|photo by Dennis Flood|
- Beware of placing limitations - frames are good, but can be limiting if for the wrong canvas. At the heart of this is the idea of innate ability versus learning capacity and is directly addressed in the parable of the talents. Servants are entrusted with talents. Two go and grow their talents into something more and are rewarded for it. One does not and is not. Fourteen years of serving in various capacities on IEP committees has taught me that we certainly all have our strengths and weaknesses, but all have the capacity to learn and grow. I recently had a discouraging conversation with an individual in leadership where he shared with me a belief that he did not believe in plans for growth. The way he talked sounded scarily like the companies referred in Gladwell's article The Talent Myth, "rank & yank" I believe it was called. He truly believed that you either got or your out. That is just not the way I operate or choose to view the world, and yes, it is a choice. I want my people to grow. Ideally on their own, but I am an educator so I can help with that! The bottom line is that we are meant to learn and develop and remain fully committed to this myself and having this as an imperative for my staff. Our families deserve this: a leadership who is seeking, learning and growing and, in turn, passing that value along to students.
- Adjust language - for whatever reason, as I was reading about this portion of Dweck's study
- Listen to understand - I feel like this is the piece that allows us to apply a growth mindset in the context of relationships and connections. Now more than ever it seems that our world is so polarized, the need for the growth mindset is almost an imperative. The media bombards us with the things that divide. Our kids (and us, too!) need need the ability to wade through the nonsense to be able to see different points of view. Not necessarily to change minds, but to understand better, to empathize...add to the pool of shared meaning, not completely obliterate with our own rigidity. Tall order, but vital if we have any desire to have an open and meaningful conversation for purposes of growth.
Do you see the fostering of a growth mindset as an imperative? Why?
Happy New Year and happy growing!