Thursday, May 20, 2010

Critique - How Do You Take It?


I'm still reading Mindset by Carol Dweck and with each page I am enlightened; seriously. I am not ready to dedicate an entire post on her research and thinking just yet, but it's coming. However, what I've read absolutely correlates to critique and how it is taken.

The key is how it's taken. Dweck categorizes human beings into two mindsets:
- Growth Mindset
- Fixed Mindset

A growth mindset person would take critique and realize it wasn't critiquing them...personally. They would immediately try to pull nuggets of wisdom from the critique no matter what tone the critique took - again, because the critique was about the writing...not them. They would look at the critique ideas as a new challenge and make decisions on what they wanted to internalize and get to work on. The critique would excite them and possibly even inspire them to dig deeper into their craft.

Dweck says, "Even in a growth mindset failure can be a painful experience, but it doesn't define you. It's a problem to be faced, dealt with and learned from."

In the book, a growth mindsetter, Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, a violin prodigy, says, "You have to work the hardest for the things you love most."

Wow, right?

A fixed mindset person would take critique and immediately dismiss it and get angry and offended...because it would feel like a critique of them...personally. They'd view the critique as a, "...direct measure of their competence and worth." They need to constantly prove they are smart and talented. Critique, especially a snarky or harsh one, would make this person feel attacked and worthless and a failure - and they would have the absolute need to respond and prove their brilliance...defend it.

Fascinating stuff, eh? I'm telling you, you have to read this book. She talks about parenting and sports and business and teaching - and it's all steeped in research. No, I'm not telling you it's a boring yawner, no way, this book is written in 100% conversational style. Trust me.

Okay, so, I am post #48 in the Secret Agent contest going on right now over at Miss Snark's First Victim. I know, I know, I vowed to never, under any circumstances, enter another critique contest.

I know.

But what's that saying? With age comes wisdom

Well, I'm older that's for sure, and dare I say, a wee bit wiser (especially after reading 3/4 of this book). Just imagine how smart I'll be after I finish reading?

I believe I WAS a solid 70/30 ratio of Growth and Fixed mindset - you can be both you know. But now, after reading this book, I am striving for the full 100% of growth mindset. I'll get there. Proof is post #48.