#5: Introduction to Mindset


Welcome to Episode 5! I am your host, Dr. Moira. Welcome to a new month and a new series of podcasts.  Episodes 5 through 9 will be all about mindset. 

If you are new to the Coaching Hive Podcast, we take a month-long look at a single topic or concern that impacts health coaches along their business journey.  We take this month-long approach to support the Coaching Hive mission of empowering coaches to be focused with their learning intentions while maintaining forward business momentum.

Here at the Coaching Hive, we want to be effective, efficient, and have fun so that work becomes a joy, and you have dedicated time for the important things in life like your family, friends, and hobbies.  

This is a 5-week month, which means 5 entire conversations about mindset.  I’ll keep today brief and just offer a review of the concept of mindset.  In Episode 6, we will discuss the concept of overcoming doubts, in Episode 7 we will focus on the concept of modeling mindset for our clients.  Then, because of that magical 5th week we will have time for a book discussion in week 4.  We are going to discuss a book called She Means Business by Carrie Green.  I think you will like her vibe, her mindset, and her approach to business.  Then in that 5th week at the very end of the month we will wrap up the month with Episode 9 and a “Put It Into Action” challenge.

Keep sending me your ideas, challenges, and successes.  I’m always here to offer ideas and encouragement on your journey.  

Before we head into our main content for today, remember that these podcasts will always be child friendly, so go ahead and play it through your speaker while you tackle other small tasks.

Now let’s jump in!

The Topic

Mindset is a hot topic these days.  Every time I turn around it is there, but what exactly is mindset? Well with a 4th grader in the house, we have a number of dictionaries so I decided to pull one out.  I reached for the Merriam-Webster version because the Compact Oxford was not quite as easy to grab.  I took a look at the actual definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and here is what I found.  Mindset is a mental attitude or inclination.  When thinking about the concept of mindset, it is most often paired with the terms “fixed” or “growth”.  There is a huge body of research surrounding the concept of mindset and the seminal research was done by Carol Dweck.  This body of research grows every year because mindset has such important implications in our everyday lives. 

The Ideas

Now I promised to keep today’s podcast a short so let’s just take a quick overview of mindset. And I thought some examples might be a helpful way as we orient to this topic.  Let’s explore the concepts of fixed mindset and growth mindset more specifically.

A fixed mindset is exactly what it sounds like.  It is inflexible. A fixed mindset is one that does not change.  A fixed mindset does not allow for the same possibilities and opportunities that a growth mindset will allow for.  

For example, a coach with a fixed mindset may see a client who is struggling with what seem like simple goals and label that client as “impossible” or maybe they believe that the client is just unable to change.  A coach who looks at their own skills and feels like they can never get better has a fixed mindset.  The concept here is that you either have it or you don’t. It is not something that can be learned or changed.  It is either there or it isn’t.

Now a coach, on the other hand, with a growth mindset is going to believe that they can change and learn and grow.  With that same struggling client, the coach steps back and recognizes that something needs to change and they can honor that the client is able to make a change with some adjustments. The coach believes that abilities, understanding, and growth are possible.  The coach believes that growth is possible, that abilities and understanding can, in fact, grow.

Let’s take another example.  Imagine for a moment a coaching session where the coach asked a question that just really missed the mark.  It either didn’t elicit a positive response, it was confusing to the client, maybe it just plain took the conversation down a rabbit trail that was not relevant.  No matter what it wasn’t the best of questions.  It wasn’t the most effective. 

A coach who has a fixed mindset is going to let that one question color their interpretation and understanding of the session as a whole.  They may utter, “It was a bad session.”  It was just one question, but it derails their entire critique of the session as a whole.

A coach with a growth mindset may view that same question as an aberration in an otherwise good session.  They can see that question as something to work on, but it doesn’t color everything.  It is simply an opportunity to grow, do better next time, do differently next time.

Are you beginning to see why mindset matters and why we are going to spend an entire month focused on this concept?

It becomes even more important to talk about mindset in a world focused on social media.  It can be challenging to maintain a growth mindset as we are inundated with the “perfect” pictures, the huge success stories.  We don’t always see the normal, the everyday, the opportunities to grow and learn as we try new things.  My objective for this month is to help you see what it means to have a growth mindset, how to cultivate this in yourself, and in your clients as we talk through everyday challenges and concepts in our coaching business.

If you don’t want to wait and are utterly intrigued by the concept of growth mindset, I highly recommend checking out the Positivepsychology.com article titled “Growth Mindset vs Fixed and Key Takeaways from Dweck’s Book”.  As you scroll through this article you will see many ideas for cultivating a growth mindset and even some ideas for kids.  

If you are working with children in your coaching practice or you just want to encourage a growth mindset within your own family, I highly recommend the Big Life Journals and the accompanying podcast called Big Life Kids Podcast.  These are fantastic for working alongside your child or your clients to develop a growth mindset.

Take Action

I encourage you to begin today exploring your mindset.  Maybe this week you make it your focus to simply be more aware of your mindset.  Just like we encourage our clients to start out with cognitive goals, thinking about your mindset and becoming more aware could be your cognitive goal for the week.

Give it some thought and dig in how it seems best for you, right now, in this moment.  Remember that you are always invited to connect on Facebook, Instagram, or email.  If you are starting to think you want more, be sure to check out the website at behealthyhive.com for our Coaching Hive membership details.  I hope to see you in the Hive soon and back here next week for another episode of the Coaching Hive podcast.

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