Mindset, by Carol Dweck

MindsetWhat It’s About: Fixed mindset versus growth mindset. Carl Dweck shows us that no one is doomed by heredity or experience and that everyone can get improve. Too many of us do not believe that at a core level—too many think they are stuck: “That’s just the way I am” is their cry. Dr. Dweck, by focusing on the process and not the product, shows us how to encourage growth and change. 30 years of research indicate she is on to something.

Quotable Quotes: “The fixed mindset does not allow people the luxury of becoming. They have to be.” p. 25

“Telling children they’re smart, in the end, made them feel dumber and act dumber, but claim they were smarter.” p. 74

“Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn’t mean that others can’t do it (and sometimes do it even better) with training. This is so important, because many, many people with the fixed mindset think that someone’s early performance tells you all you need to know about their talent and their future.” p. 70

“In the fixed mindset, adolescence is one big test. Am I smart or dumb? Am I good-looking or ugly? Am I cool or nerdy? Am I a winner or a loser? And in the fixed mindset, a loser is forever.” p. 58

“In the fixed mindset, athletes want to validate their talent. This means acting like a superstar, not ‘just’ a team member. But… this mindset works against the important victories they want to achieve. p. 103

“How do you praise? Remember that praising children’s intelligence or talent, tempting as it is, sends a fixed-mindset message. It makes their confidence and motivation more fragile. Instead, try to focus on the process they used—their strategies, effort, or choices.” p. 211

“When teachers are judging them, students will sabotage the teacher by not trying.” p. 201

Bonus Points For: Helping us to focus on the process and not the product and letting us know it is applied with our praise. We can now tell students, “I noticed how much you have been working on that,” instead of, “You are so good at that.” We can give them a nutritious snack versus the sugar rush of cotton candy.

An Image That Could Sum Up This Book Is: Two kids: one sadly saying, “I guess I’m just no good at this stuff” and another confidently saying, “Give me another harder one.” And they were each placed into those mindsets by the type of praise given by an authority figure.

Read This Book If… You are willing to confront the fixed mindset areas in your own life and want to learn how to encourage a growth mindset in yourself and others.