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The kind of mindset that increases happiness at work

December 21, 2022

A group of researchers from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Yale School of Management, Wharton School and Google has found that people who apply the concept of a “growth mindset” to their jobs are able to increase their levels of happiness at work.

The concept is addressed in the work of Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford, and says that when we believe we can develop our skills and characteristics to produce the results we want, success tends to follow. But too often, people underestimate how much they can grow, stifling their own potential.

However, the research also showed that the growth mindset alone is not enough in the corporate environment. To increase their happiness, people need to see flexibility in themselves and the tasks and relationships included in their jobs. Berg and his colleagues call this a dual-growth mindset.

“Fundamental theories of human agency that have long existed in psychology suggest that when you try to make change in the world, you often need to change yourself and your environment to make deeper, more sustainable change,” Justin Berg, an assistant professor of organizational behavior, says to Insights by Stanford Business. “At work, we can make more meaningful changes when both the self and job are at play because changes to the self often require changes to the job and vice versa.”

The authors suggest that now may be the ideal time to try a dual growth mindset at work. Employees are settling into new cubicles and Zoom rooms after the Great Layoff, when some 47 million Americans quit their jobs in one year, and many millions more are re-evaluating their work lives.

“The pandemic made people think about who they are, who they want to be, and how they want to be spending their time,” Berg says. “The domain of work is how we spend most of our waking hours. It’s a great opportunity at this moment, when so many people are rethinking these matters, to bring a dual-growth mindset to bear and figure out what changes you want to make.”

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business