You didn’t fail you just have “not yet” achieved what you wanted to achieve. “Not yet” is so much better than the message you have failed.
We are currently facing many new challenges and we have to keep saying its “not yet” how I want it to be, but I am going to keep working hard until it is how I want it.
This power of thinking comes from Professor Carol S Dweck who wrote the book Mindset.
She explains how children approached some difficult puzzles she set up for them. A group of them came out with statements:-
- “I love a challenge”
- “I was hoping this was going to be informative”
She was impressed by the understanding that the harder they worked the more their mind would grow.
However other children gave up and did not want to fail so it was easier not to attempt harder puzzles.
This is the basis of the book, adopting a Growth Mindset or having a Fixed Mindset.
Students either find the power of yet or are locked by the tyranny of now. If you have a fixed mindset and you don’t do very well you may well:-
- Decide to cheat rather than study
- Find some-one with a worse grade than yourself
- Run from the difficulty
Therefore if we are to grow the next generation we need to talk to them about yet instead of now. We must not just focus on the grades they have now, we must talk to them about the bigger picture, the possibilities that they have yet to get to.
Evidence shows already that young workers often look for constant reward. To prevent this in organisations we need to be praising the process, focus and perseverance they have demonstrated not just the result. Research shows that if we do praise talent and intelligence in isolation we can actually make the individual vulnerable. We limit their stretch, they do not want to risk their reputation by putting themselves in areas where they do not know stuff.
If we learn something new and study really hard, pictures of the brain show that we actually create stronger neurones.
We need to transform the view of effort and difficulty, we should be praising individuals for exposing their lack of skill.
From a very personal experience I found reading very hard and it was easier to not look stupid than to work at it. Eventually at the age of 10 years old I had a teacher who made me read out loud just to her and gave me the confidence I needed. She rewarded my effort by giving me key roles in the classroom. Suddenly the pain and difficulty of reading seemed possible and the doors that it opened were endless.
Please do join me on Friday for the nuggets business book review and summary club where we will be discussing Mindset by Carol S Dweck.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Apr 17, 2020 10:00 AM London
Register in advance for this meeting: