First stage of the adidas MDE (Manager Development Experience): let’s learn to learn!

This part of the program is based on Carol S. Dweck’s book: “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”. I read it and I really recommend it to anyone, especially to parents and teachers.

The updated edition of the book that has changed millions of lives with its insights into the growth mindset.

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.

In this edition, Dweck offers new insights into her now famous and broadly embraced concept. She introduces a phenomenon she calls false growth mindset and guides people toward adopting a deeper, truer growth mindset. She also expands the mindset concept beyond the individual, applying it to the cultures of groups and organizations. With the right mindset, you can motivate those you lead, teach, and love—to transform their lives and your own.

— Source: amazon.com

And the first step of this stage was a self-assessment to find out which is our current mindset.

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

— Aristotle

Essentially, I had to answer a series of questions to locate myself in the fixed or growth mindset sides of the following topics:

  • Challenges: do I avoid them? or do I embrace them?
  • Obstacles: do I give up easily? or do I persist?
  • Effort: do I see effort as fruitless? or as the path to mastery?
  • Criticism: do I ignore useful negative feedback? or do I learn from it?
  • Success of others: do I feel threatened by the success of others? or do I find lessons and inspiration in it?

As you can guess, if you would answer “yes” to the first in each pair of questions, you have a fixed mindset, and as a result, you will achieve less than your full potential. If you would answer “yes” to the second in each pair, then you have a growth mindset and you will reach ever-higher levels of achievement.

So, have I a fixed or growth mindset? Well, the results of the assessment conclude that I have a very growth mindset in 4 out of 5 topics. But a fixed mindset in 1 of them. Which is the one I have to work more on? Criticism. It seems that I don’t manage very well the negative feedback. I don’t disagree, but let me explain. I always ask for feedback, I strongly believe in the value that others’ feedback will provide to you. I consider it essential to improve and grow and I think I manage it quite well. My problem is when this feedback is given in a bad way, in an unpolite way. In those cases, I close myself and typically ignore the feedback or reject it.

How can I fix this? After meditating some minutes, these are the actions I could think of:

  • Dedicate a couple of minutes before every meeting or presentation to think if there are chances of receiving negative feedback. If so, recall “Learn from criticism!” as a mantra to be prepared and have the right attitude.
  • Write down every piece of negative feedback received as soon as possible. Read it in one-two days and write aside what I can learn from it.

Now I know myself better, it’s time for a challenge!