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5 Ways Businesses Can Benefit From a Growth Mindset

Motivational speakers often talk about having a growth mindset—but what is it, and how can adopting such a mindset improve your organization? Let’s dive into the topic and discuss what sets people with a growth mindset apart from those who are more fixed in their outlooks.

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Growth mindset: a definition

The most common growth mindset definition is the one that was proposed by Stanford professor Carol Dweck, who wrote the book “Mindset.” She describes the term as follows:

“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”

This is in contrast to those who have a fixed mindset, who believe that a person’s abilities are innate. Those with a growth mindset place a lot of importance on effort, persistence and learning.

Growth mindset examples

Some of the main growthmindset characteristics are:

  • A belief that achievements can be attributed to effort, rather than simply talent
  • A willingness to learn from mistakes
  • An ability to see value in criticism
  • The belief that it’s possible to develop intelligence and ability
  • Willingness to take on challenges
  • An ability to ask questions or admit if you don’t know something

Looking for candidates who show these traits in job interviews can help you identify individuals who would be an asset to your team.

Read More: Sample Interview Questions to Help Hire the Best Candidates

How your business can benefit from a growth mindset

A growth mindset can help a business thrive. Take a look at five key ways in which a growth mindset can make a positive difference.

1. Increased resiliency when faced with setbacks

When people have a growth mindset they’re more likely to keep trying and improving even when things go wrong. Those with a fixed mindset are at risk of falling into the trap of thinking that since they haven’t got things right so far, they have no chance of succeeding.

A growth mindset helps people stay focused and make the changes required to overcome adversity and reach their goals. Employees with a growth mindset can be dependable as remote workers because they’re more likely to seek out advice and admit if they’re struggling.

2. Increased adaptability to a changing environment

Employees who have a growth mindset may be more excited about change, perceiving it as an opportunity to grow or improve. This outlook can be advantageous in the modern and rapidly evolving economy. It makes a growth mindset a useful trait for anyone who wishes to work in a fast-paced environment.

3. A willingness to try new things

Individuals with a growth mindset are often more open to learning new skills and considering new ways of doing things.

In the workplace, there is a lot to be said for respecting experience and learning why certain procedures or processes are in place. However, it’s also useful to be open-minded and to consider whether new technologies or systems could help your team work more quickly or offer better service.

Those who have a growth mindset are less intimidated by the idea of trying something new and can help your business get ahead or stay ahead of the competition.

4. A more positive attitude when things go wrong

Even the most skilled and hardworking employees occasionally make a mistake. Sometimes, events outside of someone’s control can derail hard work and cause a major setback to a project.

Those who have a growth mindset aren’t as scared of failure. They’re more willing to pick themselves up, learn from what went wrong and see the setback as an opportunity to try again.

When leaders have a growth mindset, this positive attitude can be passed on to employees. Workers then become less scared of failure themselves because they know they’re unlikely to be punished for a sincere effort. This creates a more positive working environment.

5. Steady and consistent improvement

Rather than becoming complacent when they’ve been with a company for a long time, those who have a growth mindset are always eager to learn. These are the employees who are likely to spend any downtime they have at work focusing on improving their skills.

The idea of neuroplasticity has become popular among many scientists in recent years. Those who subscribe to this area of science believe that the brain is constantly reshaping itself and that it’s possible for the brain to change itself, even to the extent of repairing damage, with diligent thought and exercise.

Norman Doidge, who popularized the idea of neuroplasticity, has documented many examples of people overcoming the odds and performing great feats such as teaching themselves to walk again after a stroke or reversing the symptoms of Parkinson’s in old age.

Those with a growth mindset approach difficult challenges with optimism and a believe they can succeed. They don’t assume they’re “too old” to learn a new skill or that they lack the ability to learn something just because they’ve been struggling with that subject so far.

How to foster a growth mindset in your organization

Helping your employees develop a growth mindset can be good for the long-term growth of your organization. One of the key ways you can achieve this is through leading by example.

Encourage your employees to be creative, and give them the leeway to find their own ways of getting things done. If they make mistakes, focus on finding ways to fix the mistakes rather than punishing them for trying something new. Over time, this will help boost the confidence of your employees. When they know they won’t be punished for offering up creative ideas, they’ll be more likely to think outside of the box when searching for solutions to difficult problems.

Reward effort and resourcefulness. Be open to suggestions and try to avoid falling prey to the “perfect solution fallacy.” If an employee suggests a change that will improve a difficult situation or make a job easier, don’t dismiss that suggestion just because it still has some problems.

Give your employees the time and freedom to learn new things, and be patient while they’re learning. Accept that sometimes people will make mistakes when they’re doing a job that’s new to them. As long as they’re improving a little every day, that progress is worthwhile. If new employees are struggling to get up to speed, consider whether the issue is really with them or whether your employee onboarding process could be improved.

Encourage interdisciplinary learning and collaboration. Having employees with skills that span departments helps those departments communicate more effectively, and can be beneficial for the whole organization.

With a growth mindset, anything is possible

People with a growth mindset are resourceful, adaptable, resilient and a valuable asset to any organization. By rewarding effort and encouraging people to try new things, you can foster a growth mindset in your organization and benefit from the positivity such employees bring to your team.

Frequently asked questions about growth mindsets

What is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset is the idea that it’s possible to learn new skills and increase your ability, even if you find something difficult when you first start. People with a growth mindset believe effort and consistency is more important than raw talent.

What is the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset?

Those with a growth mindset believe it’s possible to improve on your abilities and talents with effort. Those with a field mindset consider traits such as intelligence or talent to be innate traits that cannot be changed.

What are the key ingredients to a growth mindset?

The key ingredients of a growth mindset are working through obstacles, valuing effort, embracing challenge and learning from criticism.

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