"A gritty pep-talk reinforces the growth mindset, and it triggers the grit reflex. Empathy is an important part of every pep-talk, and you can use empathy to reinforce the growth mindset. Here are some examples:
- "This feedback stings, but it's going to help."
- "I know it's frustrating, but it's a chance to get better."
- "I know how hard you're working, and that's why I've got so much faith in you."
It's a simple formula: you lead with empathy and punctuate with the growth mindset. Here's one more example:
- "It's easy to second guess, but we can use this to our advantage."
Three things you want to emphasize:
- It's a short term setback;
- It's an isolated setback; and
- There's no need to beat yourself up.
Once you've empathized and reinforced their growth mindset, then you want to trigger their grit reflex. Good pep-talks are empathetic, and they give meaningful direction. You used empathy to reinforce the growth mindset. Now you can trigger the grit reflex with meaningful direction.
Remember, you want to praise the process, not the person. When you say 'you're smart', 'you're successful', and 'you're respected' - you're emphasizing the person and the status they fear losing. But when you say 'you're collaborative', 'you're a problem solver', and 'you've done this before' - you're emphasizing their process, and it builds their confidence.
Here are some examples of meaningful direction:
- "What have we learned so we can make the right adjustments?"
- "Who do we know that can help? Because you've got a lot of support."
- "And let's set some short term goals. What are they? That's gonna help us re-focus.
Questions are a good way to give direction because they promote agency and ownership. And it's a subtle way to make your direction their idea. And you notice another formula - it's a thought provoking question, punctuated with meaning. Here's one more example:
- "What's a similar challenge you faced? Because you've dealt with these issues before."
So remember, a gritty pep-talk uses empathy and meaningful direction to trigger the growth mindset and the grit reflex. But they take practice. And the best way to practice is by giving yourself pep-talks. The next time you're facing adversity, follow this formula, give yourself empathetic reminders and ask yourself thoughtful questions. 'What's the best way to collaborate?' Reevaluate? Learn? Adapt? And Refocus?' The more you practice on yourself, the easier it gets on others."
Thanks for listening. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to share with your colleagues and follow us on all major podcast platforms.