This week we begin the re-read of Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. We will start slowly as I read ahead and give you time to find or buy a copy of the book. I am reading the 2008 Ballantine Books Trade paperback edition version of the book (I had to re-buy the book as my first copy seems to have a new home).
I was excited that the Software Process and Measurement Blog readers selected Mindset for Re-read Saturday. I am looking forward to refreshing my understanding of the powerful ideas Dweck identifies as growth and fixed mindsets. Mindsets are very useful for understanding why some people grow and others don’t and why some teams excel and other less so. Also, Mindset is easily the single most quoted book in I have seen in presentations at conferences for the past few years.
Reading Game Plan! I am planning to review a chapter a week with a week for the introduction and logistics and a week for a wrap-up. The math would suggest that the re-read will extend over 10 to 11 weeks, including today. I am factoring in an off week for my trip to Mumbai, Delhi, and Agra (let me know if you are in one of those cities). If you do not have a copy of the book, buy one (use this link to support the blog and podcast) and if you do have a copy find it and get your highlighter out!
Dweck reminds us that psychology shows the power of people’s beliefs. We are shaped by our beliefs and biases. Even if we aren’t aware of those beliefs consciously, they strongly affect what we want and whether we succeeded in getting it. This premise is the core concept behind Mindset. Each chapter in the book presents a set of findings and the accounts of people that support those findings. At the end of each chapter, Dweck provides a set of ways to apply those lessons to recognize the mindset that is guiding your life, to understand how that mindset works, and then change that mindset it if you wish.
As a coach and mentor Mindset provides a solid framework, that combined with emotional intelligence, is useful to assess the person or team I am working with. On a personal note, as I read ahead to prepare for this weekly feature, the concepts, and practical exercises have been useful as a tool for self-reflection.
Next week we begin the heavy lifting with Chapter One, which is titled Mindsets.