In Mindset Matters Part 1, I discussed the definition of a growth mindset and why it is essential for you and your business. But how can you practice it? Here are a few tips.
Implementing a Growth Mindset daily
1.Your whole goal is not to quit or at least persist for longer
Having a growth mindset is a journey. To develop it, you need to have perseverance. You should have the ability to optimistically overcome setbacks and give yourself the freedom to make mistakes. An 18-week marathon training program certainly taught me this lesson, and there were several things I did to achieve that. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that the higher our input, the higher and the better the output will be. That's just not true. Stamina involves working less but in a more focused way, eating healthy, keeping fit, sleeping well (do not work at night), and getting inspiration from meaningful life experiences.
2.Discomfort is your friend- embrace challenges
If you want to grow, you're going to have to get out of your comfort zone. Pain shouldn't be avoided, but instead embraced.
Challenges should be seen as opportunities. When working on a project, be on the lookout for new ways of doing things. Broaden your learning and embrace changes. Set new goals, but also give yourself ample time to achieve them.
3.Assess if your habits are assets or liabilities and develop new habits
Old habits die hard, but it's not as difficult as you might think it is. As a starting point, identify what you should change for developing a growth mindset and focus more on opportunities.
4.Get out of your bubble and become curious
As Albert Einstein says, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
To keep your focus on growth and learning, become curious. This is one of the essential things that'll help you transition smoothly from a fixed mindset to a growth one.
It's easy to get caught up in a bubble of your ideas which reinforce your own beliefs. We have to work hard to question existing assumptions and seek out new sources of information.
Here are three simple ways I can recommend for staying out of your bubble:
- Read books outside of your usual preference — topics that don't typically get your attention;
- Attend meetings where you meet people outside of your typical customer or client base. For example, if you usually engage with HR of financial institutions, then make it a point to speak to professionals in procurement or support in industries like healthcare or construction;
- Watch and reads news from opposing viewpoints to capture a richer perspective on the world.
Find good mentors who will challenge your fixed mindset. Good mentors don't just tell people what to do, because they know that that's not how people grow. They help you to improve your knowledge and your abilities through dedication, hard work and the thirst for self-improvement.
If you, as a mentee, have a growth mindset and you’re able to find a mentor that can support that, you’re in the perfect place to continue to grow.
How can you help your team move towards a growth mindset?
It is also important to note the significance of cultivating a growth mindset in your team. Leaders need to work on showing the concept that mistakes are not harmful but are rather a way of learning better ways to do things.
The focus of a leader with a growth mindset should always be more on employee mentoring, rather than dictating.
Here are a few tips for cultivating a culture of growth mindset in your team:
Provide actionable, real-time feedback and add growth-focused goal-setting and 360 reviews to your feedback mechanisms. This will help employees in their learning and will keep people on the path of productive effort.
On an individual level, the way we give feedback has some unexpected effects. When people are praised for effort (growth mindset), they tend to work harder. When they’re praised for “being smart” (fixed mindset) they stop. Keeping people in a mindset of growth and learning is to keep them highly productive as well.
Psychologically, Dweck explains that even positive labels can become oppressive in a fixed mindset because "they make flaws intolerable."
Lead by example
Are you leading by example whether you are a leader or not? Are you rewarding and praising others for their efforts? Are you contributing to the broader team with perseverance? Understand, appreciate and put a value on the energy that your colleagues put into their practice. This isn't just how to create a culture of growth mindsets, but it is also a great example of good leadership.
Remember the power of "yet."
When someone says “I can’t”, tell them “you can’t yet”. The word “yet” encourages people to continue on their journey, and to learn from their mistakes.
Going Beyond Talent
A growth mindset is not just about being positive or open-minded but being willing to do the hard work of real learning. Natural talent is a beautiful gift to have, but even talented people need a framework to stay engaged and reach their highest potential. If talented people fall into a fixed mindset, they tend to stop believing in the effort.
It also turns out that regardless of talent, people increasingly want development opportunities where they can build on their existing abilities: 87 percent of millennials consider professional development or career growth opportunities to be very important in a job.
By far, a growth mindset has been one of the most valuable skills in my career and my marathon training. With a mindset of knowing that discomfort is part of the journey, and each day is a lesson and an improvement, I know I can run anywhere and achieve anything I set my mind to.
Keep your head up! You got this!
If you would like me to help you or your team with these concepts, contact me today!
- Article: What Having a “Growth Mindset” Actually Means- Carol Dweck
- Article: Microsoft Using a Growth Mindset
- Article: How companies can profit from a growth mindset
- Video: Carol Dweck: The Power of Yet
- Video: Carol Dweck Talks at Google
- A complete list of Carol Dweck’s Research
- AI Group Podcast: Mindset & Adaptability with Vanessa McCamley
- Book: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
- Book: The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander