When looking to improve performance, many organisations typically focus on improving skills and competencies. More enlightened organisations also look to capitalise on individual strengths and preferences. At MindSightUK we believe this still misses an essential ingredient, the mindset.
Unlike skills which we develop, or talents, which are typically perceived as innate, the mindset is an attribute adopted through choice. Whilst the wrong mindset can lead to us failing to achieve our potential, the right mindset can lead us to exceptional achievements.
We all have talents, strengths and abilities which help us achieve our dreams and goals. Carol Dweck identified that some people believe these attributes are 'set in stone' and cannot be developed, you either possess them or you don't. However, a growth mindset is a belief that with the application of effort and determination we can all develop, stretch and expand our abilities.
If we have a fixed mindset we may be discouraged from trying to develop ourselves for fear of being exposed as not as good as we thought we were.
In contrast, with a growth mindset we can enjoy learning and exploring, taking delight in finding what does not work, as much as what doesk. This thirst for discovery can lead to exceptional achievements and provide a rich source of resilience for us when times are tough, as we believe in our own ability to find a way through our difficulties.
Whilst we may adopt a growth mindset to develop a talent or strength further, it does not just automatically become the ‘norm’. We may need to work at it to embed it.
For example, it is not enough to say I will develop my strength of courage, it would be naive to think we can just ‘magic’ courage out of thin air! So setbacks must be expected and progress will take time. However, with a growth mindset we can say to our self ‘I am becoming more courageous every day’.
This gives us the chance to become accustomed to what being courageous means for us without setting an unrealistic ‘success or failure’ marker on everything we do.
The power of a growth mindset is that we can all try new things and develop our abilities over time, knowing that eventually with effort, they will grow.
At MindSightUK our coaching and development programmes begin with the belief in a growth mindset, encouraging participants to try new things, explore, experiment and grow at their own pace.