Wellbeing: The Benefit Mindset

Mrs Mel Bryden | Assistant Head of Junior School, Dee Why | Grammar News | 22 October 2021

The impact of the mindset work of Carol Dweck has been profound. Since she published her book ‘Mindset’ in 2006 there’s barely a school in the world that hasn’t been influenced by its methodology. More recently, the third element of ‘mindset’ has been established as an added layer - the Benefit mindset.

The benefit mindset is that of outward thinking and service. It leverages the confidence and skills built by the growth mindset and harnesses them towards a greater purpose. The benefit mindset is deeply intertwined with connection and belonging, providing for students answers beyond self.

According to benefit mindset theorist Ash Buchanan, it is “a purpose-driven mindset that is redefining success from being the best in the world, to being the best for the world.” Examining how our attitudes and actions affect others leads us to make conscious and conscientious decisions based on mutual advantage. Helping others is also helping ourselves.

Teaching empathy to our children is the first of a series of steps towards living a benefit mindset. Opportunities exist for schools to emphasise the importance of student service and leadership. For many, the experience of agency as a young person at school can transform into a lifelong passion for altruism and service to the community. This is especially true of the service initiatives we have established at St Luke’s.

Inexplicably linked with benefit mindset is the strong Christian foundation: following Jesus' example of love and putting the needs of others first. I would encourage you to explore the ‘benefit mindset’ with your child and to determine where in your lives you can be of service to others.