Fixed Vs Growth Mindsets & Psychologically Safe Workplaces - with Naomi Armitage

Jun 02, 10:30 PM

Today’s episode features Naomi Armitage - a Psychologist and advocate for ‘Psychological Safety ‘in the workplace and an expert on the topic of fixed vs growth mindsets. Naomi has her own practice and has worked with some of Australia’s largest companies in transforming and empowering workplaces to create more innovative, productive and forward-thinking cultures. She provides practical advice on how individuals and leaders can better apply these learnings in their lives and help to better develop themselves and their teams.

Today’s episode features Naomi Armitage - a Psychologist and advocate for ‘Psychological Safety ‘in the workplace and an expert on the topic of fixed vs growth mindsets. Naomi has her own practice and has worked with some of Australia’s largest companies in transforming and empowering workplaces to create more innovative, productive and forward-thinking cultures. She provides practical advice on how individuals and leaders can better apply these learnings in their lives and help to better develop themselves and their teams.

Can you talk to us a little bit about fixed and growth mindset? From your perspective what are the basic differences between the two mindsets?

Really a fixed mindset is the belief that your basic abilities and intelligence are fixed traits that you are born with, and you can’t change them. Whereas someone with a growth mindset believes their talents and abilities can be developed through efforts and persistence and that those efforts will be rewarded through change and mastery of different ideas or topics. They are very different, someone with a fixed mindset will avoid challenges and try and cover up mistakes because you believe that you need to protect the view that you may be the expert and know everything. Often people with a fixed mindset tend to plateau early in their careers, and don’t go on to learn and develop. Someone with a growth mindset loves opportunities to learn. They see it as an opportunity to develop and they accept criticism in their feedback and find lessons in their failures. They are the ones who tend to achieve more and have that greater sense of free will and control.

From your perspective how does one truly change from a fixed to a growth mindset?

It’s hard. To be able to get to that point you need two things, firstly you need to have a safe environment where you are allowed to learn and grow and make mistakes, if you are in an environment where failure is bad and you can’t afford to lose face because you’ll be punished or ridiculed then of course you’re not going to practice a growth mindset. So that environment where you accept mistakes and that they are inevitable is the number one thing. The second one is embracing that it’s a possibility and then just practicing it. Instinctively we want to try and manage our self-image, we want to fit in and look like we know what we’re doing, but that’s a line to that fixed mindset. So it’s about letting go of that, and being ok with being uncomfortable and letting go of your ego and practicing just on everyday behaviours. 

Why is psychological safety so important to workplaces and why should companies invest in this?

The basis to diversity and inclusion, innovation and a lot of other organisational goals that business are trying to set today is in psychological safety. If businesses really simplify and drill down to their foundation and see if they work on building this climate of psychological safety, they will hit all their other targets along the way. It really has a business outcome with better performance, but also staff are likely to be more engaged, and you are more likely to retain them. You are looking after your people and your resources.