A ‘Growth Mindset’ versus A ‘Fixed Mindset’ in Business

Posted by Nico Viljoen on 07 March 2018.

Nico Viljoen

MBA, Hons BCompt, HDip Tax (Jefferson School of Law USA), HED, AGA(SA) DBA Graduate Student, Business School Netherlands

The Tax Shop Head Office

More about Nico Viljoen

Nico obtained qualifications from various academic institutions and currently studies towards the DBA at the Business School Netherlands. He is an associate member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. After completion of his articles with PWC, he lectured in the fields of taxation, accounting and auditing at the Vaal University of Technology. Thereafter, he occupied financial executive positions in the heavy engineering, chemical, transport and automotive industry. Nico has owned and managed various successful businesses over the 20 years. Nico has been a business mentor for various organisation and serves as an external moderator for taxation and internal auditing.

A ‘growth mindset’ person

A ‘growth intelligence mindset’ person seeks challenges and believes that failure is not a proof of unintelligence but an encouraging springboard for growth and development. A ‘growth mindset’ person chooses to believe that intelligence, a specific personality and a specific moral character are not simply something one has been given and forced to live with, but one will cultivate them through one’s efforts to reach full potential. A ‘growth mindset’ person is eager to absorb information that could present knowledge and skill.

The main objective is to learn, not whether managed to get the answers right (Dweck, 2014:2). Finally, a ‘growth mindset’ person believes personal success occurs when one works hard; setbacks are motivating and informative input to become better.

A ‘fixed mindset’ person

A ‘fixed intelligence mindset’ person beliefs that a person’s intelligence, character and creativity are all static givens that can change and that the affirmation of that inherent intelligence is success. In other words, what and how a person thinks, fuel behaviour and predict success (Dweck, 2014:1).

A ‘fixed mindset’ person believes that one’s personality and skills are carved in stone during early childhood, which creates an endless need to prove oneself repeatedly. A ‘fixed mindset’ person is only interested in hearing feedback that directly reflects on the person’s existing ability and tunes out information that could help learning and improvement.  A ‘fixed mindset’ person is not interested in hearing the right answer when one had gotten a question wrong; already filing the result away in the failure category (Dweck, 2014:2).

Praising people for their ability push them right into the ‘fixed mindset’. When offered them a choice, they refuse to undergo a challenging new task they could learn from and reject anything that could possibly expose their weakness and call their talent into question. Success is all about building superiority over others, they’re a label and a sentence (Dweck, 2014:2).