Growth Mindset: What you need to know in this Connected World
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”. – John F. Kennedy
You might have noticed that the happiest and most successful people are all learning as they go. They have what we call a Growth Mindset today.
A growth mindset - the ability to adapt - is critical in today’s VUCA world. The global media and entertainment industry, where I spent a large part of my early career, has seen changes at an accelerated pace in the last few years, owing to the evolving media technological advancement, changing consumer tastes and trends in the way they acquire and use the content. And over the years, the difference is evident between those with a growth mindset - willing to put in the effort to learn and grow and those with a fixed mindset - wanting to prove themselves correct over and over rather than learning from their mistakes.
People with a growth mindset are using setbacks and failures as a learning tool. They use all the hiccups along the way to ultimately help them reach their goals instead of dissuading them.
Most people associate learning with things they learnt at school but there is another kind of learning that we do on a daily basis. It’s called social learning – where you learn from and about others by watching and interacting with them. For example, seeing someone else’s mistakes may teach you to avoid falling into the same trap.
Because humans are such social beings, social learning is a very efficient way to learn things. You do not have to figure everything out on your own, because you learn from other people’s mistakes and successes. A wise man once said “Learn from everyone and follow no one.”
A wise man once said “Learn from everyone and follow no one.”
The idea is that other people’s mistakes and successes can teach you whether you should behave the same way, or differently.
When we watch others’ choices, whether the results are good or bad, we have extra information on what the best choice may be. We use that extra information to improve our own choices. So, we benefit from learning from others, as it helps us to make better choices ourselves. This makes learning from other people’s mistakes and successes more efficient than figuring things out on our own.
There’s a growing body of evidence that suggests our brains actually function better when we’re interacting with others and experiencing togetherness.
Research shows, for example, that listening and participating in a two-person conversation is actually less mentally taxing for the brain than giving or listening to a monologue.
When the global lockdown made it impossible to conduct in-person meetings or presentations, the popularity of webinars and livestreams increased considerably, saving people from the dehumanizing effect of the global lockdown.
Not only was there an increase in the number of webinars hosted, but it can be said that they covered a wide range of topics as well.
The news of Eric Yuan, founder of video conferencing company Zoom, making his service free for unlimited use in affected countries, including China, Italy and in schools across the U.S was welcomed with open arms.
During the days of social distancing, video conferencing threw a lifeline to people working from home and helped the mental health of isolated families and friends who are starved of human contact. Virtual coffee mornings and virtual evening drinks meet-ups became commonplace. Under lockdown, Italians enjoyed a virtual version of their vibrant cocktail hour, which they called “Skype-aperitivo.”
Those with a growth mindset and a drive to succeed took the time to upskill rather than letting the situation chip away at their motivation, engagement, and confidence. According to a survey by TalentLMS, 42% of employees have pursued training on their own after the coronavirus outbreak.
How many online courses, webinars or livestreams have you hosted or attended in the past 12 month? You may be surprised by how our behaviours are changing, and how we are adapting to this new normal - "contactless" communication and learning.
And while cinemas, theaters and concerts halls were closed, many artists, determined to bring the world closer together in these turbulent times decided to take their shows online. Pop stars and musicians – including Chris Martin, John Legend, and Keith Urban – live streamed free concerts on social media. Arts organizations such as the National Theatre in London, Berlin’s Schaubühne theater and the Metropolitan Opera in New York began streaming their productions online for free.
When libraries closed their doors abruptly, they immediately opened their digital communications, collaborations, and creative activity to reach their public in ways as novel as the virus that forced them into it.
Many libraries ramped up their online presence. There are lists and lists of resources for children’s activities; plans for improving adult job skills and dealing with job loss; hobby ideas; reading lists; ways to sleep better, meditate, and stay calm; ways to exercise; and ideas for virtual, social interaction.
In short, they leveraged technology to keep people productive, safe, healthy, informed, and connected to each other during one of the worst times in history.
The COVID-19 crisis is certainly a crisis of unprecedented magnitude. But the worst crisis brings out the best in human nature – and technology and online learning played a big part in everyone working together to come out stronger on the other end.