October 2015 Archives

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Growth mindsetWelcome to the first in our series, highlighting the importance of having a Growth Mindset. In the next few blogs, we’ll share with you how our #LeadingLights research project has allowed us to model plenty of aspirational people. Throughout the project we have discovered that they all share a common characteristic: a growth mindset. Could this be the secret to their success? We certainly think so!

Over the next few weeks, we will take a closer look at the growth attributes that these successful people boast, and discover how they could benefit you and your career…

Growth Attribute No.1: Learning from others

As #LeadingLight and entrepreneur Simon Chaplin rightly said, it’s all about collaboration: “never refer to your team as them – always us”. The difference between those with a growth mindset and a fixed mindset, is that people with a growth mindset are open to learning from others.

“Although bright people aren’t more likely to have growth mindsets, those with growth mindsets tend to become ‘brighter’ over time. Fortunately, we can change our mindset.” Dr. Carol Dweck

You may be highly skilled in one area, but let’s be honest, no ones perfect! Having the ability to look at others and identify the skills that they have that you could benefit from, is priceless. Modelling and learning from others allows you to expand your portfolio of skills. As Howard Gardner writes in his book Extraordinary Minds (1997): ‘exceptional individuals are especially talented at identifying their own strengths and weaknesses’.

What are your weaknesses, and who can you think of who you admire for having those skills? Not only will you end up with a new skill, but you’ll also be making yourself more valuable to your company or employer, as well as adding another tool to your belt!

In a team scenario, it’s important for all members to feel equal and valued. Peer mentoring encourages the barriers to be broken down, putting people on a level playing field.  At work is there a young intern who is amazing with technology? Why not do a skills swap? You could teach them something you know well, such as the art of presenting, and in return get 1-to-1 coaching to bring you up to speed with new technologies. Not only will this be empowering for the younger team member, it will also save money on unnecessary external training and resources. #LeadingLight Jo Cullen (Group Head of Information Systems for Bakkavor Group), stressed the importance of teamwork, pointing out that “nothing is achieved alone” and therefore it’s vital to “respect the team who will help you deliver your vision.”

There has been plenty of research into the benefits of learning recently. Many have found that lifelong learning has a positive effect on health and happiness – with the NHS even suggesting it can help to maintain and improve your mental health (read more here).

So what are you modelling and learn from others around you? Take your eyes off the screen and take a moment to think about friends, family and colleagues who inspire you like our #LeadingLights. It’s a two way street – by stepping into their shoes you learn from them and we are sure you have something to offer them in return.

Don’t miss the next in the series; send us an email and we’ll add you to our mailing list so we can give you a nudge when it’s ready…

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals to achieve their career aspirations and proactively manage their careers. 

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Change rutWelcome to the second in our series, highlighting the importance of having a Growth Mindset.

Over the past year, our #LeadingLights research project has allowed us to model plenty of aspirational people. And throughout, we have discovered that they all share a common characteristic: a growth mindset. Could this be the secret to their success? We certainly think so!

In the previous blog, we looked at the importance of learning from others, and the positive benefit that can have not only on your CV, but also your team spirit, confidence and even mental health. This time we discover how welcoming feedback and being open to challenge could benefit you and your career…

Growth Attribute No.2: Welcoming feedback

Let’s be honest, not many people like being criticised or told they could have done something differently, or indeed, better. However, people with a growth mindset look at this criticism in a different light – rebranding it as welcoming feedback.

Constructive criticism has been found to have hugely positive effects on development: leading to improved performance, a steeper learning curve and ultimately increased personal growth (according to Todd Smith). How often do you ask your colleagues and peers for their opinion on your work? By welcoming feedback in order to improve your work you will become better at what you do! Our #LeadingLight David Whitaker has first hand experience of this following an intensive week on a Relationship Management Program run by Homi Mulla (in India). One of the key lessons he learnt was how to give and take good critique (as opposed to criticism).  He feels he is now always  “prepared to react and respond to opportunities.”

When someone suggests a way you could improve, remember that every single person on this planet is an individual, and will therefore offer a new perspective and opinion. Theirs may not match yours, and you may not agree with their suggestions, however by being curious rather than closed may lead to valuable learning!

Think of feedback as a discussion, rather than a one-way street. As #LeadingLights David Crabb and Simon Chaplin suggested, believe in yourself and your opinions! But take nothing as fact. And consider that on some occasions, you may not be right! But there is nothing wrong with that. Just think you are growing rather than standing still …

Don’t miss the next in the series; send us an email and we’ll add you to our mailing list so we can give you a nudge when it’s ready.

Career Ambitions is dedicated to enabling individuals to achieve their career aspirations and proactively manage their careers. 

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