A fixed mindset within a team or company can cause a lot of negativity and bring the dynamics to a standstill. Fortunately, a growth mindset is something you can learn through coaching and (self) training, among other things. A few basic tips to get started yourself:
Learn to recognise your “fixed mindset voice” and intervene.
Words carry power and therefore the choice of your vocabulary is very important. It is better to speak of a ‘challenge’ or ‘opportunity’ than of a ‘problem’. You can see feedback as “criticism” or as “constructive tips” to adjust yourself. “I’m afraid I can’t do this” is replaced by “What steps can I take to succeed in my goal?”. Be aware of the power of language and use a positive inner dialogue. This will require some awareness and a lot of training in the beginning, but it is a skill that will pay dividends for a lifetime.
Remember that your brain can evolve for life.
Your brain continues to form new connections throughout your life; everyone inherently has the capacity to learn throughout life. If you are aware of this, you are more likely to adopt a growth mindset.
Strive for growth, not approval.
When your focus is on gaining approval from others, you will be less inclined to learn new things because the chance of ‘failure’ is greater. (Tip 1 teaches us that failure is actually lifelong learning.) Focus on your own evolution.
Focus on the learning process, not the end result.
Every form of growth or progress is a learning process. Nobody can do something new immediately without mistakes. Even Edison had to make 100’s of lamps before one actually worked. Enjoy the learning process and set yourself small “intermediate goals” to get a sense of accomplishment regularly.
Everyone learns and grows differently.
People learn in different ways and so it is important to choose a learning process that works for you. Again, it is crucial to look at yourself, respect your own process and choose a strategy that works for you. It is also beneficial to focus on ‘learning well’ rather than ‘learning fast’.
Learn to receive and give constructive criticism.
Criticism is one of many possible ways to learn and evolve. If someone points out a weakness, consider it a gift. If you are aware of what is not going smoothly, you can adjust yourself and learn from it. Don’t take criticism personally: most of the time, criticism is meant to be constructive, but sometimes people can choose their words poorly. That is why it is important to learn to express criticism in a positive way.
Think positive, grow positive
An organisation with a growth mindset creates room to make mistakes and learn from them. It stimulates innovation, growth and positive cooperation. Teams function optimally in an atmosphere of learning together, growing together without fear of failure and an openness to constructive feedback. If the growth process that people go through is taken into account, people will be more willing to try out new things and take the initiative. When people finally acquire new skills in this way, this results in greater self-esteem, self-confidence and possibly even pleasure in carrying out the new responsibility. This can only be beneficial, both for the functioning of the organisation and for the well-being of each employee.