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Changing the mindset of your team for a more productive workplace


We all want to succeed. Yet many of us get stuck cognitive loops of negative thinking and patterns of behaviour that don’t conduce to our achieving the goals we have set.


Team mindset

Fixed and growth mindset

The Stamford University psychologist Carol Dweck identified two different mindsets in human beings. There is a “fixed” mindset, or the belief that we can’t change or grow to improve our circumstances. And there is a “growth” mindset, where we know the opposite is true and that success is not dependent upon circumstance.


When our mindset is fixed, we tend to avoid challenges and give up for easily because there is no point - especially if the challenge is something we have failed at already. Any negative feedback we get just reassures us that we are incapable of growing and changing. We feel intimidated by the success of others.


With a growth mindset we embrace challenges and are more resilient in the face of setbacks. We also correlate effort with mastering new skills and personal growth. Feedback is seen as helpful advice to improve and we use the success of others to inspire ourselves.

Fostering a growth mindset in the workplace

The mindset of the people around us is just as important as our own, and it is a significant factor in how we view our capabilities. It starts with leaders and bosses.


According to Dweck, ‘Fixed-mindset leaders, like fixed-mindset people in general, live in a world where some people are superior and some are inferior. They must repeatedly affirm that they are superior, and the company is simply a platform for this.’


Breaking down barriers of superiority will show that team members all have the same value and are all capable of achievement.


She suggests the following to create a culture of growth mind set in the workplace:


  • Presenting skills as learnable

  • Conveying that the organisation values learning and perseverance, not just ready-made genius and talent.

  • Giving feedback in a way that promotes learning and future success

  • Presenting managers as resources for learning

How mindfulness can help

Mindfulness training uses meditation practices to transform states of mind. Over time, these lead to an increased self-awareness and an awareness of mental processes as they occur. Mindfulness training allows us to see what’s happening in the mind from moment to moment. It can help us to identify negative thinking patterns and address these with compassion rather than harsh self-judgement.


When we catch ourselves thinking negatively about a situation, such as “I’m never going to get this piece of work done”, we can be kinder to ourselves for thinking and feeling that way. Rather than supressing such thoughts and feelings we can come to see them as ‘just thoughts’, ‘just feelings’. They aren’t the truth – they aren’t ‘facts’. When we see that, then it becomes very much easier to replace negative thoughts with those that are more positive, for example “I am more than capable of finishing this task”.


To find out more about how mindfulness training helps with decision making, contact rachel@mindfulnessworks.com or call (+44) 01223 750660.


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