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  • Writer's pictureTemara Willis

Benefits of a Growth Mindset Throughout Mediation

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Unlocking the potential - The benefits of embracing a growth mindset in mediation

When embarking on the mediation journey, success hinges on the fundamental prerequisite of engaging with an open mind. This is not always an easy feat, as one's perspective can often become entrenched in preconceived notions. Approaching mediation with a fixed mindset is akin to setting oneself up for stagnation, a situation where you leave with little more than what you initially brought to the table. The implications are clear: for mediation to truly bear fruit, a growth mindset is indispensable.

Mediation is a voluntary commitment; you invest your time, resources, and, often, emotions. Naturally, you seek to derive value from this process, with an optimal outcome being a resolution. So, how can you ensure that you foster a growth mindset during mediation for the best possible chance of success? Let us begin by delineating the behaviours that typically distinguish those with a fixed mindset from those embracing a growth mindset:

A Fixed Mindset

Individuals with a fixed mindset often exhibit the following characteristics:

  1. Pessimism and cynicism, with statements like, "This isn't going to work," or "This is a waste of my time."

  2. Unyielding, confrontational stances, such as, "Take me to court then," or "If you don't agree to this, then I am not prepared to discuss anything else."

  3. Concern with appearances and the belief that participating in mediation equates to personal failure.

  4. Overuse of 'always' and 'never' statements, contributing to an all-or-nothing mentality.

  5. The conviction is that if they don't obtain precisely what they desire, the other party has won.

  6. A failure to truly listen, often under the assumption that they have already heard it all before and have nothing new to gain.

A Growth Mindset

In contrast, individuals with a growth mindset exhibit a different set of characteristics:

  1. They perceive problems as opportunities for learning and a pathway to progress.

  2. They explore collaborative approaches, asking questions like, "How can we work together to achieve the right outcome?"

  3. They take pride in compromise, recognising it as a constructive step forward.

  4. They actively listen to the other party, earnestly considering their needs and desires and responding in a constructive manner.

  5. They are focused on eliminating barriers rather than adding obstacles to the process.

Mediation serves as an exceptional opportunity for personal growth and transformation. It is a chance to view matters through a different lens, to adjust or amend your perceptions, and to embrace the development of a growth mindset. This doesn't mean that the process will be devoid of discomfort or anxiety, but it reframes these feelings as opportunities rather than hindrances. The value of mediation lies in the potential to learn something new about yourself or the other party and in remaining open to self-improvement and progress.

Conversely, adopting a fixed mindset can undermine the success of mediation by presupposing that the situation is unchangeable, thus stifling any prospects for resolution.

So, the question remains: how can one ensure the cultivation of a growth mindset during mediation? Here are some valuable strategies to consider:

  1. Embrace your imperfections and acknowledge that it's okay to be vulnerable.

  2. Shift your focus towards your progress rather than dwelling on setbacks.

  3. Replace the word "failure" with "not yet," recognising that growth often comes through persistence.

  4. Train yourself to ask open-ended questions that foster constructive dialogue.

  5. Don't give up after the first attempt; perseverance is key.

  6. Focus on the person you aspire to become and the outcomes you wish to achieve.

  7. Take pride in your participation in mediation and remain hopeful for a brighter future.

  8. Practice active listening, valuing the insights that can be gleaned from the other party.

  9. Remind yourself that a different outcome doesn't necessarily equate to a worse outcome.

Do you have personal examples of a growth mindset in action? Please feel free to share them with us in the chat! Shifting your perspective and approaching mediation with a growth mindset can yield astonishing results, transforming the mediation process into a truly successful endeavour.

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