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Why is a growth mindset important?

Growth mindset

By looking for opportunities to learn, rather than putting problems in the too-hard basket, businesses and individuals can adapt with the world as it changes.

Human resources expert Professor Dave Ulrich and psychologist and author Dr Wendy Ulrich told NAB that a growth mindset, that is, a mindset which looks for opportunities to learn and grow, can be instrumental in keeping up with a changing world.

It’s a mindset popular with Microsoft, where it’s the first quality listed in the company’s mission and culture statement: “At Microsoft, we’re insatiably curious and always learning.

“We ask questions, take risks and build on each other’s ideas, because we are better together. We lean in to uncertainty, take risks and move quickly when we make mistakes, because we know that failure happens along the way to innovation and breakthrough.”

Speaking to NAB’s chief people officer Lorraine Murphy about growth mindset, Mr Ulrich said: “If we don’t change inside organisations as fast as the world around us changes, we lose. The more it changes, the more we have to change and growth mindset is about that change.”

Ms Ulrich added that in order to incorporate a growth mindset into personal and group growth, people need to consider whether they are seeing “the opportunities that come with failure and struggle as being opportunities for growth”.

She gave three tips on how to build a growth mindset. First, individuals need to watch out for the things that they are praising. Effort and practice should be praised, as opposed to simply praising someone (or yourself) for being smart, “which doesn’t work”.

“Second, watch for the stories that you’re telling yourself,” she continued.

“Look for the stories about ‘I can’t do this yet,’ or ‘I wonder how I’m going to do it’ rather than just ‘I can’t do it’ and always remember the brain can always grow and learn.”

Why is a growth mindset important?
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