Pride makes or breaks the growth mindset

Picture credit: Naushil Ansari from Pexels

We have come to the fifth - and final - dimension of the growth mindset. This dimension is different from the rest because it has an inverse relationship to growth, in so far as the common understanding of Pride is concerned. Hence, this takes a little bit more explaining.

In the normal vernacular, pride means a person is arrogant, haughty or filled with disdain. Yet, pride could also mean to delight in something - where you put in your best work. But having said that, when we say someone is prideful, it usually means the former. So, in the normal scheme of things, this seems to be a negative Dimension.

Except that it isn't.

All our Dimensions are neither positive nor negative; they just are. In the case of Pride, someone who is more fixed in this Dimension is one who is fixated on the past; one who views his past successes as a badge of honour and who does not deviate from processes that worked in the past. They are ones who can be heard saying, "I have done this many times before, so just follow my instructions." Sometimes, they do this not because they are arrogant, but because it is expedient. Of course, sometimes, this can be due to overconfidence, even bordering on hubris.

All our Dimensions are neither positive nor negative; they just are.

Those who are more growth in this Dimension may have similar experiences and knowledge but are not so quick to pronounce the way forward. They are mindful that there are differences between the past and the present, and rather than being prescriptive, they adopt a Learning approach to uncovering what still works and what needs to be developed. They understand that even young, relatively inexperienced colleagues may have a good perspective and knowledge in the situation. They also suspend judgement on a situation to allow new information to come into their consideration. This allows them to uncover what really is happening and then moderate their response.

Is the growth mindset good, and fixed bad?

It therefore seems to suggest that the growth mindset in this Dimension is good, and the fixed mindset, bad. That is not true. Whether each of the mindset is good or bad depends on the situation. For a fast moving situation where we need to react quickly - like that of an emergency - the fixed mindset might be appropriate since we don't have the time to take in every one's opinion. Additionally, in a very stable environment, where there is little change in the environment over time, the fixed mindset will also work, provided that one has the relevant experience.

the growth mindset in this Dimension applies the agile methodology of experimenting, learning, enlarging knowledge and moving ahead.