How many times have you thought someone doesn’t, ‘get it’ as you do?
I’m sad to admit that I do it more often than I know. And of course, I’m completely wrong every time. It’s a stance that prevents you from seeing things differently. In Develop Good Habits, an article titled Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset: What Really Matters for Success, a researcher at Stanford University Carol Dweck outlines the two types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
People with a fixed mindset, believe their qualities are fixed traits. They don’t believe they can ever change. They believe they are successful due to their talent and less due to their effort. A person with a fixed mindset believes their intelligence and talents are superior, rather than working on improving them.
Whereas people with a growth mindset, are open to learning and believe their intelligence can grow with time and experience. According to Dweck, ‘When people believe they can become smarter, they realise that their effort affects their success, so they put in extra time, leading to higher achievement.’
A fixed mindset is a bad thing.
One of my favourite authors, John R. Powers, tells of a time when he was an 8th-grade teacher in Chicago. He had a student in his class whom he didn’t like. His name was William Wallace. William hardly ever came to class and when he did, he was always late. He never did his homework and was always dirty and grimy looking. He had no friends and didn’t seem to ‘fit in.’ John is ashamed to admit that he made the boy’s life a living hell.
Winters in Chicago often record temperatures well below freezing. One such typical January day as John was leaving school, he turned the car’s ignition and his heart sank.
Not knowing anything about cars, he started to panic. As he turned, he saw the outline of a boy walking towards him. When he got closer, he saw it was William Wallace. He asks Mr Powers if he’s having car trouble? When John starts to ramble on about not knowing what to do, William tells him to get into the car and open the hood. The boy fiddles inside the engine for a bit and shouts, ‘Fire her up!’ As Mr Powers turns the key, the engine roars to life. The boy slams the hood of the car closed, with John sitting at the wheel, feeling like a buffoon. William Wallace was about to walk away, then he thought better of it. He walks up to the car window and says,
‘You know Mr Powers, there’s more to life than what goes on in your 8th grade.’
Stereotyping, discriminating, pigeon-holing, labelling, it all amounts to the same thing. Preconceived ideas. “I’ve met someone like you, so I know who you are.” When in fact, you’re a once in a universe occurrence.
I was recently humiliated for taking a ‘superior’ stance over other folks. Without realising it, I ‘labelled’ people as lazy and entitled. In a LinkedIn post, I asked if people who haven’t bothered to make their profile look good should be assisted to find employment? I was surprised with the answer most people came back with:
‘Yes, of course, you help them!’
It took a few days for my mind to open to the possibility that I could be wrong.
Then it hit me.
Just because they don’t know what I know doesn’t mean I know what they know? I have no idea of their circumstances, their journey, their challenges and disadvantages?
In 2010, after 10 years at a company, I became unhappy with the environment. Whenever I met a friend, a previous director at the company, I would complain about the environment. Without fail, he would cut me short. ‘Have you fixed your CV and sent it out yet?’ he’d ask. For as long as the answer was, ‘No’, he wouldn’t listen to another word about my situation.
It took me 2 years to get myself motivated enough to stop procrastinating. I had to do the hard work of fixing my CV and my LinkedIn Profile. I promised myself I’d never let it slip again. I changed how I thought of LinkedIn. I saw it as more than an online resume, but rather as a place to showcase who you are and what you do professionally.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve managed to learn a few tips and tricks by constantly staying informed. I attend the latest webinars, listen to leading international LinkedIn guru podcasts, and read profusely about the trends and opportunities. My LinkedIn SSI Score (for those that are interested) is 78%. That puts my profile in the top quartile of LinkedIn users.
I don’t share this to brag but to give a shadow of credibility to what I’m about to suggest.
Instead of being a grinch, I decided rather to try be a blessing. Starting today, 27 March 2020 at noon and for every day for the next 21 days of Lockdown, I will be sharing One LinkedIn Tip, Trick or Trap per day. The idea is for it to be a fun and engaging experience where we all can learn.
Imagine we can help even ONE person to get that dream job or be found and hired as a freelancer, our work here would be done!
Please request to join the #KickAssYourProfile tribe here to get the daily tip. If you know of anyone that would benefit from the series, please forward to them.
I look forward to sharing and learning together over the next 3 weeks.
Have an awesome weekend, stay safe and stay home! 😄
Thanks for reading, I appreciate it tremendously 🙏