In management theory and concept, a growth mindset is simply a set of attitudes, techniques, or ideas held by a group or one individuals. A mindset may also be described as emerging from an individual’s world view or framework of life. It may also be called the attitude of a set or class of people toward change. The word comes from the Latin word “gnosis” which means “mind” and “coterie,” which means the group or body of people or animals bound together by common interest or agenda. Thus, in this instance, “growth mindset” refers to the ability to harness personal development skills and turn them into productive aspects of career and personal life success.
In most human endeavors, the term “growth mindset” is best illustrated by the words of the late Enneagram master personality expert, Gilbert Glaser. According to Glaser, there are nine levels or perspectives on the Enneagram. At the top level (I) stands leadership and achievement orientation; at the bottom are inborn aptitude, potential, personal charm, hard work, and intelligence; in the middle are represented by conscientiousness, ambition, cooperation, and adaptability; at the bottom are represented by fear, self-pity, and inactivity. According to Glaser, using the nine perspectives at each level helps people determine where they stand within the organization and how they should proceed to reach their goals. By determining where you stand, people have a better understanding of what it takes to attain their personal and professional goals.
People who possess the growth mindset believe that intelligence, hard work, and passion are all positive attributes that derive from within rather than from external sources. Those who think that these positive qualities come from outside sources often feel enervated, under pressure, and as if their efforts are being wasted. In order to thrive and reach maximum potential, people need to believe in themselves and their capabilities. Those who don’t believe that they can achieve something, simply cannot. According to the ODDI principle, belief defines reality.
When your growth mindset does not believe in your ability to get better, your energy and enthusiasm will be drained when encountering setbacks. When you set goals for yourself, you need to take them seriously and don’t just take them on faith. People with growth mindset understand that setbacks are a part of life and they do not let them stop them from setting new goals and taking action to achieve them. They know that setbacks should not stop them from continuing to strive for their dreams.
According to the ODDI principle, challenging one’s inner mind makes it more intelligent, which enables them to use resources wisely. Those with growth mindset are able to increase their intelligence by focusing their efforts on learning new things, overcoming challenges, and applying intelligence in creative ways. Those with inferior mindsets think that intelligence is only useful for solving problems. They apply intelligence only to the extent that it increases a person’s capacity for doing the right thing. They fail to recognize that their own intelligence can also make them successful and feel challenged to get better.
Those with growth mindset also set high expectations for themselves and others. They have high expectations of themselves and other people so that they do not set any obstacles on their way to success. Those with fixed mindset believe that no one has the power to stop them from achieving their goals and hence they don’t set any goals at all. They never give up, even if they know that they can’t accomplish a goal right away. If they set reasonable expectations for themselves and others, they are able to persist in spite of obstacles. They believe that they can learn new things from setbacks and use this experience to improve themselves and their lives in the future.
Growth mindset is one way of having an open mind and not accepting fixed traits in people. Fixed traits often hold people back and prevent them from reaching their full potential. Growth mindset keeps one open to new possibilities and thus is able to learn new things and be able to apply them in their lives. Growth in life should be considered as a kind of evolution. In order to achieve this, one must be willing to work hard, be open to change, and be flexible. All these help to enable one to achieve the kind of success that they desire.
The kind of growth mindset described above is one that is a product of personal experiences and hard work. It will not come overnight and will not happen over night. It requires hard work and dedication but the end result is that you will be able to get better and move forward. You will also be able to grow personally and professionally.