What messages are you sending about success or failure?
Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has spent decades of research on achievement and success. She has discovered a simple idea, how we think about success or failure, can make a huge difference in how we learn.
Dweck’s work demonstrates the difference between a “fixed mindset” and a “growth mindset.” As she describes on her website Mindset Online:
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.
For parents it is all about process. Encouraging children to think about how they reached the solution to a problem, rather than just focusing on the answers alone. Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity. As Dweck explains:
People with a growth mindset are also constantly monitoring what’s going on, but their internal monologue is not about judging themselves and others. Certainly they’re sensitive to positive and negative information, but they’re attuned to its implications for learning and constructive action: What can I learn from this? How can I improve? How can I do this better?
Learn more about Mindset here.