Have you heard of the concept of a growth mindset? There’s some great research by Carol Dweck highlighting the difference between a fixed and a growth mindset. Basically, people who feel like they can change and develop their abilities have a growth mindset. They are more likely to work on their own development and change their abilities in a positive way. More recently, a new concept has popped up in the research – the dual growth mindset. This new research links dual growth mindset to employee happiness. But what is it?
Dual Growth Mindset
Dual growth mindset includes two components – self and job. What we typically think of as a growth mindset can be considered a self growth mindset. Self growth mindset is all about the belief in your ability to change. The job growth mindset is the component you’ve likely never heard of. Basically, if you have job growth mindset, you believe that your job is malleable – that there is some ability to change the tasks of your job. It is much more common to think your job itself is not changeable, but that’s not always true! Sometimes, you can change parts of your job.
Dual growth mindset is having a combination of both self and job growth mindsets. Not only do you believe that you can change and develop, but you think your job is able to be changed. When you build your dual growth mindset, you are more likely to be happier 6 months later! This impact on happiness doesn’t happen if you only grow self or job growth mindsets – it’s really about growing both at the same time.
How to Grow a Dual Growth Mindset
There’s a number of interventions that can help you work on your mindset. There are some resources here and a book by the original researcher behind growth mindset here. In the research, participants went though a workshop where they graphically represented their job and their selves as a flexible set of building blocks. They created a before and after, with the after being an ideal but realistic image of where they wanted to be. Participants were also asked to reflect on how they and their job changed over time. They were also given examples of how employees develop over time and how jobs change over time.
While not exact instructions, think about this basic methodology if you want to create your own way to grow your dual growth mindset. Spend some time defining what change your want to see. And make sure you do the reflection on the past. It’s hard to believe things can change if you don’t have a reference of when it has changed before! If you don’t have any examples in your own life, seek them out! Ask people how they’ve developed over time and how their jobs have evolved.
Job Crafting Helps!
Finally, we want to make a quick note about job crafting. Job crafting is when an employee reshapes their work and tasks to better suit them. Not everything about a job can be adjusted but most jobs have some ability to make some tweaks. The important thing to note about happiness linked to dual growth mindset is that job crafting is likely the way that employees achieve it. When employees have a dual growth mindset, they are more likely to seek out ways to develop themselves and craft their jobs! a
In sum, if you are in a situation where your job is making you unhappy and your leaders are not doing anything to improve, consider developing your dual growth mindset! While we strongly believe companies have a big responsibility in making better work environments, we know they don’t always do the right thing. Think of this as a tool in your toolbox to help yourself when you need it. And, bonus, we know growth mindset is associated with lots of other good things so it definitely won’t hurt!