Intelligence Killed The Cat?

by Carla Feagans - December 14th, 2010

Intelligence Killed The Cat? And here I always thought it was curiosity. Turns out, the curious cat is the one who learned more, changed more, and therefore, achieved more.

So, are you intelligent or are you curious? What does your mindset about these have to do with how well you learn? According to Dr. Carol Dweck… everything!

Training, learning and growing are essential to progressing in your business and your career. But, so many times we go to a training session, learn some great stuff, but we may be distracted or quickly forget the concepts we learn and go right back to the same old habits. How do we break that cycle? We start with curiousity.

According to Dr. Carol Dweck, psychologist at Stanford University, it is important to first move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. A person with a fixed mindset believes their intelligence is a fixed trait – you have a certain amount, and therefore the concern becomes that of appearing intelligent. They base their activities on whether or not what they do will show their intelligence. This person tends to have an aversion to effort or facing challenges, or simply isn’t willing to be open to doing things differently. They’d rather stick with the things they know they are good at and will demonstrate that competence to others.

In addition, when we get caught up in completing tasks every day, and getting things done, our natural tendency is to stick with the status quo and not really be open to learning new things. We may attend a training class now and again, or maybe it’s even mandatory, but no change is incorporated into our day-to-day being unless we start with a growth mindset. It is with a growth mindset that we find the motivation to put new concepts into practice.

In a growth mindset, you understand that your brain is like a muscle – it gets stronger with use. You view intelligence not as a fixed point, but something you develop throughout your whole life, that grows with passion and practice. You know that every time you learn something new, your brain forms new connections, and you can therefore improve your intellectual skills.

Being curious also means you are willing to make mistakes. The difference between success and failure is what you do with those mistakes. Those with a growth mindset are able to enter the “zone” and stay in the zone, even when they make mistakes.

As Dr. Dweck states, “You can’t keep up with this changing world if you can’t grow or can’t learn.”

So, are you curious, or wanting to appear smart?

Carla Feagans, CEO
Ignite Consulting
600 E. Carmel Drive, Suite 108
Carmel, IN 46032
http://www.ignitehr.com/
317-777-6470, ext. 401
317-645-3627 cell

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