Monday, April 11, 2011

What's Your Mind set?

Before we get back into X vs. I type of motivation, lets add a little twist and find out what kind of mind set you have.  Don't worry it is a simple test, for each question simply answer Truth or False
1.       You are a certain kind of person; no matter what you do you can’t change that.
2.       You can always change substantially
3.       You can do things differently but the core of who you are remains the same.
4.       You can always change the basic things.

Ok, so now the results if you said true to 1 & 3 then you have a fixed mind set.  People with fixed mind set believe that DNA rules your abilities.  You are either smart or you are not, the world is concrete, black and white.  If you believe 2 & 4 then you have a growth mind set.  Those with growth mindsets believe that with enough effort you can grow to become whatever you wish.   The belief that your intellegence is the same a a muscle the more you use it the stronger it becomes.  It is important to know your type of mind because then you know what kinds of goals to set.  People with a fixed mind set like performance goals while growth mindset people perform better with Learning Goals. So what's the difference?  A performance goal would be to get an "A" in spanish class while a learning goal would be to be able to have a conversation in Spanish.   A learning goal focuses on the process and the outcome of mastering the subject not the concrete world of grades.  Learning goals will drive type X people crazy because there is never a definitive answer, it is the pursuit of mastering something.  The problem is that we can never truly master anything, because the better we get at it, the more we realize that we haven't fully mastered it yet.  Take for example learning to play an instrument, after years of practice some people get very good and might even be considered world class and yet if you ask them they are still trying to refine certain techniques or learn new arrangements.  Learning is a journey not a destination and that is the challenge for a type I person, it is exactly that pursuit of mastery that feeds them.  They thrive on knowing they have accomplished another step on the journey and that they have mastered another small piece of the puzzle. 

Whether you are an X or an I, the problem is that believing anything is possible is different than making things happen.  It all starts for both kinds of people with the initial awareness of a possibility and deciding that it is worth pursuing.  Once you have decided to take pursue a possibility then you have to match the right kind of goal, for your personality, with the task to be accomplished.  What is the task to be accomplished?  Is is a routine task and you are just trying to take the next step?  For example, is the goal a 10% increase in productivity or a large create a new program?  What kind of reward matches your personality better?  Are you the kind of person who thrives on if you get a 10% increase in productivity then you will receive a bonus of $1,000?  Or do you thrive when the goal is to create a new program in a new sphere and to accomplish it you will need to learn and master a new area of knowledge?  You see "X" personalities love "if/then" rewards because they know exactly what they need to accomplish to earn the reward but "if/then" rewards actually make "I" personalities less productive, it feels "all about the money".  If you are going to bonus a "I" then it needs to be a "now/that" reward.  "Now, that" you created this amazing new program here is a reward?  The caution here is that if you consistently give "Now/That" bonuses then they will be come "if/then" bonuses as the person figures out.  If I do this, I will get a bonus (this is the problem with Christmas bonuses).  So, the moral of the story is to know yourself and the type of goals that line up with your mindset and personality.  Regardless of the mind set or personality accomplishing great things still takes a ton of grit and determination, but that's another topic for another day. 

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