind of behavior throughout. However, aggressive and sarcastic comments, served with a superior attitude, may spread faster than wildfire and will surely not serve anyone. So be sure to avoid these and discourage them in others, as well.
Look for people with a growth mindset
People with a growth mindset are a true gem and can be easily identified right from the earliest stages of recruitment. Such individuals regard feedback as a natural part of their profession, as well as a natural way to constantly improve themselves, which is definitely something you need in your organization.
But solely hiring people focused on growth is not enough. Continuously invest in growth as well, encourage existing team members to constantly take new courses and upgrade their skills, and, why not, even invest in such things as feedback training. This may not even need to be a consistent investment – the colleagues that have aced this skill can simply hold training sessions for others.
Turn feedback into routine
No need to wait until the quarterly review to give someone feedback. When incorporated into the daily routine, feedback becomes less feared and is accepted as an everyday activity, just like anything else. Let’s not forget that culture represents a set of shared traditions, habits, artifacts, and language. Therefore, it’s in your power to create shared experiences around giving and receiving feedback, all in a positive and respectful manner.
Ask for feedback too
Sometimes, people regard asking for feedback as a sign of vulnerability. However, demanding input about initiatives that directly concern individuals is only another means of building a strong culture of feedback and trust. It is only a sign of vulnerability if we make it one. In reality, it is a desire to deliver constantly better results.
Always be specific
Feedback like “Your work needs improvement” can hardly be qualified as such. If you want to give input, make sure to refer to a certain task. Otherwise, a general comment will just leave an individual even more confused than before. On the other hand, a suggestion as “your presentation needed a bit more figures” hits the spot just perfectly and guides the targeted individual towards a desired action.
Negative feedback is welcome, but never publicly
The same applies to praise, too. It is best to discuss with team members during casual, informal meetings – walks can be a very effective meeting strategy, and talking over coffee can turn out to be quite productive and inspiring, too. Such less formal settings will remove authority barriers and will allow for more open communication – the perfect setting for even more negative feedback.
“Giving people positive feedback, pointing out what they do well, gives others a sense of increasing status, especially when done publicly. The trouble is, unless you have a strong director, giving other people positive feedback may feel like a threat, because of a sense of a relative change in status. This may explain why, despite employees universally asking for more positive feedback, employers seem to prefer the safer “deficit model” of management, of pointing out people’s faults, problems, and performance gaps, over a strengths-based approach.”
Pay attention to the questions you’re asking
Although it may come naturally to ask someone why they acted a certain way, a better approach would be to formulate more thought-provoking questions, such as: “What would you do differently to avoid this situation in the future, and improve your results?”. This technique allows the individual to better understand the situation and helps them feel more involved, rather than punished for their actions.
Consider performance, not personality
There’s a very thin line between taking feedback personally and professionally. Whether we decide to focus on the first or the latter makes it easier or more difficult for someone to take criticism. Example:
“It would be more efficient if we made casual conversation with the clients at the end of the meeting, to make sure we don’t run out of time for our eCommerce presentation.” (performance)
“Your superficial nature almost cost us a few important slides from the eCommerce presentation” (personality)
Make sure to end on a positive note
Let’s not forget: as we mentioned throughout this article, the goal of constructive feedback is to help someone improve. The best way to achieve this is by ending your input, verbal or written, in an optimistic manner, rather than by continuing to highlight what was done wrong. After all, feedback is just a conversation, and there should be no reasons for it to be feared in the future.
Empower your teams with the right feedback tools
If a bit earlier on in the article I asked for input from Elena Ungureanu, senior HR specialist at Mirro, it’s time for me to pass the mic to another Mirro expert, Bogdan Ionita, product manager, as this last point was written directly from his very own experience of working with CEOs, entrepreneurs, and HR experts from various backgrounds and cultures.
“Face-to-face feedback is a bliss for companies. Great team mates interact constantly, on the spot, and feel safe to share their feedback related to a certain, specific context. This creates camaraderie, which ultimately leads to better results.”
