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Growth Mindset in the Workplace

by Danielle Foster

Adaptability has always played a key role in workplace success. But it seems as though now more than ever, our careers require us to adapt continually. Over the past 25 years, increased automation, AI and economic trends have increasingly made “punching the clock” a thing of the past.

In fact, according to a new report by workplace consultancy McKinsey, up to 375 million workers worldwide will need to change roles or learn new skills by 2030.

This enormous number might strike you as scary and overwhelming, but this is where personal and professional growth come into play — actually come to the rescue.

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has studied what she calls a “growth mindset” (as opposed to a “fixed” one).

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” Dweck describes the simple yet impactful differences between the two mindsets:

Growth Mindset:People with a growth mindset believe — and their behavior reflects their belief — that attributes like talent and intelligence can be developed through dedication and hard work. They’re more likely to enjoy learning, seek out situations to experiment and view failure as an opportunity to grow.

Fixed Mindset: Those with a fixed mindset believe the opposite. They feel they “are who they are” and were born with a set level of talent, intelligence and even interests. Because of this, they’re more likely to seek out opportunities and situations where these views are affirmed (like doing the same job over and over to receive praise) and believe that talent alone — not effort — is the source of success.

A growth mindset doesn’t just help you thrive in difficult situations. It also gives you the freedom to push the limits of your abilities and develop your skills.

A growth mindset can also make you more creative. In her book, Dweck cites a poll of 143 creativity researchers who agreed that the most important trait for creative achievement is the “resilience and fail-forward perseverance attributed to the growth mindset.”

Stay tuned for next week’s blog on how to take a growth approach to your work.