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Mindset Equals Results

It’s the start of a ‘New Year’. A good time to review and renew the mindset. Your mindset is the gyroscope for what will and what will not happen this year with your team. Many teams keep doing what they do but expect different results – a mindset. Guess what, the results stay the same. It’s like walking down the same street as last year and falling into the same hole as before. It’s like pretending you don’t see the hole and carry on with business as usual and fall in, again. Maybe it’s time to walk down another street.

“Fixed Mindset” The “fixed mindset” assumes that who we are, our intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way. Consequently success is the affirmation of who we are and that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard. Striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining an illusion of being smart or skilful – a mindset.

“Growth Mindset” On the other hand, this mindset thrives on challenges and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. The existence of a trait we call “intelligence” is well-proven for individuals. It can be measured, relates to performance on a range of tasks, and predicts future performance. But could there be a “collective intelligence” in a team, separate from those measures, and does it affect performance? Yes, there is and it does affect performance.

‘Team Mindset” A team is the ideal incubator for cultivating the “growth mindset”.  At the heart of what makes the “growth mindset” so winsome is that it creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Its hallmark is the conviction that human qualities like talent, intelligence and creativity, and even relational capacities like love and friendship can be cultivated through effort and deliberate practice. Not only are people with this mindset not discouraged by failure, but they don’t actually see themselves as failing in those situations – they see themselves as learning and expanding their capabilities.

It reflects what modern psychology knows about how belief systems about our own abilities and potential fuel our behaviour and predict our success. Beliefs are compounded in a team because of the “container effect” and become powerful drivers of action for success or failure.

Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for colleagues who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and tested, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people and teams to thrive during some of the most challenging times they face in their life cycles.

Sources: Mindest; The New Psychology of Success, Prof. Carol S. Dweck, PhD. Psychologist at Stanford University USA. Intégro Learning SA Johan Conjé, Specialist Team Coach

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