American social and developmental psychologist Carol Dweck has spent most of her life studying how people reach their potential or don’t. What she came up with is being used around the world, not only in a work with children, but also it works with athletes, businesspeople, and others. It is a fundamental division into fixed and growth mind-sets. What does it mean?
Which group are you closer to? Instead of painting, you can think of any other activity. A sport, a musical instrument, a subject at school or a task at work. Whether it's the first or the second, let's see how it relates to praise.
In the first example, we see a fixed mind-set. Praise of talents and qualities like, "You're so talented!” or “You're so smart!" will lead people to choose fewer challenging things for the next task so that they don't fail and maintain that claim about themselves. Because if they fail, their minds will fill in the opposite, i.e. that they are stupid. As a result, their motivation and self-esteem are likely to decrease.
On the other hand, if we appreciate the efforts made, we will encourage a growth mind-set. This second group of people believe that their abilities are not fixed in everything, but that they can grow through effort, experience, and hard work. They will not be afraid to fail on the next assignment but will be more inquisitive and determined to take on more challenging tasks.
Focusing on process and effort can look like this: "By studying hard and focusing yesterday, you passed the test with flying colors today!"
So, when is it worthwhile to praise performance? Whenever we want to encourage others in their future endeavors and increase their confidence and motivation for future tasks. \n Check out the resources we used to learn more: