(2 minute read)

Extensive research into motivation indicates that a growth mindset – which holds that skills and abilities can be improved in ways that shape the purpose of the work that you do – leads to academic achievement, relational fulfillment, and professional success. (NLI 2021)

Studies into growth mindset began with an insight by Psychologist Carol Dweck into why some schoolchildren got excited about difficult problems while others got anxious. Dweck observed that some kids believed that people were born with a finite amount of intelligence that can’t be changed (fixed mindset), while others thought that intelligence is adaptable or flexible, and can be grown and nurtured through practice (growth mindset). It’s since expanded out of the classroom, to business, relationships, and career management.

Growth mindset can be defined as the belief that skills and abilities can be improved.

The benefits of incorporating growth mindset into corporate cultures can be significant:

• Workers have 47% higher trust in their company

• Workers are 34% more likely to feel a sense of ownership and commitment to the future of their company

• Workers show 65% stronger agreement that their company supports risk-taking

(Report: ‘Growth Mindset Culture’. NLI)

Research has found that when receiving negative feedback on performance, people who endorse a growth mindset display different patterns of activation in the brain than those who endorse a fixed mindset. In the growth mindset group, the brain is engaged in a way that enhances learning from failure, retention of new information, and resilience to setbacks.

Furthermore, upon receiving negative career feedback, young adults who adopted growth mindset beliefs, were less likely to disengage from their career goals.

In addition, teams adopting a growth mindset are better able to openly express disagreements, accept feedback from one another, increase their confidence, and set more challenging goals for themselves.

In contrast, an orientation toward a fixed mindset is characterized by pressure to perform, reduced efforts to address mistakes, weaker learning, avoidance of challenging experiences, and increased vulnerability to setbacks.

In summary, your mindset – whether growth or fixed – affects how you respond to feedback and plays a major role in guiding your beliefs, the choices you make, and the goals you pursue. It shapes how you deal with success and failures and has a powerful impact on learning, resilience, and performance, which can all impact the culture of an organisation.

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