Have you heard references to a ‘growth mindset’ in business or education? This novel way of approaching problems can yield innovative solutions, but it takes some work. We’ll look at the growth mindset definition below, along with how to develop a growth mindset of your own.
Growth mindset definition
The term ‘growth mindset’ was coined by a professor of psychology at Stanford University named Carol Dweck. This type of mindset approaches life with an open mind and a belief that intelligence or talents are not predetermined. The human brain isn’t static, and thus is capable of changing, growing, and improving over time.
In the business world, this translates into a company culture that seeks out new challenges and accepts failure as a part of the growth process. It’s better to try and fail than not to try at all, because you are bound to learn something useful in the attempt.
Fixed vs. growth mindset
When talking about growth mindsets, you’ll often see them compared to a fixed mindset. The difference between a fixed vs. growth mindset definition boils down to the following:
Growth mindset: Believes that individuals can develop their abilities through hard work and dedication.
Fixed mindset: Believes that an individual’s basic skills and talents are inherent fixed traits.
Someone with a fixed mindset wouldn’t see the point in continuing to develop their talents. For example, you might think thoughts like “I’m just not good with numbers” or “I’m too old to learn coding.”
With a growth mindset, you’d keep an open mind when it comes to growing your wealth of knowledge – no matter your age, experience level, or current skill set.
What are the benefits of a growth mindset?
There are plenty of benefits to cultivating a growth mindset.
You recognise that hard work is difficult, but achievable. While someone with a fixed mindset might give up, a business owner with a growth mindset will persevere when the going gets tough.
Growth mindsets are flexible, which means your business becomes more agile and adaptive. When a situation changes, you look for ways to work round it.
You’ll be more open to possibilities that might be written off as impossible under a fixed mindset. When a new opportunity presents itself, you’ll think about how you can rise to the occasion.
You’ll be more creative when problems arise. Can you upskill, learn a new technique, or devise an innovative approach to find a solution?
In all of these growth mindset examples, it’s important to keep an open mind. In doing so, you’ll be open to new possibilities, strategies, and collaborations – all of which can grow your business.
How to develop a growth mindset
So, now that we’ve covered the plentiful benefits of a growth mindset, how do you get started? Here are a few tips to follow in your business life.
1. Become a lifelong learner
Learning is central to the growth mindset definition, and this is particularly true in today’s rapidly changing business world. Growth mindset examples here might include embracing new technologies at work or even putting a learning management system into place for your employees. Keep up to date on the latest industry articles, journals, seminars, and other content. Build a library of knowledge that employees can access to grow their own skill set, keeping your business poised at the forefront of its industry.
2. Celebrate your colleagues’ achievements
Envy should have no place in those with a growth mindset. When colleagues achieve success, everyone wins. Try to look for ways to celebrate these achievements company-wide, inspiring others to seek similar ways to improve. At the same time, focusing on what others have achieved can set unrealistic expectations; growth comes from within.
3. Accept personal responsibility
You oversee your internal drive and motivation. Part of this is accepting responsibility for your own actions. When you make mistakes, own them and think about what you can do next time to avoid them. This is key for entrepreneurs and business owners. Your employees are holding you up as an example, so show them what growth and accountability look like.
4. Embrace the transformative power of failure
Finally, accept that failure is part of the growth process. If you haven’t tried and failed, have you truly tried your best? In business, you want to push yourself to the limits of what’s possible to change and grow. At the same time there’s no need to dwell on failures. Accept them and move on, learning from your mistakes.
Embedding a growth mindset into your company culture inspires employees to do their best, taking on new skills and opportunities for unlimited potential.
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