I just distinguished something about humility: Humility and growth mindset are synonymous.

Lack of humility and fixed mindset are also synonymous.

From time to time I run experiments where I work with one student beyond what they pay for, to test out a methodology I hope will be instructive and will work for most students.

Most people have a fixed mindset.

What does fixed mindset have to do with skills?

Unfortunately a whole lot. Why unfortunately? Because if you have fixed mindset, you somehow, magically, think that skills are innate and you don't have to learn them.

But neither knowledge, nor skills are innate: humans were designed to be shaped by their own actions primarily. That means: your genetic heritage counts about 10% of who you are, and 90% comes from environmental influences, including your own efforts, attitudes, and actions.

One will say: bummer. Another will say: thank god.

And both will be right...

So, here is what happened: I offered to one of my students to train with me as a mentee/intern.

What does that mean? You provide services (work) to me for the privilege to learn something... a skill, or several skills.

His goal is monetary, and he has no skills to make money, or not really.

I will spend some time with him every day, and he will do the work in that time, or he'll get instruction and he'll do the work in his own time.

So far so good, right?

So what was the insight? Oh, the insight, I almost forgot:

If you come to a training call with me with trepidation and fear, it shows me that you have a fixed mindset. You think you should already know, and therefore you are untrainable. Because your starting point is what you know.

I learned this is a Landmark year-long intensive training... Team, Management, Leadership

The program started with creating a context inside which one can be trained.

The context was: unless you declare yourself incompetent in the topic of the training, you are not trainable. Meaning: you are wasting your time, you are wasting the trainer's time, because you'll come out of the training the same as you went into it.

If you have done trainings and nothing happened for you: this is the reason.
If you have been a trainer and this is the result you produced: this was the reason.

Now, no one says that it's comfortable to declare yourself incompetent. Incompetent has a negative connotation, but the word doesn't mean anything bad, it is an assessment, meaning: not having or showing the necessary skills to do something (specific) successfully.

The problem is what people THINK it means: the synonyms that aren't... synonyms: inept, unskillful, unskilled, inexpert, amateurish, unprofessional, bungling, blundering, clumsy, inadequate, substandard, inferior, ineffective, deficient, inefficient, ineffectual, wanting, lacking, leaving much to be desired; incapable, unfit, unqualified;
informal: useless, pathetic, ham-fisted, not up to it, not up to scratch, bush-league

Now, as an aside, if your Accurate Vocabulary, part of the Starting Point Measurements, is low, you probably also have a fixed mindset, and think you should be already skilled in everything. You also have anxiety attacks for fear of being found out... as incompetent.

Isn't that stupid?

For me, declaring myself incompetent was easy. I WAS incompetent in training, team, management, leadership, and pretty much still am. And I AM incompetent in most of the things I do, if being competent is being masterful, as I have it.

Dabbling, knowing a little, being the local star, causes the American Idol syndrome... where you are stuck in knowing a little, and you cannot move up.

Ugh, if you ask me.

The worst... Stuck.

  • One of my students, when she was born, got somehow stuck between coming out and staying in her mother's womb. She relives it every day... trying to fix it.
  • An old friend of mine, a twin, was stuck behind his lazybone brother who would not hurry to be born... my friend's worst nightmare was to be stuck again. So he is easy on his feet... and moves fast.

Same or similar incident, two diametrically opposed conclusions and attitudes.

I came out before i was ready... 1 and until a few months ago I was repeating that in life... hoping to get a different result. i still hate to get ready... but nowadays I can overpower the urge to jump more often than not. Still not always.

But you can see, that I KNOW THAT I DON'T KNOW... therefore it is easier to declare that I am incompetent.

When I read, when I am at a training, I can absorb 50% of what is being trained... and miss 50%.

I don't argue with what is being said, i don't try to learn it, I just don't resist it. And don't force it.
Depending on your level of resistance, you may not be able to absorb much, or you may be a real sponge, and absorb more than I do.

The starting point measurement: your relationship to feedback is a dead giveaway here... because every learning is a feedback. A feedback that tells you that you are not already X... whatever X is for you. God, smart, whatever.

Most people I measure (I have had a few with mixed, none with acceptance) resent, resist, hate feedback. The hallmark of a fixed mindset, and the hallmark of difficulty saying: I am incompetent.

We shall see if the student I mention in the beginning is going to be able to be incompetent... and if i can make him be so.

If and when I decide that I cannot make a difference, I let people go... but I hang in a long time, hoping they can change...

Footnotes

  1. I was born at six months and weighed two pounds

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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