8 March 2022

Growth Mindset and the Future of Work

Work is changing as technology advances, so how can we prepare our working population for the Future of Work (FOW)? The development of Artificial Intelligence and Automation Services will need to be counterbalanced with the incorporation of Emotional Intelligence at work. Large cohorts of workers will need to adapt, upskill and change the way they work. Awareness of self and others is fast becoming a key narrative at work as we communicate in our teams, manage the temporal challenges of the remote and hybrid work space and move towards becoming agile and resilient organizations.

Why Are Some of Our Workforce Managing Transitions Better Than Others?

This can be explained by an individual’s mindset. According to the work of Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University has shown that people with a growth mindset (37% of today’s working population) believe that they can improve their talents and skills with hard work and further learning. It has been also often found that those with a growth mindset have greater self-efficacy and can manage transitions more effectively than their co-workers with a fixed mindset. Worryingly, 2/3 of today’s working population do not feel that they can upskill and be successful and therefore would categorise as having a fixed mindset. Resistance to change can often be attributed to having a fixed mindset.

What Are the 8 Fixed Mindset Triggers According to Carol Dweck?

  • Mindset Beliefs: The mindset that if someone doesn’t believe that they can change their intelligence, talents, and personality, then they will have low willingness to learn the necessary skills to do so.
  • High Effort: If someone has a high effort trigger, they believe that any good thing should come easily to them. If it’s hard, then they believe that they’ll never succeed.
  • Challenges: When someone doesn’t like tasks that are challenging or uncertain, they often are set back by this trigger. Fear of failure and low self-efficacy causes avoiding the presented task.
  • Setbacks: If someone is affected by setbacks or failure, they often experience a lack of confidence and motivation to continue moving forward.
  • Success of Others: When someone wants to be perceived as successful and knowledgeable, this trigger can lead to avoiding tasks that can show that someone needs improvement in a skill.
  • Comfort Zone: For someone with a comfort zone trigger, a new task or unfamiliar situations can lead to anxiety. This often happens if the person will be judged on their skill or knowledge.
  • Feedback: A feedback trigger often occurs in people who perceive feedback as criticism. Rather than taking feedback as notes for improvement, people who experience this trigger may find themselves feeling defensive or just avoiding these situations altogether.
  • Grit: For those who have a grit trigger, they often become less and less motivated when a project takes long periods of time or if they’re uninterested. This often leads to unfinished work or work decreasing in quality with time.

Developing awareness of the fixed mindset triggers can be a first step to developing a growth mindset. By making our workforce aware of these mindset barriers and by giving them the tools to address them, we can continue to advance with the Future of Work by developing a growth mindset on our teams.

How to Develop a Growth Mindset

  • Add YET to your vocabulary
  • Practice self-reflection
  • Try something new
  • Start a journal
  • Begin by goal setting
  • Celebrate the process over the end result
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Take on a challenge
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