I have been hearing the buzzword ‘Growth Mindset’ (“GM”) a lot recently. Because I am human I make judgements, which breed contempt prior to proper investigation, and this was certainly the case in this circumstance for me. So I did a little digging.

My own personal experiences, and more pertinently my downfalls and shortcomings, have instilled in me a desire to continuously improve and learn. This involves, by my own account, a constant assessment of self, an ongoing requirement for humility (humility being an awareness of who I am with all my faults coupled with a true and genuine desire to improve), and a good level of consistency.

So, when I started looking into why I keep seeing and hearing the words GM being batted around so much, I could clearly see why it is so useful for businesses and clients alike.

We can all improve in what we do, whether that is the director of a manufacturing company, the cleaner of a busy and bustling office, or indeed professional restructuring experts here at FRP. Below is part 1 of a three-part series, where I take a look at what a GM is, why we should care about it and how to achieve it.

So what is a GM?

A growth mindset is a belief that your intelligence and abilities can be developed through hard work (consistency), good strategies, and input from others (the humility piece). People with a growth mindset believe that they can learn and grow, regardless of their natural abilities. They see challenges as opportunities to learn and improve, and they are not afraid to fail.

The ‘F’ word is a scary one for many. I have an abundance of experience with it and often reframe it as ‘falling short’ or ‘development points’. Failing hurts, for me a lot because it hurts my pride and self-worth, but it has proven to be the biggest teacher and motivator in my life. So I wouldn’t agree that it’s about not being afraid but rather courage - the ability to try in the face of the fear of failure is more than enough for a GM.

Conversely, people who are deemed to have a fixed mindset, believe that they are born with certain talents, and that there is little they can do to change them. They see challenges as threats, and they are more afraid of failure. My comments above on being afraid to fail still stand.

Why should I care about developing a GM?

Research has shown that people with a growth mindset are more likely to achieve success in school, work, and life. They are more likely to take on challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and learn from their mistakes. They are also more likely to be resilient and bounce back from failure.

For me, it comes down to a sense of purpose, it helps create and nurture principles and values in my life that I can also use in my career. The pursuit of financial success and prestige is great and rewarding, but it is hollow if there is no values-based goal to go by or people to help along the way.

Moreover for businesses and for professionals seeking to help clients, it invariably breeds trust. Trust is the number one way of ensuring efficiency and revenue growth. If you don’t trust your colleague, adviser, brand, product etc – then none of us would be looking to develop that relationship (personal or consumer) long term.

In part 2 of the series, I will briefly be discussing how you can achieve a growth mindset and also provide practical reflections on how to implement this, into everyday life.

To be continued...