Growth Mindset and increased Productivity

Growth mindset is the belief that your abilities in any domain can be developed through dedication and hard work. Brain and talent are just the starting point.

Fixed Mindset is exactly the opposite. It happens when:

  1. We believe we are not innately good
  2. We believe we can’t change much
  3. We think effort will not help
  4. We see feedback as dangerous
  5. We feel that setting goals is bad for us
  6. Other people’s success is a problem

The Stockdale Paradox

A great example of Growth Mindset is of a soldier fighting in Vietnam; he was a prisoner of war for over 7 years. However horrific the experience was, he was glad of the experience because it grounded him. The experiences he went through were terribly depressing. He never lost faith in the end story. Whatever happened he was never going to regret what he went through. When other people where overly optimistic about their future they tended to not survive. On the other hand, the ones who were in constant stress and worry were the ones who didn’t survive either. The ones who survived were the ones who had a belief in eventual success, combined with a deep acceptance of the harsh current reality. The optimists nor the pessimists survived. The ones who survived where the realists and the ones who where adaptive and hopeful. Having a growth mindset where you are working towards an outcome. Thinking about the reality of the situation and making it right for you.

Growth Mindset is when:

  1. We believe we can get better. We see things as an opportunity and a challenge.
  2. We believe we can change.
  3. We understand that effort is central.
  4. We see feedback as helpful
  5. Stretch goals are good

Talking to people about what they do well enhances their growth mindset.

In fixed mindset we want to prove ourselves and look good but with a growth mindset we want to improve ourselves and get better.

When we find we are having a Fixed Mindset we are saying “I am not good at this…”, “I don’t think I can…”, “This isn’t easy for me…”. That is when we need to disrupt our thinking and shift towards “I am not good at this…YET”, “I don’t think I can do this…YET” or “This isn’t easy for me YET”.

Three critical Growth Mindset Habits

A. Experiment

Sometimes we do a lot of things on autopilot. Doing things in a different way also scares us sometimes. Experimentation takes us out of our comfort zone. Look for potential experiments. Try new ways to solve problems. Accept that it may not work. Share the experience with others.

  1. Try out new activities and if they don’t worry that’s ok. Appreciate the learning from everything you do.
  2. Make scenarios about action and decisions.

Question beliefs. Our mindset has an influence on the beliefs and our beliefs have influence on our behavior and in turn our behavior influences our mindset. It’s like a triangle.

B. Value Progress

Frame your goals in terms of growth towards desired outcomes. Compare your own performance over time. Apply the rule of three to your performance improvement over time. Where was I six months ago, where am I now, and where do I want to be in six months. During this time there must also be time for reflection.

  1. We place more value on the end than on the journey.
  2. New connections in our brains need attention and reinforcement. Making new habits is a lengthy procedure. Repetition is key.
C. Learn from others
    1. We have huge blind spots due to bias.
    2. Role models and reverse mentors. They can show us new ways of doing things. We gain a different perspective.

If you would like to learn more about how to increase growth mindset in your team, book a free consultation with us at or visit our website