Making Decisions with a Growth vs. a Fixed Mindset

Making decisions is something we have to do every day, but our workplaces are where we must make the most decisions. Even a singular piece of communication is made up of many decisions, including the channel of communication, the tone, and what to address and not to address. Decisions are an inevitability for every role in a business, big or small.

As we’ve talked about recently on our blog, you can face every situation with a growth mindset or a fixed mindset, as Carol Dweck proposes in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Today, we’re going to walk you through the practicality of this mindset by taking you through some decisions you can expect to face at work.

Example #1: Brainstorming

As your business reaches for bigger and better things, you will find yourself and your employees brainstorming for new products, services, or ways of doing things. When it comes to deciding who gets to have input and what ideas are approved, you can have either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

growth mindset

Fixed Mindset

When trying to generate new ideas, a fixed mindset will have a more limited point of view. Only a select few will get to share their opinions, based on their past performance. Because improvement and learning are not core values, ideas will be rejected outright instead of being expanded upon or made better. The end result will be an idea that suffices but isn’t entirely innovative.

Growth Mindset

The growth mindset, in contrast, would welcome more voices into the conversation, believing that, even if they do not produce ideas in this meeting, such an environment could encourage idea generation in the future. Instead of ignoring all ideas in general, it would be encouraged to build on others’ ideas and take good ideas in a greater direction. The result would be a truly novel idea that encompasses many people’s efforts.

Example #2: When Making Decisions Is Difficult

Every business leader faces hard decisions. Pay cuts, layoffs, rolling back production, or moving are just some of the problems a business can face. These decisions are hard enough on their own, but with a growth mindset, the outcome can be a net positive.

Fixed Mindset

Fixed mindsets believe that, to some extent, the situation was inevitable because the business was limited by the fixed capabilities of its people and business model. Business leaders are forced to make these decisions on their own because, in this mindset, they alone have the capability to handle these large-scale choices. Any positive is written off because a fixed mindset believes nothing can be learned from negative circumstances.

Growth Mindset

While still difficult to go through, these circumstances are easier to navigate when you have a growth mindset. Because failure is just another opportunity to grow and learn, any choice, even if it turns out poorly, will be valued, taking the pressure off of the initial decision. Secondly, a growth-minded business leader wants to include other employees in their decision to help growth all around. Finally, a growth mindset will also plan ahead for what may come, good or bad, from the final decision, looking to optimize the result no matter what.

In the end, having a growth mindset takes a lot of discipline and practice, but in the end, it can help turn almost any situation positive and fruitful. For more wisdom from Dweck’s Mindset, look at our other posts, and if you’re looking for a growth-minded team to expand your marketing presence, look no further than Dotedison.