Today I want to talk about the topic "developing a growth mindset" that is more closely related to previously released articles as "Working In Periods Of Sprint And Rest" and "Make Time - Optimise Yourself & Work On Your Someday Project" that reveal you opportunities to optimise your handling of work, increase your efficiency as well as motivate you to develop and get better steadily. Developing a growth mindset allows people to achieve even higher levels of satisfaction and performance in both their personal and professional lives. In this article, you will learn how to grow and embrace the growth process. And how your personal growth can benefit you and your organisation.
The Growth Mindset
Researcher and professor at Stanford University, Dr Carol Dweck, first came up with the concept of a growth mindset in her crucial contribution to social psychology, her 2006 book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success". Since then, it has been adopted by everyone from school administrators, to business executives, to professional athletes. According to Dweck, it is the belief that skills and intelligence can be grown and developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from others. It's the fact that you know that you can do better. Those with a growth mindset tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset. Because they focus less on looking smart, and more on learning and growing. It is about getting better.
It's always about a growth mind-set.
NBA champion LeBron James, quoted by the New York Post
People with a fixed mindset maintain the belief that skills and intelligence are predetermined. They are irrationally concerned with being right and looking good in front of others. The fixed mindset encourages you to avoid mistakes at all costs, and views challenges as road blocks and barriers. It pigeonholes what success is and who can achieve it.
Conversely, a key characteristic of the growth mindset asserts that skills and knowledge can be and are developed. The learning process requires time and effort. Further characteristics are that it treats mistakes as learning opportunities and the challenges that mistakes generate simply as obstacles that need to be overcome. A growth mind-set focuses on ''yet''. Sentences of a person with that mind-set would be for example "I have not learned this yet" or "I may not be able to do this yet, but I can work hard and get better".
Research in brain science has proven that our brains grow and evolve constantly. We can and do create new neural pathways throughout our lives. This ability is called neuroplasticity, and studies are conclusive that with effort, we can continue to learn and grow skills and talent, even if we don't entirely believe it yet. A growth mind-set encourages achieving ever higher levels of potential and performance, even if you haven't gotten all the way there yet.
Setting Your Mind on Growth
Adopting a growth mindset is a way of approaching work and life that encourages risk-taking, learning from mistakes, and trying again with a better idea of what's necessary for overcoming the obstacles. But just knowing what it promises isn't enough. It means that you should choose difficult tasks that force you out of your comfort zone and focus on the process and effort to master them. Besides, it implies trying different approaches and strategies until you find the one that works. Overall, it is about choosing to persist and overcome setbacks during your development path.
Walt Disney was once fired from a job for lacking imagination and having no good ideas. Long before it was called a growth mindset, he embodied it, learning from his setbacks and trying again and again. The point is to do the best you can today, knowing that there are always opportunities for improvement so that you can be better tomorrow. The trick is to stop competing against the world and instead to compete only against yourself. Moreover, it is essential not just to celebrate the victory as you succeed but also celebrate the actions and the processes that led to your success.
A few additional vital habits that foster a long-term growth mindset needs to be developed:
- Welcome feedback. Developmental feedback is where you receive ideas and opinions from others about how you can adjust your approach and improve performance. Another part of the feedback process is to seek out and talk to new people and try new things. New voices and insights can stimulate your creativity, and encourage you to try new approaches.
- Learn to value the process over the end result. Enjoy the journey and welcome the learning process and do not mind if it continues beyond a defined time frame or leads somewhere unexpected. Learn to embrace uncertainty.
Growth Mindset Workplace Culture
A growth mindset is a powerful tool for developing and improving skills and talents. Microsoft, for example, offers an annual hackathon. Doing so, they are providing employees with a chance to step outside of their regular jobs and develop leadership skills by launching projects with business or social merit, building business plans and prototypes, and pitching them company-wide. They also back and reward employee-generated high-risk projects, often promoting these project leaders. The Key is creating a safe environment for taking risks and making mistakes. Organisations that support a growth mindset encourage appropriate risk-taking, even knowing that some risks won't work out. They welcome employees pursuing new approaches. And even when it doesn't work, they appreciate useful lessons learned. They value mistakes as opportunities for growing and improving. They give their people personal control over their learning, provide a way to monitor progress, and provide opportunities for reflection. These companies also support collaboration across organisational boundaries, rather than competition among employees or units. That leads to a sense of shared learning as employees work together, pool their knowledge, and foster a sense of group commitment.
Research has shown that adopting and utilising a growth mindset on the job leads to higher levels of satisfaction and engagement. People invested in their learning, growth, and development, are generally more involved in their work and demonstrate a greater interest in and capacity for innovation and collaboration.
Sharing and modelling a growth mindset at work, helps both you and your teammates achieve greater satisfaction and higher levels of productivity.