What is the dollar value of having a growth mindset in your business?
The most accurate predictor of success in Business is your mindset. This is because our mindset completely drives our behaviours on a day to day basis.
Most of the people I speak to are familiar with the idea of a Growth Mindset versus a Fixed Mindset. Most would describe themselves as having a Growth Mindset. But even so, it’s worth exploring this subject further. While you may feel like you spend most of your time in a Growth Mindset, Fixed Mindset can creep in. Usually when you least expect it.
These terms were first used by Carol Dweck in her studies and the 2006 book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Here is a short talk describing her study:
Dweck measured the brain activity of children given a problem they could not solve. She discovered that the brains of children with a fixed mindset did not engage with the problem. They were trapped in the now and not able to imagine a situation where they could move through this challenge.
The brains of the children with a Growth Mindset showed increased activity in the problem-solving area. Their brains were highly engaged in trying to find a solution. They were empowered by the idea of yet.
Consider this as it relates to our work. Have you ever wanted to achieve something that another person has told you is impossible? History is filled with examples of extreme Growth Mindset. Remember Roger Bannister and the 4-minute mile? Henry Ford and an affordable V8 car? More recently Elon Musk was told by his engineers that it was impossible to build a rocket avionics computer system for $10,000. They had some logic to their opinion – previously these systems cost competitors $10,000,000. Musk has a reputation for not believing in impossible and did not back down – his team put it together for just the project forward regardless.
These are people who were told by everyone that they could not do something – but they went ahead and did it anyway. Achieving the seemingly impossible. They decided that what they wanted to achieve was simply not possible YET. Then they set about finding a way to change that.
Dweck talks about building a bridge to yet. One of her recommendations is that we praise wisely. Praise for intelligence and talent will encourage a fixed mindset. Whereas process-based praise will encourage resilience and a move towards a Growth Mindset. Dweck recommends praising effort, strategy, focus, perseverance and improvement instead. This is equally applicable to staff, children or even self-talk. Does your inner voice give you a high five when you’re putting in a huge effort and making progress? Or do you only give yourself credit once you’ve achieved the ultimate outcome you’re seeking?
Constantly pushing out of our comfort zones will ensure you are flexing your Growth Mindset muscles. By training yourself to think in terms of possibilities instead of limitation you are ensuring that you will achieve your desired outcomes with less stress. Even simply adopting the word ‘yet’ as a go to when you’re stuck on something can have a huge impact on your mindset and as a result your outcome.