However, trying to count the number of companies for which this is a reality will take your efforts on a wild goose chase, continues Bogdan.
But why is it so? “It’s a matter of habit, safety, and timing or context. That’s what Mirro does, it helps with the context, it helps by making it a habit. It will not collect every feedback or interaction, of course, but it will stand for that nudge that takes feedback exchange further.”
Let this sink in, because Bogdan’s words deeply echoed mine: “Mirro will offer a sense of transparency in a culture that seeks it.”
How so, you may ask? Just think about it. We’re still very far from being capable of speaking our minds at work. In writing, it’s different. In Mirro, we have the proper framework for expressing ourselves, and the proper time to choose our words wisely.
As Bogdan continues, “Mirro brings people all the help they need, the right tone, the exact context, be it a milestone or a goal achieved, even a team event. People share perspectives in Mirro, opinions which may have a positive or a constructive vibe, but never an accusing one. Also, Mirro lets users ask for perspectives, driving the feedback process themselves to create a sense of greater safety and more willingness to share and to accept authentic, human, perspectives.”
So, without further ado, let’s move on to some clear feedback examples, for you to apply in your own company.
We know that time is not always our best friend, so we’ve worked on some feedback templates that you could use as inspiration when giving feedback in Mirro. Of course, these are all rather informative and the fields are quite interchangeable – so please adapt them in accordance with the person you are considering. Each individual is different in their own way, but we just wish to inspire you a little bit.
So here it goes – if you have examples of your own, we’d love to read them in the comments section:
Use case 1
I’m giving feedback to*:
Lara Johnson, Campaign Manager
June Advertising Campaign
What he/she did good*:
Lara, I especially appreciated that you communicated with the team so well and got everyone involved all throughout the briefing and creative process with the agency. I think you excel in facilitating group discussions, especially when the agency came over and we all got to brainstorm together. I also think that you are very good at putting plans into action, in spite of an, unfortunately, changing deadline.
What he/she could improve*:
I went through your list of goals for this campaign and some of them feel a bit unrealistic. No wonder you appeared to be a bit disappointed after today’s meeting – but don’t worry, everyone’s so happy with the results. Maybe next time try narrowing your goals down a bit to make them more attainable and measurable.
Use case 2
I’m giving feedback to*:
Matt Thomas, Tech Support Engineer
Tech support for remote teams
What he/she did good*:
Matt, congrats on tackling an issue no one has ever dealt with before in our company – our entire team working from home! It was great how you reached out to everyone and treated each situation with uttermost attention and dedication. I specifically appreciated how you handled the hardware issue – with many people complaining about sound issues or needing a secondary screen. I received positive feedback from many colleagues. Well done!
What he/she could improve*:
I understood that some colleagues answered the poll you had created after the deadline and you had to make runs to the office more often than anticipated. While your dedication was appreciated, I do not encourage it – people need to know that deadlines are created to be respected. Next time please come directly to me with such issues, and we’ll find a solution together.
Use case 3
I’m giving feedback to*:
Diane Phelps, UX Designer
App UX improvements
What he/she did good*:
Diane, first of all, it was great to have you volunteer to be part of this project. We really needed a designer, but were not allocated a budget for this, so I guess water cooler talk can come as a blessing in disguise because otherwise, you wouldn’t have found out about our project, and we wouldn’t have known that you have some availability to work on another project. Your dedication and involvement were priceless to us and we received excellent feedback from the client as well – we really hope to work on many future projects together!
What he/she could improve*:
Really nothing to improve here. Diane is amazing, she managed to tackle both her daily tasks and take on a separate assignment, which she treated just as seriously and professionally. Even though she is a recent addition to the company, she is an amazing asset. Happy to have her with us.
Use case 4
I’m giving feedback to*:
Sean Davidson, Senior HR Recruiter
IT Recruitment Campaign
What he/she did good*:
I don’t know how you managed, but getting 10 new highly qualified team members in the IT department, initiated in their new jobs and already working in just two months is quite an amazing feat. Nevertheless, you did this at no extra cost – we all heard this was mostly achieved through a campaign developed via social media and internal recommendations. So kudos to you and to our new colleagues, we’re already receiving good feedback about them from our clients.
