Growth mindset for success

Graham Andrewartha| Director| MCA group

Success at work is something everyone strives for, but it can often be difficult to achieve. Having a growth mindset and the right attitude can make reaching success much easier. It is possible to develop the right mindset that can help you stay motivated and on track towards achieving your goals. Cynics dismiss a ‘growth mindset for success’ as merely ‘positive thinking’.  However, as we will see, it is a far more practical and comprehensive approach. It is not a mantra but a habit to build. It is a quality that you will be able to summon when you need it the most.

A growth mindset is like planting a tree: it takes time and effort to nurture the tree so that it can grow strong and tall, but with patience and dedication, it will achieve its full potential.

We were coaching Sarina, an executive in a large accounting firm, who was clever and a high performer. Privately she revealed she was often plagued with negativity and fixed thinking; she had an underlying belief that failure was inevitable. While achieving the firm’s goals she was impacting her wellbeing considerably. In our sessions she started learning about growth mindsets, which significantly transformed her comfort as a leader. Sarina noticed how the things which used to overwhelm her no longer felt insurmountable – they were a challenge, sure, but one that meant improvement and growth rather than fear of failure. Unsurprisingly her performance moved from excellent to superb.

Read more about our ways of helping you grow your growth mindset.

Let’s look at how having a growth mindset can lead to success at work, and offer some tips on how to create this positive outlook.

What is a growth mindset?

Let’s start with a definition. The term ‘growth mindset’ was coined by psychologist Carol Dweck in her book Mindset, which has sold more than 2 million copies. She argues that we all have an inherent set of beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. Dweck said, The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome.” 

A person with a growth mindset believes that their basic qualities are things they can cultivate through their efforts. They believe that anyone can change and grow through application and hard work. On the other hand, people with a fixed mindset believe their qualities are unchangeable. They believe that talent alone creates success – without effort. They are afraid of change and failure.

A leadership growth mindset motivates and encourages others in the team. It builds inclusion and morale.

How do you develop this mindset?

 Effort and expectation are the key ingredients.  Carol Dweck said, “Hard work alone is not enough to develop a growth mindset. People need to believe that their hard work will pay off.” 

Five things to help you develop a growth mindset:

  • Executive coaching is an effective approach. The coach will assist you to increase your level of self awareness which is fundamental to being more open.
  • Develop your belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. You will discover that you can change and grow through hard work and dedication.
  • Reframe those old rules you lug around about failure and inadequacy.
  • Don’t hang around with negative thinkers; get support from positive colleagues.
  • Be patient and self respectful.

What are the benefits of having an growth mindset?

A growth mindset:

  • Helps you to be more resilient in the face of failure and to bounce back quicker. If you have a fixed mindset, then when things go wrong it is difficult for you to reframe the situation.
  • Is more fluid and open to change.
  • Helps you to be more comfortable with the idea of making mistakes. It also helps you to be more open to learning from your mistakes.
  • Means that it will be easier for you to embrace new challenges and embrace the idea of being a ‘master’ of something new.

Would you mind if we assisted with your mindset?

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