My Plan for a Growth Mindset
I believe it is very important for all of us to have and maintain a growth mindset. Dr. Carol Dweck carefully recommends having the right mindset and I believe that all non-profit organizations and corporations should attempt to follow her lead. I feel that the growth mindset is important because it allows for intelligence to be developed, rather than for intelligence to become stagnated. It is important for all of us to learn how to grow our mindset, rather than become set in our ways. By having a growth mindset, when we can develop our intelligence, embrace challenges, strive for persistence in the face of setbacks, put forth effort, learn from criticism, and find inspiration in the success of others. At HOBY, we should always employ this strategy to make sure that our volunteers and ambassadors feel that they are always growing their intelligence and can develop to the concept of “yet.” This allows the mind to never stop learning and growing.
“The most powerful thing you can do for a young person is to teach them how to think for themselves.” – Dr. Albert Schweitzer
The concept of the growth mindset could be useful in the HOBY organization. Let us consider Dr. Dweck’s four steps and how we might implement them at our seminar sites. The first phase of the four-step action plan involves “learning to hear your fixed mindset ‘voice.’” We must look to the future and see how our seminar sites and programs can be improved. When we see a setback at HOBY, like resistance to change, we have to avoid making excuses, regain our dignity, and continue to strive for excellence. It is important to try new things, rather than talk about how we did not have the courage or fortitude to attempt something on this scale. We should also evaluate our excuses and bad mindset and use that as a platform to ignite change.
The second phase of Dr. Dweck’s plan is to “recognize that we have a choice.” It is important that we face challenges with optimism, rather than a fixed mindset. At HOBY, we should see failures in our seminar operations and technology as a chance to change course, regroup, and make a decision to change the path for the future. In our daily lives, we can always stay on a path to failure, or we can change our pathway to something that will lead us to success. This is something we have to choose at HOBY. For example, when the Louisiana seminar site fails to produce results that are high enough for HOBY’s national standards, we can stay on the path of failure or change to the path of success, all while considering where we want to go. Changing a direction may mean new staff at the top or changing our seminar operations at the bottom. Either way, a choice for success means that we would do things differently than the way we have been doing them in previous years. Jon Taffer, the bar and nightlife consultant, emphasizes this point on his television show when he assists bars going out of business and into debt.
The third phase of Dr. Dweck’s plan involves “talking back to yourself with a growth mindset voice.” As I just thought earlier, it is very easy to become set in our ways. I think that at HOBY, we have to look at things as always having a growth mindset. When we are at a seminar meeting or other committee event, we have to use the growth mindset to tell ourselves that we “can” do something. It might take time, but we have to push hard and plan to do it. When HOBY has a bad experience at one of our seminar sites, such as when a volunteer gets suspended for bad behavior involving one of our ambassadors, it is important to see the situation with a growth mindset. We must always remember that things will be better in the future, but it might take some time to get there. So, if we listen to our growth mindset voice, great things are possible at HOBY, but we just have to use our “can do” attitude to get there. In this case, it is imperative to understand that we have to use our good judgment to make better decisions in the future regarding the individuals we have as staff members.
The fourth phase of Dr. Dweck’s mindset involves “taking the growth mindset action.” For this final step, HOBY can develop better plans to use technology and make the decision to act upon those plans. We can move forward, instead of backward, to make decisions wisely and engage all of our volunteers in the service they give. This can bring an attitude of “yet” into HOBY and ensure that we always strive to great success in spite of failure.
For me, this idea of “yet” is a concept that we should communicate to all learners. In the instance of HOBY, I would seek to show my ambassadors and staff praise being based on the idea that intelligence can be developed, instead of praising someone for everything they do. I would use the “growth mindset” so that everyone at HOBY understands the concept of “embracing challenges” by showing persistence in the face of adversity by reminding them how far they have come and how far they have to go. I want to make sure that criticism is used as a tool for growth, rather than negative feedback. All HOBY staff and ambassadors, regardless of who is receiving the criticism, should use criticism as a positive experience.
In consideration of the HOBY organization, I plan to use content from my research and some of the online videos by Dweck to promote the “growth mindset” in our various seminar sites. I would love to have workshops and meetings at least once a year to better understand how we can implement this mindset in our sites. Presentations could be given on how to improve a person’s life and attitude. We could also share these ideas with our ambassadors at our seminars during lectures and during staff training where volunteers are taught how to interact with the ambassadors. I would also share the growth mindset any time I am with family or friends as a means of promoting positive thinking.
If you can previously recall, I came up with a three-step innovation plan that I hope to implement at HOBY. It involves “gather, move, and get comfortable.” With an attitude of growth, I think that my innovation plan will be enhanced. I can enhance my innovation plan with a mindset of “yet” and implement this concept in all areas of HOBY. By using the three-step process as a guide, I now know that it is important to engage the learner in all steps of the learning process when one creates a significant learning environment. When I focus on learning, learners can develop the growth mindset to make their ActiveCollab and staff training process better to become more engaged volunteers. When I look back at my learning philosophy, Understanding by Design template, argument response, and learning environment and situational factors outline, I now realize that it takes growth to create an outstanding learning environment….Yet! So, in closing, here’s one more OUTSTANDING cheer for the learning environment!
Brown, J. L., & Wiggins, G. P. (2004). Making the most of Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Carol Dweck, “Developing a Growth Mindset”. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiiEeMN7vbQ
Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.
HOBY – A Life Changing Experience. (2013, July 2). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tNF4iTkhOQ