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Growth Mindset

Having an “open mind” isn't always a motto to be reminded when we're out of our cultural comfort zones: applied to our professional and personal lives, it can be exemplified in one trait – a willingness to learn.

The interesting difference between a “fixed mindset” and an “open mindset” was recently highlighted in James Hamblin's “Don't Call Kids 'Smart'” article for The Atlantic. It's a great Article, and well worth the time to read (there's a link at the bottom of this post). One point made clear in the piece is that “What matters for improving performance is that a person is challenged, which requires a mindset that is receptive to being challenged—if not actively seeking out challenge and failure.” In the business world, it probably sounds counter-intuitive to be seeking out failure, but the take-away is that failure is part of the learning process, and learning fosters growth.

From a common-sense perspective, many things work this way – no risk, no reward. Culturally, though, we are pointed towards success by so many influential voices, and yet the very real possibility of “failure” is ignored or brushed over. It's part of the process, and shouldn't be minimized. Think of it this way: don't look for the employees who are least likely to make mistakes - instead, try to find the ones who are most likely to learn from them.

The Atlantic's article on the subject can be found here: [Don't Call Kids 'Smart'] (