Guest Post by Jason Block
My wife and I were out walking the neighborhood the other day and passed a family that was playing out in the driveway. We watched as the mother called to her three-year-old son who was riding his mini-scooter down the sidewalk at a pretty good clip. She said, “be careful of the big bump in the sidewalk”. Had he not heard her voice, and heeded her caution, he surely would have face-planted into the sidewalk. It would not have been pretty. Fortunately, he listened to his mother and slowed down enough that only the scooter tipped over, but he did not. In doing so, he likely spared a trip to urgent care or the dentist.
If you are someone who welcomes feedback (versus taking it personally), you are likely someone that author Dr. Carol Dweck (Mindset) would describe as having a Growth Mindset. Rather than simply relying on what we know (Fixed Mindset), it is more beneficial to us if we are open to new and fresh ideas that grow our understanding. Having a Growth Mindset also makes it easier for us to acknowledge and embrace our weaknesses–realizing that in doing so, there is an opportunity to learn new things.
Here are some practical ideas on creating a Growth Mindset…
- Become a “content” junky (books, videos, podcasts, etc.) in order to expand your horizons. It’s ok to ingest ideas that are different than yours, as it stretches us.
- Proactively “fish” for honest feedback from those whom you trust and respect. Don’t run from criticism, welcome it.
- “Fly your ideas,” says speaker and author John Maxwell. In doing so, your ideas will no doubt grow and improve.
In our organization, we have a core believe that says, “if we are going to fail, let’s fail together.” This mindset has caused our team to often leave egos at the door, and not be afraid to walk down the hall (or pick up the phone) to have a conversation with a colleague about a topic that:
1) Confirms an idea or thought process is solid and give it a green light
2) Takes an existing idea or thought process and make it better
3) Shoots down an idea or thought process and provides a better one
Not surprisingly, by having more conversations, we fail LESS.
Of course, adopting the Growth Mindset 40 years ago would have put me further down the path, but the good thing is that it’s never too late to begin. I’ve learned that a “what can I learn today?” or “from whom can I learn from today” posture best positions me to grow. The opportunity to learn can sometimes come from the most unlikely sources–even from a three-year-old on a scooter.