Cultivate your growth mindset

You know that saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” That saying has perpetuated a myth that the old dogs’ brain has hardened in ways that make him unable to learn anything new. For many decades the scientific community thought this to be true — of animals and people alike. But, as science has progressed, we’ve found that simply isn’t reality.

Modern neuroscience has proven that our brains are more malleable than we could have ever imagined—well into later stages of life. We can teach an old dog new tricks!

Still, many of us get down when we face the difficulties of learning new skills or mastering old ones. We blame the rapidly evolving technology environment, or job competition, or lagging energy levels for our failings. But we don’t need to. All we need to do is adopt a growth mindset and we can learn and grow as we please.

The Growth Mindset

The idea of a growth mindset came from the famous Stanford researcher, Carol Dweck. Dweck and her team stumbled upon the phenomenon when observing students and their various responses to failure. Why was it, they wondered, that some students could bounce back from a setback like nothing happened, while others sulked and fumed when obstacles fell in their way?

It wasn’t the magnitude of the setback, nor the consequences of the setbacks that determined the student’s responding behaviors—rather, it was their mindsets. Some students had a fixed mindset while others had a growth mindset. The ones with a fixed mindset believed that capabilities are innate and were sure that no matter how hard they tried, they wouldn’t be able to do anything about their failures. The growth mindset kids believed that they could eventually learn to do anything if they put in effort and practice.

How to Get Your Own Growth Mindset

If you don’t already have a growth mindset, there is good news– developing one isn’t too hard! The real struggle comes down to alleviating the shame and embarrassment we feel around failure and set-backs.

1. First, we should acknowledge our set-backs or unfavorable circumstances. We don’t want to call them failures, though. We want to call them learning opportunities. Marvel at the processes more than the results. 

2. Now we want to acknowledge any shame that might accompany those learning opportunities. This is a key step because it alleviates lingering embarrassment.

3. Next, laugh it off! You can either laugh it off by yourself or with others. We recommend finding others who are non-judgmental and supportive who you can laugh with. This helps normalise laughing at your setbacks and helps give you perspective.

4. View your setback as an opportunity. At least, it’s a great story to tell! At most, it’s an opportunity to learn where you can improve.

5. Reflect. If your setback took place in a business setting, make sure to take note of it so you can avoid it in the future!

6. Lastly, and most importantly, stay curious. Never lose your sense of wonder for the world. Never stop wanting to know more…

Whenever you encounter a new challenge, respond to your fixed mindset thoughts with growth mindset and take the growth mindset action!

Source: A Growth Mindset Will Change Your Life – (the1thing.com)

Become friends with people…

Friends
I would also add people of different gender to this quote – an important point that Celia Lashlie highlighted so well in her book ‘He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men’:

“I often encountered the negative view that boys’ schools produce men who are unable to relate to women and who, because of their arrogance about being male – encouraged by the school – carry negative perceptions about the place of women in today’s society…. At the very least it has been suggested the boys leaving such schools are emotionally bereft and incapable of establishing and maintaining effective personal relationships with women…

It was uncommon for the fathers of some students, men who had themselves been educated at boys’ schools, to reflect that they’d been unable to understand or communicate effectively with members of the opposite sex when they left school. Some of them went on to conceded that the workings of the female brain remained a mystery to this day and I have no doubt they’re not alone in holding that view….

Their adolescent sons didn’t, however, appear to share their experience of not being able to communicate effectively with adolescent girls. Partly due no doubt to the greater degree of social freedom available to girls today, the boys appeared to understand their female counterparts much better than their fathers had.

Almost all boys I spoke to had close female friends within their immediate peer group – often referred to as ‘chick-mates’ – and many spoke of the value of the conversations they had with these girl friends about the ‘real’ stuff, the stuff they could not or would not talk about with their male peers…”

Four friends.jpg

How do you grow?

THE END

Credits:

Are you climbing a career ladder or swinging on a career jungle gym?

From http://www.sprint2thetable.com

“The most common metaphor for careers is a ladder, but this concept no longer applies to most workers… Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder,”  writes Sheryl Sandberg, who attributes the metaphor to Fortune magazine editor Pattie Sellers.

“Ladders are limiting – people can move up or down, on or off. Jungle gyms offer more creative exploration. There’s only one way to get to the top of a ladder, but there are many ways to get to the top of a jungle gym.

The jungle gym model benefits everyone, but especially women who might be starting careers, switching careers, getting blocked by external barriers, or reentering the workforce after taking time off. The ability to forge a unique path with occasional dips, detours, and even dead ends presents a better chance for fulfilment. Plus, a jungle gym provides great views for many people, not just those at the top. On a ladder, most climbers are stuck staring at the butt of the person above.”

