How Can You Move from A Fixed to A Growth Mindset?

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In a recent blog post, I shared the difference between a growth and fixed mindset which is a current concept introduced by Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University.

Today I want to expand on my first blog and share a few ideas on how you can switch from a fixed to a growth mindset. 

Let me do a quick recap of the difference in case you haven’t had time to read part 1 yet.

People with a fixed mindset believe that qualities such as our intelligence and talents ares set. They think of it as ‘I’ve been dealt a hand of cards that I’m stuck with for life.’

On the other hand, someone with a growth mindset believes they can do anything; it’s a case of learning new skills and behaviours. 

Unsurprisingly many of our clients and participants love the question; How can we change our mindset? 

So, let’s get started answering this exact question.


How Can I Develop A Growth Mindset 

There are  five principles to embrace here as you move towards your new growth mindset.

How You Think About Mistakes 

Fact: we all make mistakes, but it’s how we learn from them that matters 

What’s important is how we think about the ‘errors’ we make. Too often the word failure slips into our vocabulary and it’s easy to view failure as something that can’t be changed. 

Some of you may know that I’m a keen scuba diver and though I say it myself, I’m very competent at it! 

This wasn’t always the case; I enrolled on a number of specialist programmes and immersed (excuse the pun) myself in learning everything I could about my new hobby. 

Learning new skills and gaining experience is what led me to be successful at diving.  

We are all capable of learning, it’s about the choices we make as to whether we want to learn. The only thing that can stop anyone of us from succeeding is if we consciously decide to stop learning or close our minds to change.

From a leadership perspective, it’s crucial that team members know it’s ok to make mistakes Encouraging them to regard it as a learning opportunity and supporting them to grow from the experience will help to be vulnerable and open when they do make mistakes. 

Of course leaders make mistakes too, so take time to reflect and be confident to share yours with your team.  

Tell them what you’ve both learnt and plan to do differently next time. It will communicate to your team that it’s ok for them to fail if they learn the lesson and move forward.  

Hint: This is how they will continue to build their resilience too.  


Keep Learning

I remember a colleague saying, “The more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know.”, which resonated with me. There’s so much we can learn provided we remain open to change.

Rather than looking to others for approval, how about looking to them for support to improve? 


Embrace Challenge And Change

Technology and innovation are advancing at such a pace; the impact on how we do business and provide services means that we are in a constant state of change and dealing with challenges, daily.

Yes, it can feel uncomfortable when you are consistently operating outside your comfort zone. 

Here is the thing, these are the times when we learn and grow the most. Facing challenges and taking responsibility rather than relying on others to act also helps build confidence, resilience and pride in what you are doing.


Be Open To Feedback

While giving developmental feedback can be a challenge for many managers, receiving feedback can often be even more uncomfortable. People can receive feedback as personal failure, criticism, or at times, as a personal attack, especially when it’s poorly delivered.

The more open we are to receiving feedback the more we can learn, grow and succeed.

Remember, the purpose of feedback is to help improve performance. When you think of it like this, it’s hard to see feedback as anything other than positive.

If we don’t receive feedback as a positive thing, think about what message is communicated; we aren’t willing to accept responsibility and don’t want to or aren’t willing to change.  

Is this the message you want to send?


Support And Celebrate Others

When others are achieving and realising their goals, and we’re not quite there yet ourselves, it can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling envious and intimidated by them.

Instead of feeling this way, genuinely celebrate their success. It’s a far more positive experience for you and creates an atmosphere of mutual support, which in turn means others will want to celebrate your achievements with you.

When you think of the phrase ‘Life is a journey, not a destination’ it gives even more meaning to the principle of life-long learning. What action can you take today to start furthering your growth mindset?




Rachel Hewitt-Hall 


About Excel Communications 

Excel Communications has a 30+year history as a global leadership and communication skills organisation dedicated to exceeding the expectations of clients through the training and development of their business and people. 

We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across four continents in multiple languages. Isn’t it time you got in touch? Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.