Mindset by Carol Dweck – Revised Summary

Business Leaders Mindsets

  • Business cultures that worship talent force employees into fixed mindsets. The minute a leader allows himself to become the primary reality people worry about, you have a recipe for mediocrity or worse. Bosses who are controlling and abusive put everyone into a fixed mindset. Instead of learning and growing, people worry about being judged. Successful leaders tend to be self-effacing people who constantly ask questions and confront the most brutal answers. They look failure in the face, even their own, while maintaining faith that they will succeed in the end. They highlight the contributions of others and believe in human development.

Love and Mindsets

  • Almost everyone, at one time or another, has been in love and has been hurt. People with a fixed mindset feel judged and labeled by rejection. Their number one goal tends to be revenge. People with growth mindsets are more likely to forgive and move on. They do not feel permanently branded. They try to learn something useful about themselves and relationships that they can use in order to have a better experience the next time. The same concepts apply to other relationships like those between parents and children and between friends.

Messages From Parents and Teachers

  • Words and actions of adults send messages to children that helps form their mindset. Messages that say “you have permanent traits and I am judging them” build fixed mindsets. Messages that say “you are a developing person and I am interested in your development” build growth mindsets. Praising children’s intelligence harms their motivation and their performance. If you tell a child they are smart, they will doubt themselves as soon as anything is difficult or anything goes wrong. Children should be encouraged to enjoy effort, be intrigued by mistakes, and keep on learning. Praise the effort part of any accomplishment. Messages need to honest, but can still be caring. Avoid judgements! Also, don’t assume that children are too young to pick up on mindset messages. They also pass then on to each other.

Great Teaching/Coaching

  • Great teachers need growth mindsets and must be determined to create growth-minded students. They must be model learners. They have high expectations of all students and constantly show them how they have grown. They let students know that they all have talent, but that more talent can be acquired. “Don’t expect success to come to you. You have to go get it.” They have to care about every student and be warm and accepting at the same time they let students know how they are doing and what the plan is for moving forward. They challenge and nurture at the same time. Coaching can be the same. The best coaches try to instill the idea that you can get a little better every day. As a result, over a period of time you will become a lot better. The best coaches also prepare players for life.
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