Eduard Briceno had a point. He said that people can fall into some psychological traps. For example, if you believed you were special and that you didn’t have to work hard, you would struggle in the face of adversity. The reason you would struggle is because you didn’t have the belief that you could handle the obstacle. In his talk, it was the idea of “mindset” that led to a “belief,” and that belief led to one’s ability or inability to act.
As a parent, I am on the lookout for ways to help myself and my family thrive in this ever-changing world. A fixed mindset as in ,” You are so smart. Good job!” on the surface, seemed to fit the bill: praising one’s ability. But in reality, it is a strategy prone to error. Many of my repeated errors were evidence of that! No matter how much I praised how smart someone was, or how well they did, the minute we (he or she or me) were confronted with an obstacle, that belief of “ability” disappeared. In fact, at times, we tried to hide our failure. It never dawned on us to ask a question, or to try something else. We were paralyzed in a way. A fixed mindset can do that.
Then I learned about the growth mindset during a lecture a while back. A growth mindset as in, “You worked really hard on that. You improved. Good job. Keep it up.” When we were confronted with an obstacle using this mindset, there seemed to be an unlimited supply of opportunities to help us deal with the obstacle effectively. We didn’t try to hide from it, or ignore it. We just got better at finding the path that worked. Aren’t we smart to take feedback and apply it?! 🙂
One style of mindset praised the person as having a fixed attribute like “smartness.” The other style of mindset praised the effort it took to achieve the result.
Bottom line – If you praise effort and growth, you get people and children who believe they can succeed by adaption, hard work and perseverance. Also, they are less likely to be daunted by setbacks and failures. If you praise smartness et al, you get people who believe that everything should be easy, because they are special, they are smart, they are the chosen ones. No wonder they have difficulty when confronted with challenges.
Check out Eduardo’s video for and try it for yourself. It is simple and stealthy, which is a great 1-2 combination in my book.
Until next time,