Applying a growth mindset to your PR career

On a recent and much needed break to the Philippines (tough slog)… I totally succumbed to Island living and basked in the rarity of being cut away from social media, a hectic life, and the urge to constantly check work emails.

Instead, I traded it in for sun, yoga and wellness, and came back to Brazen as a new woman, full of positivity.

Now I’m not telling you all to hop on a plane, run away to an island and embark on a spiritual mission to ‘find yourself’. But learning how to apply a Growth Mindset will be a good enough start.

I’d been told about ‘Mindset’ in the past but thought it was just jargon for ‘being positive’. Growth mindset is in fact way more than that.

Growth Mindset is about having a learn-and-help-learn approach and ditching the old judge-and-be-judged mantra that comes with a fixed mindset.

With a fixed mindset, you can be successful but with a growth mindset, darling, you’ll fly. It’s about facing every challenge and embracing the opportunity to learn. What better time to learn how to sail a ship, than in a storm?

So how do we actually apply this to everyday PR life?

As professionals in a competitive industry, we have to believe we’re the best and actually be the best. But this confidence can lead to a sense of superiority and a fear of failure.

Isn’t it more powerful if instead of thinking ‘they’ve done it better than us’, we ask ourselves, ‘what can we learn from them’? We can admire someone else’s talent without questioning our own.

The most hazardous phrase in a creative world is ‘we’ve always done it this way’. A difference in opinion and a shake-up of ideas could save you from a path of mediocrity.

The perfect time to encourage a growth mindset is the moment a new employee steps foot in the door.

Praising intelligence and talent can encourage a fixed mindset, but praising effort, good learning processes and resilience will encourage a growth mindset—and properly acknowledge accomplishments.

Instead of measuring a person’s potential, use tasks to reflect how people are doing now. Increase motivation and success by encouraging people to learn from setbacks and to see them not as stumbling blocks, but as stepping stones towards success.

Returning to the office from my Philippines excursion, with a growth mindset in tow, my whole attitude to work life had changed. Skill isn’t passed down in genes. It’s something we learn and something we work hard to achieve.

And the same goes for campaigns, pitches and day-to-day PR life: it doesn’t come to us because we’re just good at it, it comes to us because we throw our all into it, we pick ourselves up and learn from failed attempts, we improve from constructive criticism and strive from positive encouragement.

Because, surely, ‘becoming is much better than just being‘?

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