The idea of a growth mindset is fundamental to coaching culture and is a vital part of leading a team of people towards greatness.
Today, we’re talking all things growth mindset — what it is, how to develop it, and how to fight the fixed mindset we are all prey to!
What if someone told you that you would never go anywhere? What if you were told that no matter how hard you try and no matter what you do, you will always stay right where you are? What if who you are right now is the only person you could ever become — faults and all?
Whether this is true or not, if believed, this narrative will impact your ability to grow, learn, and move beyond your current circumstances. Without the foresight to know that you have untapped potential and that your life is full of possibilities, your mindset will begin to form walls that restrict your life and its momentum towards positive change.
What we’ve described here is called a “fixed mindset,” and while most people aren’t directly told that they “will never go anywhere in life,” we have each, most likely, been subject to subtle treatment and language that has caused us to develop a fixed mindset. As a leader, it’s essential to fight a fixed mindset with an active pursuit of a growth mindset. In doing so, you’ll develop and be better equipped to lead your team members into developing their own growth mindsets.
A growth mindset is precisely the opposite of a fixed mindset. Dr. Carol Dweck, who first developed the ideas of fixed and growth mindsets, describes a growth mindset in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, saying,
“In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way — in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments — everyone can change and grow through application and experience.”
In short, when a fixed mindset says, “I’m not equipped for this,” a growth mindset says, “I can’t do this right now, but I’m going to learn!” For someone with a growth mindset, there is always a path to progress, and with enough hard work, success is attainable.
Developing a Growth Mindset in Yourself and Your Team Members
Developing a growth mindset takes time and will need to be practiced faithfully to be adopted long-term. Here are some tips for developing a growth mindset:
- Admit that you have had a fixed mindset and identifying the areas in which you’ve remained stagnant and hope to grow, both personally and professionally.
- Practice exchanging fixed thought-patterns for growth thought-patterns. Do you find yourself believing and promoting limiting thoughts, both in your mind and in your communication with your team members? Swap those phrases out for ones that include a commitment to growth, learning, and exploration.
- Commit to being a life-long learner and leading in a way that encourages others to learn too. The reality is that seeing the benefits of a growth mindset comes when you’ve also developed habits that promote growth. Once you’ve identified areas where you feel stagnant, commit to growing in that area through learning while also empowering your team members to grow in ways that will allow them to pursue their dreams. This might even look like making space and time in your company culture for dedicated development.
- There’s no better way to develop a growth mindset than to hire a coach! A coach will be committed to helping you see your potential and will empower you to develop growth habits so you can grow towards your goals!
Are you ready to start developing a growth mindset and say goodbye to limiting beliefs? AGL: Coaching for Good is committed to helping leaders like you! Start your coaching journey today!
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