Being: Fixed versus Growth Mindset

Lesson 2: Topic 2 of 14

medical CEUs Ethics course DO MD RN LVN CNA LPC LNHA LNFA teamwork leadership integrity morals servant

This is perhaps the mindset that has the most profound influence on people’s attitudes toward others. A professor who pioneered this research discovered that

[Those] who hold a “fixed” theory are mainly concerned with how smart they are. They prefer tasks they can already do well and avoid ones on which they may make mistakes and not look smart. In contrast, … people who believe in an “expandable” or “growth” theory … want to challenge themselves to increase their abilities, even if they fail at first. 

Carol Dweck

Tachina Lee on Unsplash medical CEUs Ethics course DO MD RN LVN CNA LPC LNHA LPC LNHA LNFA teamwork LNFA teamwork leadership integrity morals servant

It is “fixed” to the degree that individuals believe that potential is limited by certain innate qualities, whereas one who believes that learning, training, and practice can enhance and realize potential has a “growth” mindset. Supervisors who are of a fixed mindset tend to invest less in ongoing training and professional development, preferring instead to work with employees who appear to be already competent. With a “what you see is what you get” leader assumption, staff who are willing to learn but inexperienced will be passed over, to the detriment of everyone. Both the leader and the followers struggle when the boss doesn’t see potential in himself or others. Fixed-thinkers believe that they and everyone else were given all of their capacity at birth, and once that capacity has been maximised it is impossible to develop any further. Conversely, someone with a growth focus is convinced people are able to learn and grow beyond their current state. 

A leader who wants to become a better person, who seeks for growth in herself and her staff can communicate a vision that benefits everyone. Shortsighted employers are a dime a dozen; the boss who is able to gage willingness to improve instead of simply relying on current skills and aptitudes is a true people investor. Instill new ideas and provide training opportunities in your most willing people. Those holding a growth mindset arguably have one of the best employee traits available!