All of our training courses start with introductions, some coffee and a little bit of general chitchat. We like to find out what participants expect from our course, what they would like to learn and what were their thoughts on their way to the course that morning.
Do you know what most women think about on their way to a training workshop?
‘Role playing!’ – is the ultimate answer. ‘I dread it! I hope we won’t do any today…’ – they tell us first thing in the morning and the fear on their faces is real.
I wish I could say, ‘No, don’t worry, we won’t do any role plays. Not today, not ever’. But I can’t. And here is why…
According to Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, people with a ‘fixed mindset’ believe their intelligence or talent are fixed traits and that talent alone creates success. This type of mindset often makes people fear being wrong and failing.
Dweck says that as opposed to fixed mindset, in ‘growth mindset’, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This type of thinking creates determination and a love of learning.
As a sports coach and a former athlete myself, Carol’s study reminded me of the time when I used to train young athletes.
All coaches will agree that it’s easy to spot the super talent in a group of kids, as it shines out over everyone else. At the beginning of my coaching career however, I was astonished by the fact that the athlete with the talent didn’t always become the champion.
The champion was the one who might have been less talented, but boy, he had drive, determination, ambition and willingness to learn. Easy to spot, they’ll be the ones in the training room after everyone else has left, practising that really complex and difficult movement until they have nailed it…
I have seen competitors with a growth mindset conquer over talent many times. As the matter of fact, I was one of them.
When women express their fear of role play, what they are really saying is that they are very comfortable where they are. They don’t want to hurt, be judged or look like they are failing. They would like to grow, but without pain, sweat and tears.
In my mind, role playing is like the familiar, dusty old gym I used to train in as an athlete. That is where you fall, and get up again. Where you consult with your trainer and try out new techniques. It’s a safe place where you get to practice your newly learned skills, push yourself outside your comfort zone and straight into the growth mindset. Is it uncomfortable? Yes, and so it should be. Does it hurt? Sometimes, yes.
But trust me, this is how we grow. If you put in the hard work during your training session, when you return to your office and put your training into practice you’ll feel a little bit closer to becoming a champion.
Are you ready to get into the growth mindset?