How Setbacks Can Drive Growth

Posted by Kristin Luck on 9/7/18 8:30 AM
Kristin Luck
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How Setbacks Can Drive Growth

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an intrepreneur, one of the biggest determiners of success and, ultimately, growth, is how you respond to failures or setbacks.

When you experience a setback at work, do you become defensive and blame others or do you berate yourself? Neither response is particularly productive. Defensiveness comes at the expense of learning and can lead to divisiveness with colleagues.

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Being too hard on yourself can undermine personal development. Self-compassion,
on another hand, actually triggers people to adopt a growth mindset.

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In this short article by Serena Chen (less than 10 minutes, I promise!), learn how self-compassion does more than just help people recover from failures or setbacks. It also supports what Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset” – one that views personality traits and abilities as malleable and thus are more likely to stay positive and optimistic while seeking out opportunities for improvement. 

This feeds into a supporting article from Professor Dweck, Paul O’Keefe and Greg Walton (an equally short read!) that uncovers how a growth mindset is critical to the development of new interests and thus, I hypothesize, critical to the development of new business opportunities. 

For instance, a UX designer with an interest in clean transportation solutions might design solutions to decrease a city’s carbon footprint. Or, if like me you’re fascinated with emerging technologies, you’re more likely to be first to market with new products that harness your technical interests. A growth mindset can drive innovation in virtually any field. 

As these authors mention, there is still much to learn about the benefits of cultivating a growth mindset within organizations. However, it stands to reason that encouraging an environment of self-compassion and signaling to employees that a growth mindset is valued will drive overall business performance and innovation.

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Topics: Market Research, Marketing Strategy, Thought Leadership


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