Do you have the RIGHT mindset to success in your job?
Ian Dyason. First published on LinkedIn on 5 March 2023
Your mindset determines your perceptions, and that determines your actions. Actions that are repeated over time become your habits. Some habits can be harmful, others can be beneficial. Yet what is beneficial to some can be harmful to others.
The dominant logic of the fixed and growth mindset is that one is good and the other is bad. Their very nomenclature alludes to that; without even understanding what they mean, growth seems to conjure multiplication of good; while fixed, at best, seems to suggest stagnation.
For example, the dominant logic describes a person who has a fixed mindset as one who sees intelligence as a finite entity; and that competence cannot be expanded after a certain age. It also describes a person who is fearful of failure given his/her fragile self-concept as fixed. Contrasting that, the person who is not afraid to fail, who is open to learning new ideas, and who views failure as a means for learning, has a growth mindset.
Hence, it is seen as a binary good-bad concept.
Yet, good or bad is relative. For example, taking risks is good but only up to a point. How far along the risk-reward spectrum this point is, is different for different people. In other words, the same amount of risk can be both good and bad at the same time; it depends on who is taking that risk. Furthermore, for some people, no risk is good, and any risk is bad. So now, the concept of good and bad has been turned on its head!
This goes to show that the concept of good or bad is not absolute; it is contextual. Put another way, the fixed mindset is not necessarily bad, and the growth mindset is not necessarily good. Whether they are or not depends on their job role. I would certainly want my governance committee to be more fixed minded than growth; I don’t want them to apply creative accounting to stretch the letter of the law. But my product development team needs to embrace the growth mindset to be successful, for sure.
This idea flies in the face of the dominant logic which says that fixed is bad and growth is good.
So how will we know if we have the correct mindset for our job? For this, we need three things:
a. A codified system of measure
b. A valid and reliable assessment tool, and
c. A reference standard for the correct mindset
A codified system of measure
Indeed, you need to be able to measure your mindset based on a standardized norm. If you are unable to measure your mindset, you would not know the extent of your growth mindedness and, thus, would not be able to tell if you have the right mindset or not. This means that you need to understand what specific behaviours lead to fixed or growth mindedness, and how they combine to form your mindset.
A valid and reliable assessment tool
Next, your measurement must be normed against a standard, otherwise it is not valid nor reliable. Our first assessment platform used a sliding scale (from not like me to most like me) for users to rate themselves over different behaviours (this is called an ipsative assessment model). It uses one’s perception of oneself to create the growth mindset score. The problem with a self-assessment questionnaire is that it is rife with bias. If our self-concept is very high, we would rate ourselves better than we actually are. And if our self-concept was lower, we would rate ourselves lower than we actually are. Hence, the output of the assessment is always aligned with one’s self-perception; but that is a biased perception. In fact, we already mentioned that one would probably identify oneself as growth minded, and so when we do the assessment, we would select the option that was more growth than we really are. We can also manipulate the results if we wanted to, by choosing that response that people want to receive from us, and which was not necessarily like us. The result of such a measurement system would certainly be invalid. These days, we use a sophisticated assessment system called the forced choice that is virtually impossible to manipulate, and hence reports a valid output.
A reference standard for the correct mindset
Finally, if you did not know what constitutes the correct mindset for success for your job, then you would also not know if you had the right one or not. So even if you can measure your mindset, it would not mean anything if you did not know how that correlated to success for your job. Since different jobs require a different type of mindset for success, we also need to have that reference standard for each job role. Such a standard can only be determined once we have a valid and reliable system of measure. Then, through applied research measuring successful individuals in those jobs, we can paint the “Optimal” profile for that role, which we can use to assess your fit with it. This allows us to identify gaps to the Optimal which you could focus your development onto.
So, do YOU have the correct mindset for success in your job?
That question is not easy to answer, and it certainly cannot be determined by a simple self-assessment questionnaire that many people deploy. Indeed, since fixed is not necessarily bad and growth is not necessarily good; and the extent of good or bad is determined by the context of the job to be done, you must first be able to measure your mindset in an objective, valid and reliable manner; and then apply that to a standard that defines success for your job.
And that is where the 5Dimensions of the Growth Mindset (5DGM) assessment comes in. It is the world’s ONLY behavioural based growth mindset assessment system that employs a sophisticated algorithm that eradicates bias. It will accurately measure and report your mindset over 5 different dimensions, so that you can start to understand where you may be growth minded, and where you may be fixed. Our Premium Reports provide a gap analysis based on a standardized model of the job to be done. This will allow you to focus your development on the right areas for success. And this is the only way you can find out if you had the right mindset for success! You may do the assessment at www.5dgm.net.
In my next article I shall detail the 5 dimensions of the growth mindset.