Operations: A Fixed Versus Growth Mindset

growth mindset

During this year’s Club Solutions Leadership Retreat at the Travaasa Austin Resort in Austin, Texas, 40 health club operators from across the U.S. gathered for two days of leadership training, networking and unique experiences.

The retreat had operators participate in six roundtables, and during one in particular, the topic of “mindset” was brought up by moderator Blair McHaney, the president of ClubWorks.

According to McHaney, there are two types of employees — those with a growth mindset, and those with a fixed mindset. Someone with a growth mindset never sees failure as failure. Instead, they see it as a learning opportunity they can grow from. On the other hand, someone with a fixed mindset sees failure as just that, failure. They learn nothing from it, and believe they had no control over the situation.

A great example of this is a child who gets an A+ on a test. By telling the child they earned a good grade because they studied hard, that would be encouraging a growth mindset, as it implies they had control over the outcome. On the other hand, telling the child they earned a good great because they’re smart would be encouraging a fixed mindset, as it implies their grade had to do with their inherent IQ, which they have no control of.

The reason this was an important topic for attendees to discuss is because you want your health club to be filled with employees who have growth mindsets. Meaning, they believe they have control over their individual successes, and that of the team’s, and can learn from their failures.

During this discussion, attendees identified a number of interview questions they thought would reveal if someone had a growth mindset during the hiring process.

  • What did you learn recently and how did you apply it?
  • Tell me the last time you were curious, and what did you do in reaction to the curiosity?
  • What have you done for self improvement over the last 12 months?
  • What trends are you interested in following? How did you change or adapt based on what you’re learning?
  • Tell us about an A you got you didn’t deserve. Tell us about the worst grade you got that you did deserve a good grade on.

As you ramp up your hiring process in prep for the upcoming New Year’s rush, keep these questions in mind. In addition, what other questions could be added?

The questions you ask are important — no one wants a club filled with employees who think failure is just failure.

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