World Monitor Mag, Industrial Overview WM_November_2018_WEB_Version - Page 80

additional content to feedback, encourages them to set stretch goals, makes it easier for them to put in extra effort toward a worthy project, and helps them learn from positive role models. You can hear the difference between the fixed mind-set and the growth mind-set in the subtle nuances of conversation, and managers can make a difference in a company by deliberately choosing one kind of phrasing over another. For example, in giving feedback to employees, the phrase “You did well; you must be talented” activates a fixed mind- set. Talent is perceived to be innate and changeless. If the manager says instead, “You did well; you must have worked hard on this” or “I see you put everything you had into this,” a growth mind-set is activated in the employee. The effort and creativity that people bring to bear makes a difference. The employee can also prime the boss. For example, saying “I want to be the top performer” primes the fixed 78 world monitor mind-set. It implies there can be only one. By contrast, saying “I want to take on challenges where I can learn new things” primes the growth mind-set. It’s worth the trouble to prime people for the growth mind-set. In one study, priming a group of managers that way consistently made them more confident in their abilities and more likely to follow the example of a positive role model. That could be because the growth mind-set allows people to follow others with no perceived loss in status. Conversely, the fixed mind- set automatically implies a zero-sum competition: If someone rises in status, everyone else must fall. People holding that mind-set are more likely to attack one another’s success instead of focusing on their own development. Another intriguing trend in productive performance review conversations surprised us at first. Some firms that got rid of most numerical ratings have left one type of rating in place: the determination of whether someone is essentially “in or out” as a fit with the company’s culture. At Juniper, this is defined as being a “J-Player” or a “Non-J Player.” A J-Player is someone who generally behaves according to Juniper’s values and delivers reasonably good performance. Juniper clearly and consistently explains which types of behavior result in Non-J Player status and helps those employees fit in if they choose to stay. More than 80 percent of the people rated as Non-J Players have opted to leave the company; they understood why they would never succeed there. The success of this “in or out” rating system seemed disturbing until we recognized why it was necessary. Executives were reluctant to remove rankings, but not for the reasons we thought they would be. They didn’t care much about identifying problem performers. The new system addressed that issue. They wanted to weed out people who did not fit with their culture, and who were thus holding back their departments and colleagues. We also saw another virtue: This simple