By DeVry University
June 24, 2020
6 min read
June 24, 2020
6 min read
The world is always changing – this fact is clearer than ever in 2020. From the way we communicate to the ways we work, there are factors driving disruption in our lives on a regular basis. And while it may seem challenging at first, this can often be the perfect environment for leveraging growth mindset activities that can help you thrive in the midst of change.
Artificial intelligence, robotics, cognitive computing.
"Contingent" (gig) work.
These factors lead to the question: what is the key to success in an environment in which the only sure thing is change?
The answer is something that impacts how people think, learn and behave: their mindset. Especially during times of uncertainty, having a growth-oriented perspective is critical.
When companies adopt fixed mindset approaches, however, employees can feel insecure and caught up in cheating and deception. Because a fixed mindset is based in achievement and talent, companies with this kind of environment tend to discourage openness and instead promote competition within the workforce.
Cultivating a culture that celebrates collaboration, allows for errors and encourages constructive feedback as learning opportunities thus promoting a company-wide growth mindset.
Praise the process, not the ability
When engaging in self-talk, focus on the process and the hard work that went into it, not your intelligence or ability. This might look like, "Great job trying a new strategy to solve this problem" rather than "You are really smart if you are able to do this" (or, on the flip side, "you are not smart if you are not able to do this").
Set a goal for learning new things
Those with fixed mindsets do not tend to value learning new skills. To cultivate a growth mindset, commit to learning something new once a month, once per quarter or at whatever cadence works best for you.
Reflect and remember what you have learned
Reflect on how much you have learned since your academic journey or career began. Remembering how far you have come and how much you have learned can help strengthen your desire for even further growth.
Engage with learning programs at your university or company
Chances are, your university offers clubs or other programs dedicated to the development of new skills. Companies often offer internal training opportunities or even "lunch and learn" programs to help keep employees learning.
Pursue online learning
Whether you pursue a degree, a certificate or a skills-building course, online learning offers the opportunity to learn on your own time. Whether you choose to advance your qualifications or you choose to simply learn a new skill (anything from basic coding to digital marketing to conflict management), continuing to grow your personal knowledge-base helps contribute to your growth mindset.
Seeing others succeed where we haven't.
Understanding these triggers and confronting them when they arise is critical. A great way to start is to develop a couple of helpful practices for cultivating a growth mindset.
Question your assumptions.
We can easily become trapped in our own perceptions of and assumptions about the world. Our opinions, thoughts, values and beliefs are so enmeshed in our thought-processes that it can be a struggle to break free of them.
However, questioning your existing assumptions can help you have a more open mind. An open mind can learn something new from almost any situation.
Focusing on the process, not the outcome.
The iceberg metaphor is helpful when conceptualizing this suggestion. When we see an iceberg in the ocean, we are viewing only the 10 percent of it that's floating above the surface. These are the visible results, such as landing a great promotion or not getting the recognition you have been working toward. Success versus failure.
Below the surface, however, is the remaining 90 percent of the iceberg. Here, we have everything that comes together to achieve a given outcome. All the hard work, positive self-talk, continuous learning and pivoting that led to that outcome.
Someone with a fixed mindset might see the top of the iceberg and say, "I succeeded" or "I failed." Someone with a growth mindset would point out all of the learning that took place along the way – and understand how that learning helped them become the person they are today.
Grow from your setbacks.
When you make a mistake, receive criticism or fall short of achieving something you thought you would, it's important to focus on the progress you have made despite the setback. After all, this setback could be just what you need to experience in order to find success the next time around.
Advancing your education can be a great way to cultivate a growth mindset. Wondering where to start? Explore our degree and certificate programs or contact us.
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In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org. The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Arlington Campus: 1400 Crystal Dr., Ste. 120, Arlington, VA 22202. DeVry University is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, www.tn.gov/thec. Naperville Campus: 1200 E. Diehl Rd., Naperville, IL 60563. Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online compliant system https://complaints.ibhe.org/. View DeVry University’s complaint process https://www.devry.edu/compliance/student-complaint-procedure.html Program availability varies by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.
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