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Importance of a Growth Mindset

Can our mindsets affect the way we learn? Yes! Our mindsets or viewpoints play a large role in decision making, thought process, learning growth, etc. There are two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

  • Fixed Mindset: People with fixed mindsets believe that everyone is born with a specific level of intelligence, and these abilities are “unchangeable”.

  • Growth Mindset: People with growth mindsets believe that intelligence and abilities can be improved over time, regardless of the starting point.

Why is it important to have a growth mindset?

  • Mindsets directly affect student engagement, learning, achievement, etc. Dr. Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, reports in 2016, “Individuals with a growth mindset tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset. This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning. They also receive far greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation. In contrast, people at primarily fixed-mindset companies report more of only one thing: cheating and deception among employees, presumably to gain an advantage in the talent race.”

How to develop and foster a growth mindset:

  • “Praise the effort in relation to the outcome – with particular emphasis on learning and progress.” - (Dweck 1)

  • Accept and learn from failures.

  • View obstacles as opportunities!

  • Use “not yet” instead of “fail”.

  • Understand that brains are built, not born! According to Earl B. Hunt, Professor Emeritus in psychology at the University of Washington, “[Intelligence can be improved] by acquiring useful, widely applicable cognitive skills, such as logical reasoning, critical thinking or mathematics”.

Improving intelligence is similar to how athletic ability can be improved through training, exercise, etc.

Works Cited:

  • Harvard Business Review. What Having A “Growth Mindset” Actually Means. 2016,

  • Hunt, Earl. "Improving Intelligence". Https://Www.Psychologytoday.Com/Us/Blog/Exploring-Intelligence/201302/Improving-Intelligence, 2013, Accessed 3 Dec 2020.

  • Briggs, Saga. "25 Ways To Develop A Growth Mindset". InformED, 2015,,word%20%E2%80%9Cfailing%E2%80%9D%20with%20the%20word%20%E2%80%9Clearning.%E2%80%9D.%20More%20items.

  • "Design A Better Business Workshop @ Zoku Amsterdam" by Sebastiaan ter Burg is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

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