Developing a Growth Mindset

The Role of Mindset

When coaching and developing your team, it’s essential to operate with a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. Understanding of personal and team ability (both now and in the future) is heavily influenced by mindsets, or beliefs, about whether a person’s abilities are fixed or whether they can be developed.

A “fixed mindset” refers to people who view their skills and talents as qualities they either possess or lack. People with a “growth mindset,” in contrast, enjoy challenges, strive to learn, and consistently see potential to develop their skills and talents.

Try these tips to develop a growth mindset:

  1. Self-Reflect. Take time to acknowledge and reflect upon your leadership. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t look away from your failures. Embrace them. Learn from them.
  2. Trust yourself. Stop seeking approval from others. Develop your own self-acceptance and self-approval. It’s important that you trust and believe in yourself.
  3. Embrace positivity. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones will help build a growth mindset. When feelings of negativity arise, find replacements such as acceptance, compassion and gratitude.
  4. Set goals. Create clear, realistic goals to develop your skills based on your passion and purpose. It takes time to learn a new skill, so be sure to give yourself enough time to accomplish the goals you have set.
  5. Take on challenges. Part of developing a growth mindset is shattering the negative perception of a challenge. Embrace challenges and view them as learning experiences. Change your perspective to think about a challenge as an opportunity.
  6. Value criticism. Criticism can be valuable because it allows you to see what you are doing from a different perspective than your own. Opening yourself up to suggestions and constructive criticism can help you develop a growth mindset.

Additional Exercises

Reflect on the following questions:

  • Why is believing in and modeling a “growth mindset” critical to your success?
  • How might operating with a “fixed mindset” limit your abilities to succeed in your role?
  • “Employees in a ‘growth mindset’ company are 47% likelier to say that their colleagues are trustworthy.” Based on your learnings from the articles and videos linked below, why might this be the case?
  • How might operating with a “fixed mindset” inadvertently erode trust on your team?

Take the following Growth Mindset Self-Assessment. Read each of the statements and consider whether you strongly agree, agree, are neutral, disagree, or strongly disagree with each one.

  • “We value passion, dedication, growth, and learning, not genius.”
  • “We don’t expect that you’ve arrived here fully formed.”
  • “We care more that you’re ready to learn.”
  • “We expect that you’ll stretch beyond your comfort zone and take reasonable risks.”
  • “We value process and we reward process – taking on big but reasonable challenges.”
  • “We reward tenacity and grit.”
  • “We reward teamwork.”

If you answered, “agree” or “strongly agree” to most questions, that means you are operating with a growth mindset. If not, you may wish to spend more time cultivating a growth mindset.

Further learning:

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