In business and management theory, a growth mindset is a collection of attitudes, theories, or practices held by one or a group of individuals. A growing mindset is often viewed as springing from a person’s carefully-crafted world view or philosophy on life. Often this is equated with an individual’s “TM”. Unfortunately for many, developing a growth mindset does not come naturally.
People with a growth mindset assume that failure or setback will not affect them in any way. They face obstacles without panicking and seek to learn from the experience. They recognize that setbacks are a part of life and as long as they can continue to persevere, they will ultimately succeed. Those with this type of attitude are quite successful in business and management.
A key element of growth mindset is the ability to accept both positive and negative aspects of a situation. This is similar to the “altruism” factor that we discussed earlier. Individuals with growth mindsets do not allow setbacks to slow them down and become a source of stress and anxiety. Instead, they analyze the circumstances and see how best to improve upon whatever is wrong.
Some people have a problem with accepting both good and bad things in life. They prefer to focus on only the bad things and blame everything else for their failures. When setbacks occur, these people become over sensitive and worried about each and every aspect of their life. Rather than trying to improve on the setback, these people choose to wallow in their failure. Although this type of behaviour can be counterproductive, it does not represent a true growth mindset.
People with growth mindset believe that failure is never a negative event. In fact, it is a great opportunity – if you apply yourself. Because they view failure as a learning process, they also view any effort as an investment that will provide long-term benefits. A major part of having a growth mindset is to use setbacks as stepping stones towards greater success. Rather than dwelling on the setback, these people find ways to increase their level of effort even more. In this way, every setback is viewed as an opportunity to learn more and succeed even bigger.
Another critical quality necessary for individuals with growth mindset is the ability to learn new information. Thinking in terms of growth instead of aggressively, they are able to see both the positive and negative sides of any situation. They also use the knowledge they gain from past experiences to anticipate future challenges. They do not let setbacks prevent them from trying out something new or seeing a different perspective. Rather, they use these experiences as stepping stones to greater achievements.
Being able to handle setbacks and effectively manage a variety of tasks requires the individual with growth mindset to be extremely disciplined. For them, failure is just a normal part of the learning process and they learn from it by finding ways to overcome it and move on. They do not allow setbacks to keep them from pursuing their goals. Because failure provides them with a wealth of information, they are able to use this information to solve problems and plan for future challenges. Just as important is the fact that individuals with growth mindset are successful because they are constantly seeking new information, which keeps them at the top of their game.
The ability to apply the principles of dweck thinking is the hallmark of having a growth mindset. Learning to think and act in different circumstances than your usual self is one way this is achieved. Another is that because you are not afraid to try things, you will be less likely to be discouraged. Dweck thinkers are extremely persistent and because of this, they are able to apply their new skills to solve new problems and challenges. Whether it is applying the laws of thermodynamics to solve complex scientific problem or overcoming a long-standing inferiority complex, your personal growth mindset provides the guidance you need to maximize your potential.