Do You Have a Growth Mindset and Why Does That Even Matter?

Do You Have a Growth Mindset and Why Does That Even Matter?

Growth Mindset is something you’ll hear quite often in schools at the moment, and it’s about time!

Professor Carol Dweck establishes that there are two types of mindset amongst individuals – a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset.

Individuals with a Fixed Mindset struggle more as time goes on and often get held back by anxiety and stress. They believe that their abilities, talents and/or intelligence is fixed, so if they fail at a task then that must mean they are incapable of it and should never try it again.

A Growth Mindset is where an individual believes (or is educated to believe) that their talents can be developed through hard work, motivation, good learning strategies and constructive input from others. They believe that their abilities grow through trying new things and they tend to see failure as uncomfortable, but a useful experience for growth.

In a school culture that seems to be primarily based on rigid testing and re-testing children to determine their ‘ability’, a Growth Mindset is all the more important.

How do you know if you have a Growth Mindset?

It’s more than just having a positive outlook or generally being open minded. You have to actively participate in having a Growth Mindset and take part in what is sometimes referred to as ‘deliberate practice’ – the process of acknowledging a skill or talent you have/want and deliberating working to improve it, seeking feedback and ways of building that skill.

It’s about being open to new opportunities and even if you fail, using opening questioning – think ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ – to learn from the experience and help you move forward.

Why does that even matter?

It’s not just schools that are utilising the idea of Growth Mindset for empowering their students – businesses and employers are too, and based on the types of attributes employers vote the most favourable in new recruits, it would seem demonstrating a Growth Mindset can really set you up for future success too.

With key words like ‘Committed’, ‘Innovative’ and ‘Resilient’ ranking the highest amongst attributes that employers want to see and hear from new recruits – do you think the Fixed or Growth Mindset tends to lend itself more to these?

Being aware of a Growth Mindset is also important for recognising businesses and employers who value this in their work environments. When companies embrace Growth Mindset, their employees report feeling far more empowered and committed. They also receive greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation. As opposed to companies that follow a Fixed Mindset way of thinking – who believe in attracting and retaining talent over upskilling and empowering existing employees to become better staff and colleagues.

Can you change your Mindset?

Absolutely! Mindset is changeable but it does take conscious thought and action to develop. As Professor Dweck herself says: “Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Just by knowing about the two mindsets, you can start thinking and reacting in new ways.”

GT Scholars has a workshop that can help young people to understand growth mindset and use it to achieve excellent grades at school.  To sign up to the workshop, click on the following link:

Elaine Mead
Growth mindset What's new?