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Engineer Inclusion

Embracing a Growth Mindset: Strategies for Success in School and Work

Fostering a growth mindset is essential for success, whether you’re a student or a professional. Instead of a fixed mindset, a growth mindset can transform how we perceive our abilities and potential. This blog will explore the core concepts of growth and fixed mindsets and offer practical strategies for students and workers to implement a growth mindset in their daily lives. Download a PDF with the differences between fixed and growth mindset at the end of the post.

 

Embracing a Growth Mindset Strategies for Success in School and Work

Understanding Mindsets

At the heart of fostering success is understanding the distinction between fixed and growth mindsets. These two mindsets profoundly influence how we perceive our abilities and potential.

Fixed Mindset

Individuals with a fixed mindset believe their intelligence and abilities are static. They focus on looking smart, avoid challenges, and feel threatened by others’ success. They often shy away from tasks that might expose their perceived weaknesses and are more likely to give up when faced with obstacles.

Growth Mindset

In contrast, those with a growth mindset believe their abilities can be developed through effort and learning. They embrace challenges, learn from feedback, and are inspired by others’ success. This mindset fosters resilience and a love for learning, encouraging persistence despite difficulties.

What is the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset?

Defined by Dr. Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, a fixed mindset is a belief that your intelligence or skills are fixed, while, a growth mindset is a belief that your intelligence and skills can be developed over time.¹ Download a PDF handout at the end of this post! 

The Power of Feedback

Feedback plays a crucial role in shaping mindsets and behaviors. Research has shown that the type of praise we receive can significantly impact our motivation and performance.

Effort-Based Praise

Praising effort encourages us to take on challenges, persist through difficulties, and view mistakes as learning opportunities. This type of feedback reinforces the belief that effort leads to improvement and success.

Intelligence-Based Praise

Praising intelligence can lead to a fixed mindset. People may avoid challenges to maintain the perception of being “smart” and may become discouraged when faced with difficulties.

We offer lots of resources on feedback! 

Implementing a Growth Mindset: Strategies for Success

For Students

For Workers

Glass Half Empty Or Half Full

Asset vs. Deficit Perspective

Adopting an asset-based perspective is crucial for supporting all individuals, whether in school or the workplace. An asset-based approach recognizes and leverages people’s differences and experiences as valuable contributions to the environment.

Asset Perspective

Sees individuals’ knowledge and experiences as resources that can enhance learning and work. This perspective fosters a positive and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and supported.

Deficit Perspective

Views differences as hindrances and may lead to lower expectations and disengagement. This perspective can negatively impact motivation and performance.

Practical Examples

Here are a few practical examples of how to implement a growth mindset and asset-based perspective in various settings:

Conclusion

Adopting a growth mindset and an asset-based perspective can transform experiences in both educational and professional settings. By focusing on effort, embracing challenges, and recognizing the unique strengths each person brings, we can create environments where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

Integrating these principles into daily practice helps develop resilient, motivated, and successful students and professionals ready to navigate future challenges. Let’s commit to fostering a growth mindset and supporting each other’s journey toward success.

References

¹Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.

Download a PDF with the characteristics of fixed and growth mindsets.

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Meagan Pollock, PhD

Dr. Meagan Pollock envisions a world where personal and social circumstances are not obstacles to achieving potential, and where kindness, inclusivity, and conservation prevail.

An international speaker, teacher, engineer, and equity leader, her mission is to provide services, tools, and resources that inspire awareness and initiate action.

As an engineer turned educator, Meagan Pollock is focused on engineering equity into education and the workforce.

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