What is a growth mindset and how do you develop it?
Amidst the daily changes in the world of work, there has never been a better time for employees to develop skills that will help them better handle the challenges of their workplace.
This is where the idea of a “growth mindset” comes in: the belief that workers can actively improve their skills, rather than being inherently capable or incapable of completing certain tasks.
However, this “can-do” mentality can be harder to overcome than it seems. Achieving it means accepting obstacles, learning from criticism and sticking with it when the going gets tough.
Although we believe it is worth cultivating perseverance, Doubts and fears may dominate practice.
“We’re hardwired to trust our emotions,” says Elaine Elliott-Moscow, a Princeton, New Jersey-based psychologist and author of The Growth Mindset Workbook.
“When a person says ‘I feel inadequate,’ even if it’s a belief about your abilities, that feeling is very powerful.”
At the heart of growth mindset Learn to overcome feelings of inadequacy or inadequacy in the face of obstacles And, instead, recognize an opportunity to learn.
Developing this approach can have profound benefits. Employees with a growth mindset can use a set of skills that help them manage stress, build supportive relationships with coworkers, cope with failure, and develop traits that help them move forward in their careers.
What is a growth mindset?
Growth mindset first emerged as a theory in education in 1988.
“It had to be done Why do smart children face difficulties beyond their abilities? Real,” says Elliott-Moscow.
A student’s attitude to challenge rather than their inherent ability is the key determinant of success. In other words, our perceptions of how capable we are of doing something can have a significant impact on the outcome of a task.
Stanford psychologist and professor Carol Dweck boils it down to two approaches that can determine outcomes: “Fixed Mindset” and “Growth Mindset”.
“A fixed mindset is the view that your abilities are either high or low, and there’s not much you can do to change that,” explains Elliott-Moscow, “whereas a growth mindset is the view that your abilities are malleable or changeable.” .
Although some people naturally lean towards one side over the other, it is true that people do not have a fixed or growth mindset for all issues.
Instead, approaching the challenge with a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset is a choice anyone can make.
However, for many Difficult moments often trigger a fixed mindset.
For example, says Elliott-Moscow, when people take criticism from a boss or struggle with a new task, they can feel a sense of inadequacy. In these situations, she says, a standard mindset response is “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do it.”
In contrast, the growth mindset approach takes a different approach to the same situation.
People with a growth mindset don’t interpret these moments as personal failures, quite the opposite They realize the need to improve.
Essentially, people who work with a growth mindset believe they can make progress and break down challenges into achievable steps.
This means Get out of your comfort zone and accept a certain level of riskUncertainty and the potential for failure of a new venture.
“It feels a bit uncomfortable and a bit exciting,” says Isabella Venor, a London-based mindset coach who helps professionals understand the role their beliefs, values and thought patterns play in the workplace.
“You run the risk of it going wrong, but you can learn something and grow as an individual.”
Because it matters?
A “can-do” attitude is an advantage in the workplace: it shows that workers are adaptable and willing to evolve within their jobs and organizations.
But developing a growth mindset plays an important role in helping employees navigate turbulence and improve their sensitivity to become more confident and capable of handling difficulties.
This is necessary at this time Many employees are struggling for their well-being after the pandemic.
Gallup’s 2022 State of the Workforce report shows that stress among global workers has risen steadily since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
A similar global survey by the Well-Being Program shows that resilience is particularly low in 2022 There is a risk of burning, especially in the middle That they are not Managers.
“People become stressed because the pressures of work and life combine,” says Venur. “Business leaders recognize that their employees struggle to cope with everyday challenges.”
A growth mindset not only provides a framework for meeting challenges, but also a way to break those challenges down into manageable steps.
“Often, when we feel stressed when we don’t have a growth mindset, we tend to focus on things we can’t control,” says Venur. “It’s more useful to focus on what we can affect.”
It starts when workers identify They can come up with a plan to improve personal strengths and areas of weakness that they can use.
Taking a hands-on approach can help overcome high levels of stress and help workers set boundaries, which many remote workers struggle to do.
For example, “if your boss gives you an unrealistic task, it’s easy to say you’re not sure about the timing or that you need an extra meeting to get more clarity,” says Venur.
“Because you’re confident in your abilities, you don’t see weaknesses as something you can punish yourself for. You’re able to say, ‘I need some support here.'”
It is possible to practice a growth mindset individually, but if an organization encourages the entire workforce to adopt it, the results will be even more powerful.
“Encourage people to pay attention Feedback Instead of failureIt can help motivate employees to tackle challenging projects and create a culture of integrated learning.
Studies show that this is what most workers want: In a 2022 McKinsey & Company study, 41% of workers said a lack of career growth and advancement was the main reason they left a job.
How can you improve your growth mindset?
The first step to developing a growth mindset is self-awareness: the ability to recognize a fixed mindset when it occurs, which often manifests as feelings of discomfort or inadequacy when faced with a challenge.
First, Eliot-Moscow advises not to punish yourself for such feelings, but to acknowledge and accept them. “Then make another conscious decision to take an action in line with what you would do if you had a growth mindset: the belief that you can increase your abilities,” she says.
Venour often helps clients overcome obstacles with a growth mindset Break down challenges that feel big into smaller parts.
For example, if a worker feels unable to deliver a presentation in front of colleagues, ask, “How much of that is emotional and how much is real?” he asks.
“Can you speak? Yes. Have you spoken in front of more than one person before? Yes. Have you done presentation slides before? Yes. Are you comfortable?”
Minimize the big challenge to a certain difficulty It helps workers focus and reduces the required learning elements to an achievable level.
Learning itself should often ask for help. One of the key concepts of a growth mindset is viewing others as inspiration rather than competition, an approach that helps foster collaborative teams.
“If workers see others as resources and Unlike competitors“They are open to sharing the skills and abilities of others and learning from their colleagues,” says Elliott-Moscow.
Over time, recognizing a fixed mindset and practicing a growth mindset will become easier, and facing challenges will become less daunting.
“A growth mindset is an empowering approach,” says Venur. “You can really grow and grow as a person over time.”
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