Mindset explains the difference between having a fixed and a growth mindset, why one trumps the other, and what you can do to adopt the right one.
Look at your hands.
How long have they been this way? As long as you can remember, right? That’s because we have almost no control over our appearance and features, such as height, the shape of our nose, or the color of our eyes.
What we do control, however, are our skills and abilities, at least according to the latest research. Carol Dweck is one of those researchers. In her book Mindset, she discerns between two attitudes: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.
People with a fixed mindset believe talent is everything. If they’re not gifted with the ability to do something, they think they’re doomed to be a failure. Their skills seem to be written down in their genes, just like their looks, which is why they never try to improve in something they suck at.
In contrast, people with a growth mindset believe that whatever they want to achieve is theirs for the taking, as long as they work hard for it, dedicate themselves to their goal, and practice as much as they can.
Here are my three favorite lessons from the book:
The corporate world turns most of us into fixed-mindset drones. The growth mindset mostly stems from a strong, genuine desire to learn. We are all born with a growth mindset, and we can relearn it anytime. Let’s take a look at these two mindsets and see how you can go from one to the other!
The corporate world turns most of us into fixed-mindset drones. Big corporations like McKinsey or Goldman Sachs hire the best graduates and then expect them to perform perfectly and instantly. Instead of being trained on the job, employees are thrown into cold water and monitored closely for errors. Whoever doesn’t do a great job right away gets fired. This breeds a fixed mindset.
In a fixed mindset world, talent is king. Naturally, people want to look talented all the time. By pushing people into mainly window-dressing their performance instead of actually performing, not only do the employers rob themselves of great people, but their black-and-white thinking also cultivates a fixed mindset in others. Since the applicants already assume they’re always being judged as good or bad, the employer’s behavior turns it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As a result, most employees spend their time trying not to look stupid instead of working productively so their leaders won’t brand them as a failure….Download the book to read more.
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Carol S. Dweck
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