“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” (Carol S. Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University)
People with a fixed mindset believe their traits, intelligence and talents are set in stone. Either I am smart and able to understand most things, or I am not too smart and have difficulty understanding some things. One’s traits and brain smarts are just givens.
People with a growth mindset believe their traits, intelligence and talents can be developed through effort, practice, and dedication to improve. I may be brainy, but I can learn and do more if I put in the effort.
Carol S. Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, who is known for her work on the mindset psychological trait, contends “the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.”
If you believe your qualities are set in stone – fixed mindset – then you try to prove yourself over and over. “Will I succeed or fail?” “Will I look smart or dumb?” “Will I be accepted or rejected?” “Is that a stupid question or a smart question?” As a result, you may not ask the question, take the risk to fail or succeed, or be creative in ways that are uncomfortable.
If you believe your qualities are not set in stone – growth mindset – then you attempt to cultivate your traits and intelligence through your efforts. Change is seen as growth and experimentation. Taking risks will provide learning and understanding. You may not see yourself as a super star, but your true potential is unknown and ready to be explored.
So, what does this all mean for us in the workplace?
- If you are a leader, learn how to nurture a growth mindset.
- If you are a manager, believe that people can improve and that their abilities are not set in stone. Help people move from a fixed to a growth mindset.
- Be self-aware of which belief dictates your life and realize you are not doomed to a fixed mindset.
I leave you with this quote from the end of the following YouTube clip Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset
“No matter where a person is now, they can always improve with effort, good strategies, and help.”
Are you ready to nurture a growth mindset? I can help. Let’s talk – Contact Kevin.