joanna jacobs

It’s Q1, a new financial year and a new performance year. This is an ideal time to consider the mindset you have created for yourself and how this affects your approach at work - and home too.

A mindset is the way we think, based on the beliefs that we hold about ourselves - how intelligent we think we are, what talents we have and our personality. Some people, who have what can be defined as a fixed mindset, believe these traits are a given, good or bad, and there is nothing they can do to change them. These people constantly act to ‘prove’ their intellect or talent, never admitting their flaws and shying away from opportunities that might stretch and expose their weaknesses.

Individuals with a fixed mindset might set a career goal, for example becoming a store manager or setting up their own company. Once that goal is achieved, they can be so swept up in the excitement that they fail to move forwards - and often experience a rapid decline.

In contrast, people that adopt a growth mindset, who see their traits as things that can be developed, constantly seek to improve. The ambitious store manager would get on learning what it takes to be brilliant in his or her role, with an eye on the path to regional manager.

So how can you approach 2017/18 with a growth mindset?

• Be aware of the mindset you have naturally adopted for yourself. Notice the judgements that you have made about yourself and the impact this has on your attitude to yourself and others.

• Be aware that your strengths and weaknesses don’t define you. They may well change.

• Consider the regular scheduled meetings or tasks that form part of your role. Next time you’re in this situation, rather than sleep-walking through the routine, approach with a fresh perspective, ask questions of others and of yourself. Consider how these learnings can help you and your team to improve.

• If you’re leading a team, formally or informally, avoid being seen as the ‘genius with a thousand helpers’ and focus on building a team of great people, even better than you.

• Constantly seek feedback and choose to focus on the opportunities for personal growth that are identified.