5 Tips for Building A Growth Mindset Environment for Learning

Following are five things successful parents, teachers and leaders can do to build a more inclusive and open environment that engages and challenges the status-quo of a “fixed mindset” and supports “growth mindset” principles.

  1. Give power and recognition away to others who are eager to learn and have demonstrated the capacity to handle challenges and accept responsibility for their actions .
  2. Create a favorable environment which encourages curiosity and learning skills.
  3. Don’t always try to save others from pain or disappointment and stop second-guessing others’ decisions and ideas because this causes dependency on others. This type of rescuing behavior undermines self-efficacy and confidence in person’s ability to discover and initiate their imagination and creativity they need to keep growing in positive ways. .
  4. Give others autonomy over their challenges, tasks and resources. To do the best they can so they can learn from mistakes and success.
  5. Communicate with “growth mindset” words and phrases that emphasize effort, taking on challenges, support lessons learned from mistakes and failures, collaborate on how to problem solve and discover new strategies for learning, expose others to models of success, educate people on the concept that the brain is a muscle and can be developed and grow with the right practice and exercise.

Growth Mindset Framework for people who are willing to exercise their leadership in such a way that others are involved and encouraged to discover new ways of learning, create innovations, make decisions, share information, and most importantly learn from their experience. Most people see the value in creating a participatory and discovery climate and are willing to take risks and responsibilities that come with it. If all of us can develop the wisdom to observe, listen and learn from their own experience with certain safety limitations and reasonable boundaries all of us involved and engaged will share in the benefits of a “growth mindset” and a discovery environment.

Growth Mindset Effect-Case Study on Improving Performance

Growth Mindset Effect-Fundamental Learning Methods for changing the ability to improve our mindset and performance by taking on challenges for learning.

“Mindset change is not about picking up a few pointers here and there. It’s about seeing things in a new way. When people…change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth, and growth take plenty of time, effort, and mutual support.”
Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Case Study on Challenging the Development of Performance (High School Band project)

Congratulations to Julie Verret, music teacher at Fiske Elementary and elementary band leader for all of the Wellesley, MA School District, recently reported to Mindset Works how she used the concept of malleable brain to teach students about “ learning how to learning” using Growth Mindset methods and strategies. She eloquently describes the process of how a Growth Mindset helped her band students tackle a challenging piece of music. Julie applied the malleable mind concept to her music students because of multi-year, school-wide Growth Mindset initiative led by the principal. Verret introduced the idea that a musician’s brain can grow with effort and practice. To put this concept into action, Julie and her 4th and 5th grade students worked on a piece of music that would typically be played at the middle school level.

Here is an excerpt from her Growth Mindset project: “When they received the piece, some were excited to have such an awesome challenge,” Julie wrote. “Others thought [it] was going to be impossible.” Although her students reacted to the challenge in different ways, Julie and her class developed a number of strategies to help achieve their goal. Using the growth mindset as a foundation, the group aligned to tackle the task together, with help from the following this set of learning strategies and performance tips:

  • Learn to take-on challenges rather saying this activity is to hard for us
  • Isolate the tricky bits in the music that can trip them up
  • Practice slowly and carefully so you don’t learn it wrong.
  • Take a moment to learn from mistakes by marking missed notes and rhythms.
  • Use a Plus-One Small dose learning strategy by not trying to tackle the “whole piece at one time”; instead, work on 8 measures at a time.
  • To get everyone on the same page and set a standard for getting a learning session going she used a metronome every time when they began a new learning activity.
  • Learn to take a “time-out” by stepping away from playing for a few minutes if you stumble or get frustrated. (Managing Emotions technique from EQ            research)
  • Actively listen to the musical piece (modeling) and pay attention and be attuned to follow their part when playing.

” Julie’s class followed these strategies together, and every student worked to master the challenging piece. According to Julie: “They now cheer when I ask them to take it out so we can work on it. Not one child felt it was beyond their abilities because they used the strategies.” And so, the band played on”!

See more at  MindsetWorksNewsletter:

Want to Grow and Develop in the Face of Fear or Suffering ? Learn from the Sages and Modern Day Research

To be a growth orientated person is a skill that can be learned. It is the basic foundation that underlies what we mean when we speak of having a high IQ or EQ. When we develop the skill of a “Growth Mindset” we actually change the physical structure of the brain. This revelation is based on one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last twenty years: How we focus our attention shapes the structure of the brain. Neuroscience has also definitively shown that we can grow these new connections throughout our lives, not just in childhood.

Want to learn how to change personal habits and reach your goals for change even in difficult and painful circumstances?

Everywhere man is confronted with reality of fate, with the chance of achieving something through the challenge of conquering difficult situations and his own suffering. The solution for finding this “inner strength” to overcome present pain and suffering is to focus on better times in the future. For example, when  working as a psychiatrist to the inmates of concentration camps during WWII, Victor Frankl found that the single most important factor in cultivating the kind of “inner hold” that allowed men to survive was teaching them to “hold in the mind’s grip some future goal”. He cites Nietzsche’s, who wrote that “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how,” and admonishes against generalization:

“ Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on. He was soon lost. The typical reply with which such a man rejected all encouraging arguments was, “I have nothing to expect from life any more.” What sort of answer can one give to that”?

What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned and challenged by life — daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual from moment to moment in life.”

