The term growth mindset has long been associated with children or education. Having a growth mindset simply means that one understands that intelligence can be developed with the focus on improvement. The concept was created by Psychologist, Carol Dweck.
So where does this fit in to being able to rise and lead like a queen? Well, for starters, it is one of the factors I use in the model I practice with clients so that they can rise and lead with effectiveness and passion. Having a positive or growth mindset will help you to achieve the success you strive for in your industry or business. Here’s a quick guide:
I chose this topic because I think women, who want to rise could harness more of it. When I coach women leaders many feel that they were very lucky to be in their current position and very few feel that they are there because they were the best person for the job. Some have even said that they feel like a fraud and that they will soon be “found out.” My question to them is, “You went for the job and were the best on the day. What makes you think you were lucky?” This is a little example of having a fixed mindset and it also happens to self employed women.
Developing a growth mindset to grow your business
I had a client a couple of years ago who had a fear of success. Not because she would make a lot of money or would become famous, it was because she thought she wouldn’t be able to cope with demand. This lady was a mobile hairdresser and left her job to start a business because she wanted to work around her daughter. I asked her what her long term goal was and it was to make enough money so that she could live the life she wanted and go on holiday once a year. Her biggest fear was turning down work then getting a bad reputation for not being able to take on clients. We did an exercise where I asked her to think about the people who could help her such as other hairdressers who might be able to do the work she couldn’t take on. She did but then said that she would find it hard to manage their diaries. I asked if she knew anyone who could organise diaries. She said that she had a sister who did part-time admin. She then worried about not being able to pay her, so what we did was look at every thing and situation that might block her. We did this exercise to help her to have more of a growth mindset:
After doing this exercise our hairdresser came up with a way to grow her client base and have a small staff team in place. She now has a salon and does a special service for people who are unable to leave their homes. This lady had a fear of getting it wrong, being out of her depth and people saying no to her. This exercise helped this talented and creative hairdresser to go from a fixed to growth mindset.
Growth from failure
Things could be going very well for you and then all of a sudden you do something that doesn’t quite go your way. You’ve made a mistake. You could do one of two things. Either define yourself by that mistake or failure, or you could learn from it. But what do you do if you are reminded of that mistake by your peers or boss?
I had a client who was a head of department and very experienced at organising events. This one event she organised was due to have a prominent guest speaker who people really wanted to see. She had organised the venue, sorted the publicity and everything was going swimmingly. The delegates were there and there a real buzz of excitement. The guest speaker was due at the venue 15 minutes before he was due on stage but seemed to be running late. My client, in a panic, sent a staff member to call the speaker to see where he was. To her horror, the speaker’s PA said that he was out of town. It had transpired that my client had not confirmed the provisional booking so the speaker found somewhere else to be. She first told her staff, and apologised to them for the mix up. The staff were very supportive and said things like “These things happen” or “What can we do to help?”
The department lead got up in front of the crowd and apologised profusely and said that she would reorganise the event at a later date. Most of the crowd were understanding and the few who weren’t demanded their money back. When she went back to headquarters she told her colleagues what had happened and they were surprised that she had made such a mistake but were supportive of her and recognised her past successes. The most surprising reaction was from her boss. My client’s boss, who was also female, berated her and criticised her for making a mistake and said something along the lines of not being able to organise a party in a pub. This totally knocked her confidence.
We did some work around making and recovering from mistakes or failures. Out of many successes this was the only mistake she had made and the idea was to focus on the success and learn from the mistake. We did this 5 question exercise to help restore my client’s confidence and develop her growth mindset:
- What mistake was made and it’s impact?
- What was your part in it?
- If you had to do the task/project again what would you do differently?
- Who can help you?
- What have been your past successes?
We had a few sessions together and when my client got her groove back she remembered that she worked within a good team and that she needed to delegate more. She also recognised that she was good enough to be where she was and do her job well. Her working relationship with her boss became strained because it seemed as though her boss had continued to associate her with this mistake and watched her every move. After recognising her own skills and abilities and being fed up with being micro managed, my client left her job and set up her own company. She is thriving as a business woman and says that she is always learning.
Having a growth mindset helps us to grow and learn. It also helps us to live happier lives and can enhance all areas of our lives. Have a go at the exercises and let me know how you get on. If you want to know more about Rise and Lead like a Queen please post a reply in the comment section or come along to our networking group on Saturday 23rd January. Booking details are at the top of this page. I would also welcome any feedback and suggestions on future posts.
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