In this second part of the three part series I briefly look at how one can achieve a growth mindset, along with some practical tools and suggestions on how to start to develop a GM. The honesty here, for me personally, is I never had the motivation or the humility to start to change my approach to work and life because I thought my old approach was the only correct one. The essence of rigidity.

It was only when I was forced to seek a change, as a result of wrestling with alcohol addiction, that I then started to open my ears and my mind to a new and different way of living out my life. This in turn meant my approach to working practices had to change and evolve and I quickly realised that by simply working on being sober, I was also becoming more effective in my work.

So what am I saying here? I am simply saying, the essence of getting to a GM, is remaining open, remaining malleable, remaining teachable and understanding that one’s perception or value system does not need to be closed. If this can be achieved then so can cultivating a more effective GM.

How do I achieve a GM?

One of the reasons I reached such an acute judgement of GM was the insinuation (to me) that it was a prescription, something that we should all aim for, without any real understanding of how.

The ‘how’ involves a robust motivation towards achieving a GM, and in reality, it’s a lifestyle choice, that involves a deep level of integrity to reach fruition. This form of growth strategy, whether personal, or business, has to carry with it authenticity otherwise the whole premise is undermined. 

So for me the ‘how’, is by simply learning to try, each day, without expectation of anything more than taking a step in the right direction. Take the action and then let go of outcome. Keep the equation this simple, and great things will develop, for your business and yourself. But you have to want it, and this involves conducting yourself and your business with integrity, doing behind closed doors what you would in front of others.

Action brings about change and this is certainly a call for action.

What are some simply practical tools to start to move towards a GM?

I believe we can all learn and grow, it’s about opening up our eyes and ears to the world around us and believing we can change, which involves that word humility again. It also involves a support structure and community (colleagues or friends). This, as I understand it, is one of the foundations of a growth mindset. If you believe that you can change and improve, you are more likely to put in the effort to do so.

Challenge yourself. Step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. I read a book recently that talked about the boundary where comfort touches on fear being the optimal space for growth. We should all be pushing ourselves to be uncomfortable in our day to day lives to achieve growth.

Be open to feedback. Feedback can help you identify areas where you can improve. Be willing to listen, it’s the hardest thing to receive feedback that may play to our insecurities, but it’s also the most effective way to grow – try using trusted allies in the first instance who have the emotional intelligence to navigate your own character.

Celebrate your successes. When you achieve a goal, take the time to celebrate your success. This helps build confidence and motivation, in turn allowing us to take stock of the ebb and flow that is inevitably experienced by all. It’s called life on life’s terms for a reason, but if we don’t recognise the good – we can drift without motivation to improve.

Pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs. What do you tell yourself about your abilities and potential? If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, challenge them and replace them with more positive ones. I am useless at taking stock of the things I do well (otherwise known as self-compassion) – but I have been working on doing so more and it creates a lightness that my usual, hight critical, self-talk doesn’t.

Set challenging goals. When you set challenging goals, you are forced to stretch yourself and learn new things. From my experience of addiction, the best way to surpass or succeed in the face of challenging objectives, is to break things down. The summit of the mountain is an irrelevance on a Monday morning, all that matters is taking the first step, and it’s OK to do that imperfectly. Consistency will get you there, not perfectionism.

Why is a GM mindset relevant to business?

It leads to consistent innovation and change in approach, which is key in all relationships, business or otherwise. People with a GM are more likely to be open to new ideas and to take risks. This can lead to increased innovation in the workplace.

It develops improved problem-solving skills. Reframing a challenge or a setback, as an opportunity to grow and learn by default will lead to a greater ability to problem solve. It’s like exercising a muscle, after time, when presented with new issues and problems the brain naturally starts to remain calmer and move towards solution. This is a key skillset for restructuring experts and something FRP prides itself on.

Greater resilience. Resilience is an interesting topic in itself but by adapting to setbacks, solving problems, and converting challenge into opportunity – resilience naturally grows.

Being open minded and willing to receive feedback, as we have established, is fundamental to a GM and this leads to enhanced collaboration. Collaboration is incredibly powerful when it comes to client service delivery and indeed any business structure.

In the last part of this series I will be looking at why a growth mindset is relevant to business and what positive impact it can have on your clients….