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How to cultivate a growth mindset

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The line it is drawn 
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'

Bob Dylan

 

Ah, yes. The times they are a-changin’ – at an incredibly fast pace. Order has rapidly faded, our way of life and work has shifted, and we’re all grasping for ways to keep pace and adjust.

Whether you’re a remote worker or you’re an employer looking to hire someone who will work from home, success today is dependent on your ability to cultivate essential work-from-home skills including collaboration, communication, adaptability, teamwork, empathy, and self-motivation. To this long list you can now add another important quality: a growth mindset.

The term “growth mindset” was coined by psychologist Carol Dweck in 2007 and is normally associated with students and education. But having a growth mindset in business has never been more important than now.

People who have a growth mindset believe that their abilities can be developed through hard work. Those who have a fixed mindset, by contrast, believe that their abilities (such as intelligence) are fixed and can’t be changed.

Those with growth mindsets understand that they can always improve and learn more if they put in the hard work. A person with a fixed mindset might say, “I’m not good at playing golf,” and therefore won’t try to improve. A person with a growth mindset will continue to practice golf, even if they struggle.

In a constantly evolving workplace setting, you can see why having a growth mindset can be so beneficial. Employees who have a growth mindset are always willing to learn and try new things, because they believe they can develop any ability with a little hard work. They even view setbacks and failures as signs that they should continue trying to develop their skills, not as signs they should give up. A growth mindset can help you overcome the constant unforeseen barrage of changes and challenges. With a growth mindset, you can slay obstacles when you’re asked to learn a new technology tool or develop a new skill.

To understand whether you have a growth mindset, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Do you have a passion for learning?
  2. Do you see each new day as a chance to learn something new?
  3. Do you believe in yourself?
  4. Do you seek out challenges?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you’re already on your way to having a growth mindset. If not, the good news is you can cultivate one through changing your perspective:

  1. Practice positive thinking through self-acceptance (doubt is often just fear).
  2. View challenges as opportunities to empower your learning, regardless of potential failures or mistakes. Try not to worry about being embarrassed if you make a mistake.
  3. View each challenge as an enhancer that will round out your skills.

Times are going to continue to change and bring challenges. Shifting your perspective and putting yourself on the road to a growth mindset will arm you with an invaluable skill that is becoming increasingly relevant for remote work success.

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