As described in the last post, I use the term leadership to describe a whisper of inspiration or determination. A more accurate name is Intrinsic Leadership because the idea of taking it upon oneself to make a difference is a feeling that wells up within each individual. I wonder, how do we help people pay attention to this feeling?
Intrinsic Leadership might just be connected to what researcher Carol Dweck calls a growth mindset. Growth mindset is so prevalent now that it has become a buzzword found in parenting information, educational blogs, and even workplace cultures.
Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, along with her team of researchers studied how people unknowingly assess their own intelligence and abilities. They observed students who were highly motivated to achieve and those who were not as motivated. The highly motivated students displayed a sense of determination in the face of a challenge. The research over years found that raw intelligence did not prove to be a prediction of motivation.
Since we who work with kids, model leadership, it makes sense to understand the growth mindset. We can assist them to see that effort may matter more than raw intelligence. You can test your own mindset here.
Like most self assessments it is easy to guess the best answer. Instead, answer honestly. Here are my results:
You agreed with 8 of Fixed Mindset statements and 3 of Growth Mindset Statements.
You have mostly a Fixed Mindset. The book shows you how to avoid the pitfalls of the Fixed Mindset, how to develop more of a Growth Mindset, and how to apply a Growth Mindset most effectively.
What does this all mean? At this point of my life, I feel that I might have missed the benefit of shifting my mindset while I was a student. Given this bit of insight about the malleability of intelligence, I would might have stuck with math problems and difficult concepts a little longer. The research points to the possibility of changing mindset. Check out this chart from www.mindsetworks.com
The researchers taught students in the green group that the intelligence is malleable and can improve with practice. They also taught teachers to praise effort not intelligence. Praising effort is key. Those of us who work or raise kids will benefit from improving on the way we acknowledge effort.
Cup of Leadership:
A blog for adults who lead kids to learn, read, and do. Follow blogger, Dee Bryce on twitter for more conversations.