From https://careercollaboration.files.wordpress.com

 “A jungle gym scramble is the best description of my career,” continues Sandberg. “I could never have connected the dots from where I started to where I am today…”

“When I graduated from college, I had only the vaguest notion of where I was headed… Throughout my childhood, my parents emphasized the importance of pursuing a meaningful life. Dinner discussions often centered on social injustice and those fighting to make the world a better place. As a child, I never thought about what to be, but I thought a lot about what I wanted to do. …

I hoped to change the world…. I always believed I would work at a non-profit or in government. That was my dream. And while I don’t believe in mapping out each step of a career, I do believe it helps to have a long-term dream or goal. A long-term dream does not have to be realistic or even specific. It may reflect the desire to work in a particular field or to travel throughout the world.”

From http://megandimaria.blogspot.co.nz/

“With an eye on my childhood dream, the first job I took out of college was at the World Bank as a research assistant to Larry Summers, who was serving a term as chief economist… Larry then generously arranged for me to join an India health field mission to get a closer look at what the Bank actually did.

Flying to India took me into an entirely different world. The team was working to eradicate leprosy, which was endemic in India’s most remote and poorest regions. The conditions were appalling. Due to the stigma of the disease, patients were often exiled from their villages and ended up lying on dirt floors in awful places that passed for clinics.

Facts and figures could never have prepared me for this reality. I have the deepest respect for people who provide hands-on help to those in crises. It is the most difficult work in the world.”


From http://i294.photobucket.com

“I headed back to Cambridge. I tried to stay socially conscious by joining the highly unpopular Nonprofit Club. I also spent my second year studying social marketing – how marketing can be used to solve social problems.”

From http://cnm.tcd.ie

And then there was an interview with a high-level Silicon Valley executive who told Sandberg that “her company would never even consider hiring someone like me because government experience could not possibly prepare anyone to work in the tech industry.”

Undeterred, Sandberg contacted Eric Schmidt, who she had met several times while working at the Treasury, and who had just become CEO of a then relatively unknown company called Google.

The job Google offered her sounded less prestigious than those she had applied for elsewhere, but when she voiced this concern, Schmidt told her: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”

In other words, the potential for growth is all that matters, whether it’s in the company as a whole, within a division or team, or in a position with a high demand for your skills.

From http://www.sprint2thetable.com

I have seen these principles at work in my own career, though on a much smaller scale.

What about you?

Are you  climbing a career ladder
OR
swinging on a career jungle gym?

 


From http://www.excitations.com

THE END

How do you see the world? How do you grow?

“Become friends with people who aren’t your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. Get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class. This is how you see the world. This is how you grow.”

From World Wisdom

diversity in the workplaceFrom http://www.perfectlaborstorm.com

“I often encountered the negative view that boys’ schools produce men who are unable to relate to women and who, because of their arrogance about being male – encouraged by the school – carry negative perceptions about the place of women in today’s society…. At the very least it has been suggested the boys leaving such schools are emotionally bereft and incapable of establishing and maintaining effective personal relationships with women…

It was uncommon for the fathers of some students, men who had themselves been educated at boys’ schools, to reflect that they’d been unable to understand or communicate effectively with members of the opposite sex when they left school. Some of them went on to conceded that the workings of the female brain remained a mystery to this day and I have no doubt they’re not alone in holding that view….

Their adolescent sons didn’t, however, appear to share their experience of not being able to communicate effectively with adolescent girls. Partly due no doubt to the greater degree of social freedom available to girls today, the boys appeared to understand their female counterparts much better than their fathers had.

Almost all boys I spoke to had close female friends within their immediate peer group – often referred to as ‘chick-mates’ – and many spoke of the value of the conversations they had with these girl friends about the ‘real’ stuff, the stuff they could not or would not talk about with their male peers.”

From ‘He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men
by Celia Lashlie

From https://p.gr-assets.com

The same principle applies very well to mentoring.

As Prof. D Clutterbuck points out, ‘mentoring fulfills a desire most people share; that is to pass on their learning to help other people develop their potential.’

Dave Stein notes however that “mentoring is much more complex and complicated relationship than most people think. Mentors and their protégés need to take care to establish a mutually-beneficial relationship in order for it to be truly successful.”

Protégé must be willing to work hard at improvement.  That means “defining and accepting their shortcomings and being open to changing or forming new habits through adopting new strategies and tactics.” They have to be “honest, objective, appreciative, motivated and have the courage to change.”

What’s in it for the mentor? Mentors not only get the satisfaction of helping someone who needs and wants their assistance.  They also get to improve their own coaching, leadership, communication, and management skills.  Mentors note that they “often get new ideas and insights from my protégés” and their protégés provide them with an expansion of their business and professional network.

From http://www.nzim.co.nz

 

How do you see the world?

How do you grow?

THE END