Successful organizations engage everyone in continuous process improvement and recognize that most of the opportunities for improvement that make a difference will be identified and acted upon by their employees at shop-floor level. A key prerequisite is that these employees are open to learning. And when it comes to learning, it’s good to listen to what Mrs. Carol Dweck has to say about this. She is a PhD in psychology and a professor at Stanford University and has spent 30 years researching the relationship between motivation, performance and success. She discovered that it is not only our skills and talents that ensure success. It is our mindset, our attitude towards challenges and problems, that largely determines the results. Each of us has a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. You always have a mix of both, and you can always evolve from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
Reactions to changes and challenges can differ enormously. People with a fixed mindset fall back on what they have learned in the past. They don’t think it’s their job to do anything about a problem. They don’t see the point of it and consider it a waste of time. Those are the people who say: that doesn’t work here, I’ve said it a thousand times, it’s time to go home already and I don’t care. They criticize others, prefer to complain and above all they don’t feel responsible and feel like a victim.
3 steps to move towards a growth mindset
1. Be aware of your own beliefs
A growth mindset is almost never naturally present in what we do. Sometimes you are focused on growth in certain activities, while you slow yourself down in other activities. In everything you do, it is important to ask yourself whether you have a supporting or hampering view. An example of a fixed mindset can be: “learning to play a musical instrument is too difficult for me!”. While the growth mindset thinks: “to master a musical instrument, I must practice daily!”. Train yourself thinking in possibilities.
2. Look at the process instead of the result
We naturally tend to reward ourselves and others when we have done a good job. If you are naturally good at something, you get compliments for it. But what does that do to you if you can do something less well? When you are rewarded for what you are already good at, this line of reasoning may arise: “When I am good at something, I appear intelligent, and I get compliments.” And then: “If I have difficulties with something, people think I’m stupid.”
So, what is the learning point? Don’t give compliments when something goes well without effort. But reward when someone has to work hard to get something done. This strengthens the conviction: Making an effort leads to growth and development. This encourages the development of a growth mindset.
3. Learn from mistakes
How do you deal with mistakes? Do you know someone who is a role model? The kind of person who speaks positively about own made mistakes or the mistakes others make. This makes making a mistake a normal part of the learning process. And there is also the courage to take risks and seek challenges. Self-confidence is not affected when a mistake is made. If something goes wrong, you think about what you can do better next time instead of trying to hide the mistake. Or put the blame on others. “FAIL” then converts into a different meaning: “First Attempt In Learning”.
People with a growth mindset are open to every new experience that comes on their way. They realize that you can learn things, even if they don’t work out yet today. They go for it and see changes as opportunities. They are enthusiastic, want to grow personally and want to learn from others. They continue until they succeed and that is the basis for sustainable success!
A growth mindset is the right way of thinking to invent a better version of yourself every day. But it is also essential to tackle problems as a team every day, to experience more pleasure in your work and to continue to develop as team and individually.
So what are you waiting for? Just start with your own growth mindset!
Are you interested to work with growth mindset in your organisation? Do you want to know more how to implement this learning concept? Just let me know via LinkedIn or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.