Do you have a growth or fixed mindset?

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By Stephane Leblanc, Founder and CEO, International Centre for Conscious Leadership

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carole Dweck describes that all of us either have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset, and that this has a huge impact on our success and our wellbeing.

Growth mindset

People with a growth mindset believe that with efforts they can develop and grow and they do not lose any time trying to prove themselves and their value to others. They use mistakes and failures to learn as they believe that we never fail, we either succeed or learn. They love to try new things and they cherish feedback, positive or constructive. In fact, they receive feedback as a gift as it helps them get better. For them, success is doing their best, learning and improving.

In sports, a good example of an athlete with a growth mindset is Michael Jordan. He was not selected for his high school basketball team. He missed thousands of shot, he was trusted to take the game winning shot and missed and he lost many games. And this is why he was one of the best player ever. Because he was willing to try and to learn.

Fixed mindset

People with a fixed mindset believe that talents and attitudes are fixed and cannot be improved. They constantly have a need to prove themselves. They use every situation to to prove themselves and their intelligence, personality and character. They see mistakes and failures as a reflection of their value. If they fail, they must be a failure. They do not like to receive feedback as they believe it shows how imperfect they are. For them success is to prove how intelligent and talented they are.

In sports, a good example of an athlete with a fixed mindset is John McEnroe. John was a very talented tennis player but never rose to his full potential as an athlete because of his fixed mindset. He constantly got mad on the court, argued with referees and broke many rackets. His need to be perfect deeply impacted his performance.

How to develop a growth mindset

To help those we lead develop a growth mindset, we can value efforts over results, as well as learning and personal development. We can also encourage our team members to make mistakes as innovation and growth never happens without mistakes and we can celebrate failures.

A good example of this is Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft who sends an email to all his employees once a month sharing his biggest mistake and the lessons he learned from it.

Do you have a growth or fixed mindset?

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