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  • Writer's pictureTemara Willis

Benefits of a growth mindset throughout mediation

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Achieving success in mediation hinges on your willingness to participate with an open mind. While this may be challenging, approaching mediation with a fixed mindset often results in stagnation. Mediation is a voluntary process, an investment of both time and resources. Naturally, you aim to gain something substantial from it, ideally a resolution. So, how can you cultivate and maintain a growth mindset during mediation to ensure the best chances of success?

To begin, let's distinguish between the behaviours typically exhibited by those with a fixed mindset and those with a growth mindset.

Fixed Mindset:

Individuals with a fixed mindset tend to:

  1. Express scepticism, stating that mediation won't work or is a waste of time.

  2. Make firm statements such as "take me to court" or "I won't discuss anything else if you don't agree to this."

  3. Worry about their image, seeing mediation as an admission of failure.

  4. Habitually use 'always' and 'never' statements.

  5. Believe that if they don't get everything they want, the other party has won.

  6. Fail to truly listen, assuming they've heard it all before and dismissing the need for further understanding.

Growth Mindset:

On the other hand, individuals with a growth mindset typically:

  1. View problems as opportunities for learning and growth.

  2. Seek collaborative solutions and ask, "How can we work together to reach the right outcome?"

  3. Feel proud when engaging in compromise, seeing it as a positive step forward.

  4. Actively listen to the other party, understanding their needs and responding constructively.

  5. Focus on removing obstacles rather than creating roadblocks.

Mediation presents an opportunity for personal and professional growth. It allows you to perceive issues from different angles and revise your perceptions. Embracing a growth mindset doesn't mean you won't experience discomfort or anxiety during the process; it means you see it as a chance for improvement rather than an impediment. You appreciate the opportunity to learn, remain open to progress, and value personal development.

Maintaining a fixed mindset, on the other hand, undermines your chances of success. Believing that mediation won't yield results or add value because the situation is unchangeable becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So, how can you ensure a growth mindset during mediation? Here are some strategies:

  1. Embrace Imperfections - Acknowledge vulnerability; it's okay not to have all the answers.

  2. Focus on Progress - Concentrate on your progress rather than dwelling on setbacks.

  3. Reframe Failure - Replace the word 'failure' with 'not yet' to foster a growth-oriented perspective.

  4. Ask Open Questions - Develop the skill of asking open-ended questions to encourage productive dialogue.

  5. Persevere - Don't give up after the initial attempt; keep trying.

  6. Define Your Goals - Envision who you want to become and what outcomes you hope to achieve.

  7. Value Mediation - Take pride in participating in mediation and remain hopeful about the future.

  8. Actively Listen - Pay close attention to others and their perspectives.

  9. Embrace Change - Understand that a different outcome doesn't necessarily mean a worse one.

Do you have your own examples of a growth mindset? Please share them with us in the chat! Shifting your mindset and approaching mediation with a growth-oriented perspective can yield surprising levels of success in the mediation process.

Adelaide Workplace Mediation is here to support you throughout your mediation journey, helping you achieve your desired outcomes and fostering a culture of growth and collaboration.

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