The way of thinking and attitude a person adopts is what speaks for their success or failure in life. Our success at school, extracurricular activities, work or within the sphere of our family life are all affected by how we perceive our self in terms of our skills, talents and abilities.
Our mindset is the view we adopt of our self, our way of thinking and our opinions and this vision is strongly influenced by our parents initially and later our teachers. The mindset we assume in turn, then has a deep and profound impact on how we learn and on which direction we take in our lives.
Recent studies by Carol Dweck reveal that there are two types of mindsets: FIXED and GROWTH :
A person with a “Fixed mindset” believes that qualities like character, talent and creative ability are static; you either have them or you don’t and they are unchanging. On the other hand, those with a “Growth mindset” believe that these important qualities can be improved upon, mastered and changed.
What is really key here is that those people with a fixed mindset, who believe that their abilities are unchanging are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset, who believe that abilities can be developed. It is thus, that in practical life our Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers and managers, can use this idea to encourage and promote outstanding accomplishment in all stages of our lives.
At work there is no doubt that the growth mindset is more vital to your success and if you are in the role of a Manager to the success of your team. Some pointers follow which will show you how it varies from the fixed mindset at the workplace.
- SELF IMPROVEMENT – Being open to feedback is an area which is avoided by those with a fixed mindset. They are unable to see their areas which may require improvement and even take negative feedback as a personal attack. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset accept that advice or even criticism is not a personal attack designed to harm them, but is in fact an opportunity to learn about themselves and improve.
- RESPONSIBILITY ACCEPTANCE – With the inner desire to improve, growth mindset people are mature and are ready to accept responsibility for self actions and also the acceptance of additional responsibilities at work They are pushed forward by a desire to accept new challenges and expand their experiences leading to growth in their lives. Those with a fixed minded approach tend to draw away from accepting additional responsibility and just want things to remain as is.
- WILLING TO ACCEPT CHALLENGES – Since they believe in fate and have an overall fatalistic view of their life and the world in general, fixed minded people will always accept things as they are and never try to change a situation. However those people with a growth mindset have a sense of free will and enjoy the ability to act without constraint. They are always ready to embrace new challenges and tend to believe that they can do better at their jobs and for their family.
- RELATIONSHIP BUILDING – Perfect, harmonious relationships are desired by those with a fixed mindset. Having an ideal boss or wife at home who makes them feel perfect with nothing to improve upon is their desire. For those with a growth mindset, however, feedback is welcomed, they want a manager who provides them with criticism or praise as appropriate, points out their required areas of focus and helps them to work on them and also learn new things . At home their spouse is ready to challenge them to become a better father and human being. All of the above makes for much more satisfying, healthier and happier relationships.
- BELIEF IN SELF – Those with a fixed mindset do not make the effort to learn or work on an area they are convinced they are lousy at. They do not move away from a negative confirmation to a positive attitude. On the other side those with a growth mindset believe that basic qualities of an individual including intelligence can be built up and made stronger if they work on it and make the effort to improve.
During my career in HR common observations made were that employees who had a growth mindset were the ones who ultimately took on leading roles in the organization or outside. Visibility of such employees was apparent and their skills and abilities spoke for themselves and were apparent to senior management.
Who does not want to be successful ? What we need to know, acknowledge and focus on is that the best way to do so is to get started by developing a growth mindset. It is only with a growth mindset revolution that you can be successful. One way you may adapt is to identify in which areas you may have fixed mindset tendencies and then you can start working on those to become more growth minded.
We live in a constantly changing world in which we need to keep up with what’s happening in our professional fields. In order to do so it’s important to upgrade skills and consistently carry out self-assessments to evaluate our self and focus on becoming the person we want to be.
“If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards”- Paul Bryant