These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus, it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. “Life” does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response. Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action. At other times it is more advantageous for him to make use of an opportunity for contemplation (reflection) and to realize assets in this way. Sometimes man may be required simply to accept fate, to bear his cross. Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand.

Modern Day Research Support:

One modern way to learn how to handle the situation at hand is to understand and use the future planning tool “IF…Then” thinking and planning.

Well over hundred studies on achieving goals reviewed by  Gollwitzer and Paschal Sheeran research (file:///C:/Users/mark/Downloads/HP_Sheeran&Orbell(2000).pdf demonstrate how effective and efficient “if..then” plans are in facing  life challenges and overcoming tough decisions, obstacles of fear  and improving performance to keep on keeping on in the face of difficult situations like pain and suffering.

In a meta-analysis the researchers look at studies on preventative health screening, exercise, eating healthy and dieting, to negotiating and setting other life goals. They found that a person’s positive intention to perform a behavior is the key predictor for changing actual behavior and performance”.  The key elements of success were found to be –setting in advance (intentions) using IF…Then goals for taking specific actions to reach your goal. Remarkably they discovered that the use of “IF… Then” plans and focused intention can triple your chances for successful completion of personal change goals. The aim of the study was to look at the gap between setting intentions ( concept of implementation intentions) and actual behavior of woman coming for cancer screening. For example, they stated their goal of the study was address this problem using Gollwitzer’s (1993;Gollwitzer & Brandstatter, 1997) concept of implementation intentions. In particular, we examine whether intentions to attend for cervical screening that have been supplemented by implementation intentions specifying when, where, and how the appointment will be made improves the likelihood of attendance.

Self- Coaching Challenge: Try using the IF…Then intervention when trying to change habits or reach personal goals

 

Seven Small Dose Learning Steps to support Personal Choices

Here is the neuroscience behind why most people fail to succeed in making personal changes.

Here are 7 proven ways to support effective Personal Growth and Change goals:

  1. Strong willpower  and grit are learned skills. You have to work on being mentally tough. Develop more “grit”. For example, working out, the smallest amount of weight is hard at first, but as you work on it and improve over time, that small weight that seemed hard will become a lot easier.
  2. Execute without making excuses for not doing the change activities.
  3. Focus on positive rewards and feedback instead of negatives
  4. Hold yourself accountable. Write it down. Track changes on daily basis.
  5. Take on a small dose change rather than a bold audacious or life changing goal. Use the Plus-One Method for change.
  6. Pick a doable and manageable smart goal
  7. It’s okay to stumble and screw up. Just get back-up and keep at it. Never give-up it builds your resilience.

Vision of New 21st Century Leadership

Leadership and Growth Mindset

With increased self-awareness through dialogue and feedback from others comes more confidence in your ability to tackle challenges and be a collaborative leader. These practices are hallmarks of the work I do with clients, not only in our more formally organized leadership development programs, but also in my modules on self-coaching and growth mindset characteristics both of which provide people with extensive feedback on self-awareness and how others see them.

Out these insights I have developed a vision for what 21st century leadership looks like. In the 21st Century a leader’s ability to inspire others to “follow you over the hill” in the command and control style of leadership is of less importance than your ability “to align people around a sense of purpose and values…and then model and empower other people to step up and lead no matter what organizational position or level they are in. This sense of autonomy and self-direction are critical elements in this new style of leadership.

If you’re inspiring followers, self-awareness is less important than power and the natural charisma we’ve traditionally associated with strong leadership. Yet  if you’re aligning and empowering other leaders, your success will depend on your ability to connect with people not as “followers” but as independent decision-makers and to motivate and influence them by speaking to their needs and interests.  This requires a keen degree of self-awareness and the ability to see clearly through the eyes of others.

My Personal Vision for a Selfless World Serving Others

“Remember when Life’s path is crooked and steep keep your mind focused, eyes wide open, one foot in front of the other, and keep moving forward.”
MWH

Selflessness: This is my simple philosophy of life. There is no need for dogma ; no need for complicated theories on life. No need for the Bible or Koran or Book of Mormon. It is my belief that our experience, choices, changeable mindset, intuition, emotions and actual behavior all play a part for creating “small dose learning” opportunities and building blocks for the future; my guiding philosophy is to take the time to think and reflect on my beliefs and values then take responsibility for my choices and action.

Reflection: My personal vision is to create a selfless world where I can find a pathway to serve others through a growth mindset, positive outlook and attitude and constructive words and action. Being kind and generous costs little and the benefits you gain in fulfillment and happiness are considerable. That was the conclusion that Michael Norton and colleagues at the Harvard Business School came to, after doing some very interesting research. “The volunteers who gave away some money were happier than those who had spent it on themselves. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Self-Coaching: Stop. Reflect. Act.  Over the next 24 hours create your personal vision. Use one word to express this vision and purpose for being and share it with at least 10 people and observe their reaction. Good Luck and please share your experiences with us.

Lesson By Michael Jordan: Success–God Given or Part of Effort and Growth Mindset

Lesson from Michael Jordan –What does effort and persistence look like when you don’t give-up? Air Jordan Lengdary Commercial: This clip can be used to communicate and reinforce that great things can happen when someone has passion,persistence, a learning plan and strategies, an open and growth mindset, and does not give up. Not everyone can be a super star like Jordan, but everyone can grow and turn their potential into better performance. The message here is that you are not just born with talent and skills but is grown through hard work and set backs are part of the learning performance journey.