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5 Benefits of a Growth Mindset

5 Benefits of a Growth Mindset

by Amanda Young, CSO

Research has shown that believing you are capable of changing (i.e. adopting a growth mindset) and approaching a goal to improve will lead to success. A lot of the early research on mindset surrounded school achievement, which is no longer relevant to many of us. However, mindsets do still matter. Read on to discover 5 often overlooked ways that a growth mindset can be beneficial.

1. Successful Workplace Diversity
Despite the best efforts of organizations, bias still occurs in workplace interactions. After incidents of bias the concern becomes how well the target of the bias can recover. When confronting bias, people with a growth mindset will have a more positive attitude about future interactions with that person than people with a fixed mindset. This increases feelings of workplace belonging and satisfaction.(1) 

2. Increased Negotiation Skills
Negotiation skills are one specific area where people can have a growth or fixed mindset. Believing that you can improve as a negotiator (i.e., you don’t have to be a natural) increased performance in negotiations after completing a negotiation course. Those people in the course with a fixed mindset did not improve as much after the course.(2)

3. Weight Loss
If you’ve tried to lose weight, then you know setbacks are almost unavoidable. A growth mindset protects people from the weight-gain associated with setbacks. Believing that X can change keeps people motivated instead of giving up on their goal (and their diet).(3)

4. Less Depression
When depressed (outside of severe clinical depression) people with a growth mindset pushed to confront their problems. People with a fixed mindset ruminate on their failures, instead of confronting their problems. They shut down and fall more behind, which leads to more failures.(4)

5. Learning Agility
Learning agility is defined by how someone learns from experience. Whether you have a growth or fixed mindset will impact several processes related to learning agility, such as pattern recognition, reflection, and feedback seeking. A growth mindset is key to these processes, and thus key to learning agility.(5)

Encourage a Growth Mindset in Others!
Whether you are a leader in a large organization or a parent (or both!) you can find simple ways to not only improve your own mindset but encourage a growth mindset in others. Give feedback that praises (or critiques) effort instead of talent. Business settings tend to be built around encouraging a fixed mindset. We even refer to high performers as top talent. I know it flows better than “people who are motivated, work hard, and produce quality work,” but it sends the message that people with natural ability are better. Instead of encouraging a fixed mindset, pay attention to changes from past performance and express how much more effect this level of work must have taken. 



(1) Rattan, A., & Dweck, C. S. (2018). What happens after prejudice is confronted in the workplace? how mindsets affect minorities' and women's outlook on future social relations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 103, 676.
(2)Kray, L. J., & Haselhuhn, M. P. (2007). Implicit negotiation beliefs and performance: Experimental and longitudinal evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 49-64. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.93.1.49
(3) Burnette, J. L., & Finkel, E. J. (2012). Buffering against weight gain following dieting setbacks: An implicit theory intervention. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 721-725. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.12.020
(4)Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.
(5)Vandewalle, D. (2012). A growth and fixed mindset exposition of the value of conceptual clarity. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 5, 301-305. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9434.2012.01450.x