The Growth Mindset on the Job

Alison MindsetLast week, HMATime introduced the concept of the “fixed mindset,” based on my recent HMA Book Club selection, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.”

If you remember from the post (available here), someone who has a tendency toward a fixed mindset feels that he or she must always be perfect; never ask for help; get things done fast; and make them look easy every single day.

As you can imagine, it can be exhausting – especially at work.

But, there is a solution.

It is called the “growth mindset.”

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]People who tend toward the growth mindset believe that one’s basic qualities are simply a jumping off point. [/inlinetweet]They believe in cultivating their skills for the long haul. And they – gasp – are okay with what might be considered “failure.”  They are also – double gasp – okay with the idea of being what some might consider “ordinary.”

Now, if you read both the above and last week’s blog post about this, you are probably saying to yourself, “Wait a minute! I am totally a combination of both mindsets!”

And you are right. While the majority of individuals possess a little of both the fixed and growth mindsets at any given time, chances are you lean more toward one than the other.

So, how do you marry the best of both worlds at work?

  1. Practice the “catch and release” technique. Now that you know how to spot “fixed” thinking, acknowledge it and let it go.
  2. Take a dose of reality once in a while. Famed business visionary Jack Welch was famous for putting on an expensive suit and then visiting various GE plants, eventually getting soaked in oil and dirt by day’s end. Do the same – get out and talk to the entire team. Get dirty with them.
  3. Have the courage to welcome new ideas regardless of their source. It is true – good ideas come from more than just you!
  4. When mentoring others, present all skills as learnable over and over – don’t make it seem like your team has to say “sorry” when they make a mistake while learning.
  5. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Ask for feedback on your feedback – are you really giving constructive criticism or nitpicking?[/inlinetweet]
  6. If working with a boss – provide feedback. Explain how you learn best. Ask for feedback in a way that makes you understand it best.
  7. Don’t be a manager – be a resource for learning.
  8. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Always remind your team – your business puts a value on learning, not just getting things done.[/inlinetweet]
  9. Don’t reaffirm yourself by putting down others.
  10. Never let your workplace fall into “group think.”
Written by
at Jul 7, 2015

Share this article