Accelerate May 2015 - Page 79

Psychology I had a big “a-ha” moment a few years ago at a time when I had some challenging relationships at work. At the time, I had the boss-from-hell. She was controlling and demanding. She would think nothing of yelling at me in front of my peers, criticising me in public or even, insulting my work. It was only a matter of months before I began the downward slide from being a productive, happy and confident employee to being fearful, nervous and disengaged at work. At an intellectual level, I knew she had “issues” and yet, it was hard not to internalise the constant barrage of insults I received. And then, I read Carol’s book and the penny dropped. Some leaders focus on our faults rather than encourage us. Some are control freaks. Some act as if they are superior to many of their colleagues. Does this sound familiar to you? Well, according to Carol Dweck, it is the beliefs of these leaders that drive their behaviour.  Her research indicates that our beliefs either limit or enable our success. Our beliefs even impact our self-esteem or tendency towards depression. When you apply this concept to the world of work, it simply means that the beliefs of any given leader determine whether they are excellent, mediocre or even, terrible. Dweck calls these beliefs our “mindset”. In effect, it is the view you adopt of yourself. There are two kinds of mindset. Some Some of us view our qualities, abilities and characteristics as set in stone (the fixed mindset) and some believe these characteristics can change (the growth mindset).   of us view our qualities, abilities and characteristics as set in stone (the fixed mindset) and some believe these characteristics can change (the growth mindset).   In order for you to understand what type of mindset you have, answer the questions below. Select A or B for each pair of questions.  Are you more likely to: A) see criticism as an attack on your character and therefore to be avoided; or B) view criticism as an opportunity to confront your challenges and keep working on them? A) focus on success and achievement, therefore avoiding what you are not good at; or B) focus on doing and learning cool stuff regardless of your abilities? A) feel smart when you don’t make mistakes since you feel you should be perfect; or May 2015 79