It is all in the Mindset [Maggie Sayers]

I truly believe that challenges are opportunities for growth. “There are no mistakes” rings true for me.

When something goes wrong in our office, we always try to find a way to learn from our mistakes, take a closer look at our systems and find possible improvements to avoid stressful situation. Some of my colleagues don’t share that view. It is very important to them to not make mistakes. They find all kinds of excuses and go through any length to cast blame someplace else. It is my experience that unless you take responsibility for your errors, you will not learn from them. Teamwork becomes very strained under these circumstances.

My frustration level was approaching the red zone when I recently started reading Carol Dweck’s mindset. It really is all in the mindset.

There are two mindsets – the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. People with the fixed mindset believe that they were born with certain talents and skills and no matter what, it does not get any better. They need to make sure that they don’t look stupid at all cost. They need to protect their position so others cannot take advantage of them.

People with the growth mindset believe that effort and persistence will increase their skill sets. When they make a mistake, they simply go back to the drawing board and use a different approach next time, work harder and learn more. They don’t consider mistakes setbacks. They rather get inspired to find new and better solutions.

Wow, our minds can really play tricks on us. While this understanding does not make the teamwork any easier, it certainly has changed my attitude towards my colleagues with fixed mindsets. Questions like “How might we” or, “What if……”afford the closed mindset to consider the possibility for growth.

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