In 2007, world-renowned psychologist Carol Dweck released a book titled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
In her book, Dweck draws on years of research to argue that the success we achieve in life is directly linked with our mindset. It’s not the result of innate talents and abilities, but rather how we think about our talents and abilities.
Dweck’s work has shaped the way people and organisations approach learning and performance, and has gained widespread recognition in schools and psychology settings.
However, the workplace is lagging behind – which I feel is very unfortunate. Especially since when I explore it in coaching sessions, it blows people’s minds and often leads to a total shift in perception!
“Growth” vs “fixed” mindset
The key lesson in Dweck’s book is the concept of a “fixed” mindset and a “growth” mindset.
People with a fixed mindset assume their abilities are what they are. You either have it or you don’t, and if you don’t there’s not much point in trying to change.
In the workplace, people with a fixed mindset may have a deep fear of failure and will rarely set ambitious goals. They also see feedback as criticism and are less likely to take it on than someone with a growth mindset.
People with a growth mindset believe their abilities and talents can be improved with effort. They invest in learning and growth, and seem less concerned with how intelligent others think they are.
In the workplace, they’re more willing to ask questions and speak up when they don’t know the answer. They’re also more likely to choose harder assignments and expect a degree of setback or potential failure in order to grow.
For managers, promoting a culture of growth mindset in the workplace requires rewarding productive effort, learning and progress. Essentially:
It’s about celebrating the journey, not just the destination.
7 tips for cultivating a growth mindset
Do you have a growth mindset? Are there ways you could challenge your beliefs about your talents and abilities as we prepare to welcome in a new year?
As a starting point, here are 7 tips to help you cultivate a growth mindset for 2021:
Dig deep and challenge your inner beliefs about your abilities
Seek out feedback and then consider it objectively
See failure as an opportunity to grow
Develop a love for learning
Take on new challenges with excitement
Forget trying to be the smartest person in the room – learn to ask the right questions
Embrace that it takes hard work to achieve and succeed
Practice: Asking for feedback
Asking for feedback can feel confronting for many people. Instead of saying “What can I do better?” try this practice instead…
Ask 1 person below, beside and above you at work to tell you:
3 things that make you great
2 things you could be doing to help you kick new goals
1 thing you could stop doing
This is a safe and highly effective way to get advice from others, and makes it easier to accept people’s insights in the spirit in which they are intended (to help you learn and grow).
As we all prepare to take a much deserved break, I’d like to thank everyone I have had the pleasure of working with this year.
Despite all the craziness, I’ve had many wonderful conversations, met many inspiring people, and helped many clients kick some seriously impressive goals.
As you prepare to say goodbye to 2020 and move into 2021, try to take with you a fresh mindset too. And if you ever need a little help, please reach out and book a free 15 minute coaching session with me.