“I don’t divide the world into the weak and strong, or the successes and the failures…..I divide the world into learners and non-learners.” Benjamin Barber
Mindset. What is it?
Mindset is an idea conceived by psychologist Carol Dweck of Stanford University that people are possessed of one of two mindsets and it is this, not talent or skill that makes all the difference.
When people have a fixed mindset they believe that their intelligence or talent, are to a large degree simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent versus putting in the time to develop them.
In a growth mindset people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work and that brains and talent while important are just the starting point. It is this view that creates not only a love of learning but resilience, which is a necessary ingredient for great accomplishment.
No one will admit to having a fixed mindset but plenty of managers and coaches do. Knowing which camp you fall into depends on the way you interpret things. The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue, according to Dweck, that is focused on judging which can make you react with exaggerated feelings of anxiety, depression, anger or superiority.
The growth mindset on the other hand is constantly monitoring what’s going on but their internal monologue is not about judging themselves or others. They are sensitive to positive and negative information but they are much more in tune to the implications of how they can learn from a situation. They pose internal questions like: What can I learn from this? How can I improve?
Why does your mindset matter?
As a manager and coach it is your mindset that is the most important on your team. It’s easy to get caught up in dissecting your rep’s behaviors and attitudes but instead the one you need to be focusing on is you.
Scientific studies reveal that when we are interacting with others:
- 7 percent of what the other person responds to is content or the actual words you say.
- A whopping 93 percent of what they respond to is mindset. This being the internal messages being subconsciously communicated and received via your facial expressions, body language and tone.
Your reps subconsciously respond to the way you think whether they know it or not. It’s the old adage:
“People don’t do what you say, people do what you do.”
It is your mindset first then that your team will learn from and the most important thing that you can initially put forth. You may be brimming with wisdom and anxious to coach to it but successfully imparting that will only happen if the mindset is right.
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