Learning And Development

What’s UP with Learning and Development?

Q2, 2018 Are you really bad at something? Jot down a few things that come to mind before you move on. Really, just humor me. If you’re like me you can probably identify several things without thinking twice. If you’re good at everything feel free to skip this article and share your secret with the rest of us! I can tell you that I’m a terrible cook. I have no sense of direction. I couldn’t figure out a geometry equation if my life depended on it. These are things I believe to be true about myself but an interestingTEDTalk got me thinking. How and when do we decide that we just aren’t good at things? Is it our brains and inherent abilities or could the real problem have more to do with attitude than aptitude? Hold on to that list you made as we dig a little deeper.

By Beth Luques Director of Organizational Learning

Talent is not about intelligence so much as it’s about a person’s belief, attitude or outlook about themselves.

The Science of “Can’t” TheTED talk I referenced was given by a Professor of psychology at Stanford University named Carol Dwek. She has a Ph.D. fromYale and has taught at some of the most prestigious colleges around the country, including Columbia University and Harvard. She is most well known for her research on the difference between a “fixed” and a “growth” mindset. To sum it up very simply, she argues that talent is not about intelligence so much as it’s about a person’s belief, attitude or outlook about themselves. She explains that intelligence, as well as abilities or talents, are not just a result of being “born that way.”The key differentiator between those who succeed and those who don’t is plain old fashioned hard work. We’ve all heard that before but the science behind it is pretty fascinating.

Growth Mindset In one of her most famous experiments, Carol gave 10-year-olds problems that were slightly too hard for them to measure their reactions. Some of them were very positive, saying things like, I love a challenge, or, I was hoping to

Fixed Mindset The other group of kids in this study were quickly frustrated and gave up. They felt that they had been set up for judgement and that because they weren’t able to solve the problems, they failed. Many became defensive and argued that they just weren’t good at the task. These students had what Carol calls a “fixed mindset,” which is the idea that

learn something new. They understood that their abilities could be developed and were not afraid to make mistakes as they worked through solutions. In fact, they thought that was the fun part. They had what Carol calls a “growth mindset.”This was only one study but time after time the research showed the same results with people of all ages. From the classroom to the boardroom, those who believed they could do something and worked hard to accomplish it were successful.

your talents and abilities are set in stone. People in this category usually thrive on the praise and want to throw in the towel when they don’t receive it. What good is an “A” for effort anyways? They avoid risks and prefer to stay within their comfort zones. It’s easy to look at our cultural obsession with perfection and performance and see that most kids are conditioned to seek good grades, awards and lots of “likes” at a very early age.

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