Book Review: Mindset: Changing the way you think to fulfill your potential
HEY! Im back from vacation and a new article!
This month’s article has to do with the power of psychology and how it can influence our potential as human beings.
A book written by psychologist Carol S. Dweck, she dives into the powers of belief, and how a positive or negative viewpoint can effect all domains of our life from business, parenting, school and relationships.
In the first part of this article we will speak about the differences between growth mindset and fixed mindset. Second, the powerful impact of growth mindset in the work place, and finally how we can utilize this idealogy to better our relationships.
GROWTH MINDSET VS FIXED MINDSET
In the first part of her book, Dr Dweck examines what attributes do high level athletes, performers and business people have in common. While the question may appear simple, there are no one, or two attributes that makes someone rise to the top of their domain and stick there. What differentiates them is what we call GROWTH MINDSET. In her book, Dr Dweck observes that people who adhere to the growth mindset, do not believe in “talent” nor “natural ability”. For them, even geniuses have to work hard for their achievements. They may appreciate words of praise, but instead they value hard work. No matter what abilities you have, for them effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment. For them every new day brings a new challenge and even if they were good in algebra, does not mean they will be good in calculus. People with growth mindset, search for clues, tasks, new practices that better their current state.
Michael Jordan was a great proponent of this mindset. For every successful shot he took, he famously said, “I missed a thousand shots”. For them, when the brain is challenged, they go forward and practice or stay put until they find the solutions that are needed to get over the obstacles. In the fixed mindset, people may be blessed with “natural talent” or “ability” but because of this, they become complacent. This mindset limits achievement, it makes effort disagreeable and it leads to inferior learning strategies. What more, it makes these same people turn into judges instead of alies. Important achievements need a clear
Focus, all-out effort, and a bottomless trunk full of strategies while having allies in learning. Fixed mindsets believe in stereotypes, and this limits their growth, it defined them and invades their comfort and confidence. Michael Jordan was not a “natural”, he was often viewed as the hardest worker, basketball had ever seen. He constantly worked on his weakness, his defensive game, ball handling and shooting. Once after a game during his time in North Carolina, he missed a shot and his team lost. The next day he practiced that shot for 7 hours.
That is growth mindset.
Using the growth mindset in our workplace
The growth mindset holds value in many areas of life. One place it can truly help is at the workplace. Indeed, in her book, Dr Dweck gives light to a study where 2 groups were formed to lead a complex management task in which they learn how to match workers with jobs and motivate them. One group was trained with a growth mindset and the other, fixed. Both groups started with the same ability, but as time went, the growth mindset pack clearly outperformed the fixed mindset group. The members of the growth mindset group were much more likely to state their honest opinions and openly express their disagreements as they communicated about their management decisions. Everyone was a part of the learning process. For the fixed mindset groups and their obsession about who was smart and dumb and their disapproval of their ideas, that open, productive discussion did not happen. In the late 1980’s one of the world’s finest computer companies was headed towards its brink of destruction. So in 1993, they turned to Lou Gerstner to become the new CEO and revive the company. In IBM, they had a fixed royalty syndrome. There was no teamwork, only turf wars. What did he do?
He first opened channels of communication up and down the company. He visited all the different operations and offices talking about how together they can strengthen the company. He attacked the elitism in the company, disbanded the management committee and went outside for the upper echelons for expertise. He then fostered teamwork inside the whole company, he rewarded people who helped their colleagues and based executive bonuses more on IBM’s overall performance and less on their individual units. He also demanded better execution and valued customer care and respect. Result?
In 2002 when he handed the company, the stock increased by 800 percent and IBM was number one in the world of IT services, hardware, enterprise software and customer service, it was back on top.
What Lou Gerstner did wasn’t magic, he redefined the structure by implementing a growth mindset procedure throughout all branches allowing everyone’s voice to be heard while focusing on team work and communication as keys.
How to better our relationships with a growth mindset
When it comes to relationships, it can be bettered by utilizing a growth mindset approach. You see relationships are different and most people hold on to past relationships that hurt them. Instead of learning, forgiving and growing from them, they instead hold on the burden and are unforgiving. In the fixed mindset, we believe that our personal traits and relationship qualities are long lasting, and we cannot change. However, growth mindset believe that these things can be developed and changed. All you and your partner, the relationship are capable of growth and change. In the fixed mindset people should love happily ever after, and ride off on the sunset without ever working on a single problem, which is impossible. In the growth mindset, there may be that initial combustion, but they don’t expect magic. They believe that a good, long lasting relationship comes from continuous effort and from working through inevitable differences . Every successful marriage demands an effort to keep it on the right track, there is a constant tension between the forces that keep you together and those who want to tear you apart. With a growth mindset, they don’t believe that our partners should agree to all our demands, instead they see it as an opportunity for growth and compliance. They also, do not believe that problems indicate character flaws, instead of criticizing the person, they look at attacking the situation, exploring solutions and potential to improve. It’s important to mention here, that the author specifically says , “ the belief that partners have the potential to change should not be confused with the belief that the partner will change. The partner has to WANT to change, commit to change, and take concrete actions toward change.”
As we can see, having a growth mindset can really have an impact on overall metrics and quality of your life. From business, to relationships, we identified the differences between how a growth mindset can strongly
Impact our vision and possibility of success.
We often do not value someone that is good in interpersonal relationships as something of value, however Dr Dweck mentions that being a great communicator can facilitate our progress and growth and having the a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset can change that way we see our relations with people and define the parameters of our success in the long term.
This book deserves a 7.8 on 10 with great insight about life and real implementations of the growth mindset.
Love and peace