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Growth Mindset at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust

Juliette Yardley and Laura Drury delivered growth mindset sessions for the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust earlier this month.

The Trust is facing new challenges and lots of change and brought us in to help teams build resilience in the face of the unknown. Humans are creatures of habit, we prefer the familiar, fear the worst and start to worry and fret when change happens.

This increases stress and can affect sleep and have a significant impact on wellbeing. By applying a growth mindset strategy to a new or difficult situation, we can manage our thought processes in a more positive way and achieve better outcomes than our fears would lead us to believe.

We can do this by raising awareness of negative thought processes and challenging them, as the following description illustrates.

  • Belief: This is going to be awful. Everything will change and my workload will increase.
  • Challenge: Where has that belief come from? What evidence is there to back it up?
  • Response: I’m scared. Change means uncertainty.
  • Re-frame: Everything will change but that doesn’t mean it has to be awful. By actively taking part and contributing I can steer a more positive outcome. Perhaps we can alter some existing processes which haven’t worked in the past?! I won’t know unless I try.

By adding humour and laughter into the mix, the reality becomes significantly more bearable, and in some cases downright fun. Which was what happened with the teams in Hertfordshire. There were also some valuable discussions around supporting and caring for others. Change affects all and there is comfort in remembering that you’re not alone. Even greater success can be attained when working together.

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