What he/she could improve*:
I was very happy to hear that you managed to achieve this all by yourself and in such short notice, but next time, our junior colleagues in HR might appreciate being more involved too. I see great potential in you and am considering you for a management position, but in order to achieve this, I will need you to delegate more – I know what you are capable of, now it’s time to pay it forward and share the know-how.
Giving feedback is a form of art that can be easily learned through a few simple techniques. Above everything else, it’s important to know that the impact of our words can be a lot stronger than we thought, especially if they come from a position of power – formal or informal. That is why both positive and negative input should always be addressed in a more tactful form, to ensure that the proper result is always reached.
An app such as Mirro can make the feedback process a lot easier by setting clear expectations, in the form of OKRs, and by offering the possibility to provide user-friendly feedback in an easy-to-fill form. Get your demo here and see how Mirro can make your life easier.
The Thing about the Right Mindset(ting)
Shot in the dark here, but what’s up with all the mindset-changing buzz? It’s definitely not a grab-a-coffee-get-it-done-move-on thing, is it? Speaking of which, since the coffee machine has blessed us with a second and maybe third cup today, let’s dig deeper and get to the bottom of this (pun intended!).
First and foremost, let’s lay our cards on the table. We’re not trying to look into why companies are searching for means of successfully facing change, because that is already a generally accepted reality. However, if you’re in an environment that is stable and fully predictable, look away now. And share your location. Please?
As from where we stand, change is a part of the day-to-day. When it comes to handling it, by looking at our people and their reactions, the one thing that’s harder to submit to change – is definitely their mindset, than the situation itself. But is it all worth tackling the tall order?
Companies that have looked towards changing the status quo and setting the right mindset for their people achieve figures like*:
People trusting their companies: a 47% increase
People more likely to feel a sense of ownership and commitment to the future of their company: a 34% increase
People who agree that their company supports risk-taking: a 65% increase
Quite a picturesque tip of the iceberg, don’t you think? Well, buckle up your seatbelt because here’s another lesson in this area of glaciology.
Fixed vs. growth mindset
Keeping things as simple as possible, there are two types of individual mindsets, explained by how people react when facing problems
Fixed-mindset individuals perceive the problems they face as threats and their journey turns into a downward spiral of fear, avoidance, and self-doubt – which is obviously similar to what the Titanic taught us about icebergs – that is, avoid them at all costs.
On the other hand, some people have what is described as “a growth mindset”, which means they perceive problems as challenges and face them as such, as they look forward to going to the next level, whatever it may be, they’re ready for it. Their catchphrases are:
I can get better
I can and will improve
This is a cool chance to learn something new
One year ago, I wouldn’t have done this so
Pff, some people, right?
But there is one thing that’s kryptonite even for growth–mindset people – they can only express themselves in an environment that’s safe.
Psychological safety is the one thing that you can focus on to attract and nurture a growth mindset for people. It can be expressed as the ability of an environment to make members feel safe to take risks and to be vulnerable in front of each other.
But wait, the story continues: in such an environment, it’s actually necessary to unlock other catalysts of performance like Dependability, Clarity, Meaning, and Impact. Yaaaay for psychological safety- what a great concept! But let’s pause for a bit.
We’re still in the same story, right? The one in which the changing environment pushes leaders to influence their people to adopt a growth mindset and increase overall business performance, and we’ve just found out that an environment that is not safe is definitely a no-no.
So we’re facing a challenge right now – the lack of safety creeps in and it’s time to flex that growth mindset muscle.
Start with what impacts your people throughout their experience: Onboarding, Performance Management, High Potential Development, and feel free to experiment.
Scalability and a company-wide approach can be enabled through Mirro, which brings people together and is available at every step of their experience. It aligns all your team processes and reduces friction points, as it covers everything and transforms team performance into a habit.
Is this model right for your company? As there’s no general recipe for success, Mirro is one possible setup for you that works in this direction. Mix and match with current systems, and feel free to experiment.