Over the coming months we will use the blog to highlight and define some of here we are global’s key values that serve as our inspiration in creating a community of global professionals on the move. This week here we are global’s founder Jannie Aasted Skov-Hansen takes a look at one of our key values: a growth mindset.
Building a global network naturally forces us to define what our common grounds are and how we strengthen the ties between people involved in the journey. In short, three important elements make up the foundation for here we are global and the way we connect people and ideas. These are 1) Growth mindset 2) Global outlook and 3) Social impact. So now let us take a look at what this growth mindset actually is all about.
As global professionals we would probably like to think that we possess an open mindset and are very eager to learn. We might even think we have a wider mindset than many others because of our exposure to other cultures and extensive transitioning in and out of countries and lifestyles.
Fact is that a growth mindset is a state of mind. That we as human beings may constantly swing between the two ends of a continuum: Fixed mindset vs. Growth mindset. When we find ourselves in the fixed part of the continuum, we tend to focus on the things that are not possible. When we are at the other end; everything is possible. It just takes a little more time and effort.
The Stanford University professor Carol Dweck coined the term growth mindset based on her studies of school children and their brain activity when encountering challenges such as difficult mathematical problems. Since then a range of educationalists and consultants within learning and leadership development have adapted the term – see for example Character Lab’s description of growth mindset.
So one could argue that it is most conducive for our development to remind ourselves to lean towards the growth side of things. This is where we will seize opportunities, learn from adversities and soldier on towards our goals in life. Sounds simple. That’s still me!
Here we are to learn and nourish a growing mind
When embarking on an international stay, we of course encourage you to bring a growing mindset. We do – however – also realise that in the land of cultural and traditional differences, this is where you might end up with the biggest challenges.
Going abroad, you will see how things can be – and are done differently. This will possibly make you realise, that you are not always that open minded. You might even realise that some of your opinions can be quite ridged, locked in a fix mindset. The question is, what you chose to do in the situation? Which way will your mind go?
You can choose to stay fixed and stick to what you know. Or you can walk with the growth mindset, determined to see this as a chance to learn. We are not saying this is easy. But we say that you will find more opportunities, if you nourish the growing mind.
Are we there yet?
As much as we want to consider ourselves being open to feedback and face every problem with a smile, we have to be realistic about the everyday patterns that may not support this attitude, always. Well, here we are, finding solace in a tiny word, also introduced by Carol Dweck. Three letters to give us peace of mind: Yet.
I am not a fluid French speaker – yet. I am not a certified yoga instructor – yet. I am not an expert in machine learning – yet.
I am moving towards becoming an avid French speaker. I am planning to sign up for a course online – or better: a retreat in India. I am learning about AI and connecting with people more knowledgeable than me within this field of expertise.
When we describe ourselves as being in the process of becoming what we would like to be a sensation of confidence takes over from a (maybe) opposite feeling of falling short in realising our dreams. When we strive towards something, we set ourselves in motion. We generate energy. Also to people around us.
Where are you heading?
A common question to each other in the world of a mobile workforce is; Where are you heading next? Meaning; which country is your next posting? Where will you spend your exchange semester? Or where is the home you are returning to?
While these questions are perfectly fine we might find that asking questions that focus on the process, development and growth can open up for even deeper and more meaningful conversations. Where are you heading, meaning how would you like to grow in your personal and professional life? What fills your cup with excitement and motivation? What do you aspire to become?
When we take a sincere interest in understanding the movements and dreams of each other it will be easier to ask along the lines of a community sharing a growth mindset: Where are you heading – and how can we help you?
Want to know more?
Start by watching Train Ugly’s explanation in this YouTube video.