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Growth Mindset: Essential in the Workplace

This is the era of buzz words—words that we all say but really don’t have a clear purpose or meaning. This is especially true in the office. Let’s just take a look at some of the most popular buzz words and phrases in the workplace:

  • Back Pocket: “Let’s keep that in our back pocket.”
  • Line in the Sand: “We need to draw a clear line in the sand.”
  • Deep Dive: “We’ll do a deep dive when we…”
  • Circle Back: “I wanted to circle back on…”

 Also on the never ending list of buzz words is growth mindset. I would generally say let’s eliminate buzz words altogether as it is just better communication to directly say what you mean. But I do think there is value in the term growth mindset. So let’s define it to make the phrase effective.

The concept of a growth mindset is credited to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. In her book, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” she emphasizes the power of our beliefs and how they can dramatically affect our lives. She talks about the difference between fixed mindset and growth mindset. While a fixed mindset believes that you are unable to change or develop your intelligence or character, growth mindset does not see these attributes as static. Instead, “we have the opportunity to grow, learn and adapt to the situation as new challenges and tasks arrive.” Failure is not due to someone’s personal flaw but is instead an opportunity for learning and growth.

This type of mindset is essential in the workplace as it encourages your employees to take failure and turn it into the development of a new or improved skill/attribute. This will lead your team into success.

An article from Michelle McQuaid shares that Dweck’s research found employees in a growth mindset workplace are 47% more likely to say their colleagues are trustworthy than those with a fixed mindset. These employees are also 34% more likely to feel a strong commitment to their organization, are 65% more likely to say that their company takes risks and 49% more likely to say that their organization promotes innovation.

McQuaid sums up Dweck’s latest research by saying the growth mindset in the workplace “shapes our ability to create innovative, risk-taking cultures and have happier employees.”

Let us focus on an individual’s ability to grow instead of fixating on failure. This will continue to improve your company’s culture and therefore strengthen your company for success.


To learn more about growth mindset, check out these sources: 

The Muse’s 30 Buzzword-y Phrases You Should Cut From Your Vocabulary (Like, Right Now)

Cornerstone’s Seeing Success: Why You Should Promote a Growth Mindset in the Workplace

Impraise’s How to Develop a Growth Mindset in Your Team


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