“I didn’t get the promotion because I’m not great at public speaking.”
“I’m not good at maths—I’m not a numbers person.”
These are the inner voices of a fixed mindset—it’s the voice that believes that talents and intelligence are fixed traits. You’re either born with it or not. This mindset relies on natural talent without hard work for success.
Not only is this fixed mindset untrue, but it’s the go-to excuse for road-blocks and difficult challenges that remain unsolved.
Carol S. Dweck is a Stanford psychology professor credited with coining the term growth mindset. In the TedTalk, Dweck explains that success is not based on talent alone. Success manifests out of grit, effort, and self-improvement.
People who demonstrated a growth mindset are likely to become successful. These people are accountable for their personal growth and find opportunities to improve skills.
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.’
Job applicants that demonstrate a growth mindset will not only get ahead with hiring managers and recruiters—they tend to flourish in roles that foster development.
3 ways you can harness your growth mindset:
Compete with yourself
Compete with yourself to develop a better version of you. Keep track of your professional and personal goals and find ways to make yourself better at what you do.
If you’re mindful of what works for you, you’ll be better at harnessing your focus for future roadblocks.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. What’s important is not how we rank up against each other, but how we’ve improved on ourselves.
Never stop learning
Just because you’re out of school, doesn’t mean you should ever stop learning new skills. There are so many ways to learn about virtually any skill or subject thanks to the internet.
You can read books, take classes, listen to podcasts, and read blogs will help you keep informed on relevant news in your industry. These resources are also amazing in helping you build an understanding of areas of weakness.
Learn from your failure
“Don’t look where you fell but where you slipped.”
A fixed mindset inner voice will tell you that you failed because you’re “not cut-out for it.” Replace that full stop with “yet.”
You’re not cut-out for it yet.
What could you do next time to ensure you can’t fail. Look at the areas in your performance that could be tweaked, practised, or prepare more for.
3 ways you can foster a growth mindset environment at the office as a leader:
Offer career development and coaching
Know your team members’ goals for their career paths and work out a plan to help them get there. Your employees will be grateful for it and you setting up for your company’s success for the long term.
Hold one-on-one meetings to make sure you’re providing enough support to help them keep on track.
Schedule team workshops
Education is an investment in the team and the company. Bring in a social media expert to teach the team how they can contribute to the company’s social media presence.
You can also offer to pay or partially pay for classes outside of the office for people who show interest and potential in a certain skill.
Praise for effort not skill
Praise the process rather than the outcome alone. We should recognise the effort people put into their work. This encourages persistence and demonstrates that effort is appreciated.
These praises sound like:
“That didn’t go perfectly, but you’re definitely on the right track. Let’s see what we can do to make it go even better next time.”
“Hey, you finished that project much more quickly this time. You must have worked really hard.”
“Great job! I can tell you put a lot of time into that.”
Risk, frustration, and occasional failure are expected hurdles in the pursuit of success. Trusting the process is the main lesson of having a growth mindset.