Growth Mindset at The Workplace
Posted 23 Sep, 2020
Author - Olajumoke Adebisi
Growth Mindset at The Workplace
Every employee in an organization wants to be better than their first day at work, adaptability has always been a key role in workplace success. But it seems like now more than ever, our careers require us to be constantly evolving. Increased automation, AI, and economic trends have made “punching the clock” for 25+ years a thing of the past. This might seem like a scary thought on the surface. But personal and professional growth has always meant wading into the murky areas and exploring, trying, failing, and learning.
We are one of these two types:
Growth Mindset: People with a growth mindset believe abilities like talent and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. They are more likely to enjoy learning, seek out situations to experiment, and see failure as an opportunity to grow.
Fixed Mindset: Those with a fixed mindset believe the opposite. They feel they “are who they are” and were born with a set level of talent, intelligence, and even interests. Because of this, they’re more likely to seek out opportunities and situations where these views are affirmed (like doing the same job over and over to receive praise) and believe that talent alone not effort is the source of success.
As Dweck writes in her book:
The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
A growth mindset does not just help you thrive in difficult situations. It also gives you the freedom to push the limits of your abilities, find more Flow, and develop your skills, “resilience and fail-forward perseverance attributed to the growth mindset.”
How to develop a growth mindset at work
If this all sounds a little high-level, that is because it is. It’s not easy to think about how you think, so while awareness is a good first step, we also need to be constantly mindful that we’re taking a growth approach to our work.
Here is how you can do that:
1.      Understand the power of “Not Yet”
If your job is little more than jumping through hoops, it’s going to be difficult to embrace a growth mindset. Binaries (pass/fail, right/wrong) are a breeding ground for fixed mindsets and should be avoided at all costs.
2.      Set learning goals vs. performance goals

How you set goals can obviously influence the mindset you bring to work.
Research shows that people with fixed mindsets are more likely to set performance goals (like moving a metric or hitting a KPI) instead of learning goals (like bettering your skills). It might seem like not a big deal but focusing on performance goals defers to short-term thinking and makes you feel like you either pass or fail. And when you do fail, it can be devastating.
3.      Use deliberate practice

Deliberate practice is a technique where you use a systematic approach to building skills. Rather than just going through the motions, it means going into each session with a specific, challenging goal, getting constant feedback, and adapting and trying new ways to get better.
While a fixed mindset isn’t comfortable being put in a place beyond their comfort zone, a growth mindset revels in it. It promotes challenge and learning over raw talent.
4.      Ask for improvement feedback
We all love praise. But too much of it can make us fall into a fixed mindset. We fall back on the idea that we’re naturally talented and forget that the best way to get better at new skills is to learn from your mistakes.
When you finish a project, ask for feedback on what you can do to improve. Not just whether the work was good or bad. Dig deep into areas that could’ve been improved or different paths you could’ve taken.
5.      Regularly re-visit and re-assess your long-term goals
A growth mindset requires connecting our work to a bigger purpose. And the only way to do this is to be aware of your long-term goals and have a plan in mind. To stay on track, set time aside to go over your goals and make sure they’re aligned with your work.
Take a minute to really think about the way you approach your work and your interests. Do you really believe you can grow? Or are you stuck in a fixed mentality?
Our careers, like our lives, are always changing, evolving, and growing. And we need to keep up with them if we don’t want to be left behind.
Source: RescueTime
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