What do you think when the going gets tough?
In addition to using the right growth mindset messages, there is another key strategy mentors can use to offer mindset support: Teaching mentees to embrace mistakes and seek out challenges.
Liking mistakes can seem a little counterintuitive and seeing mistakes in a new light doesn’t come easy. How do you think about mistakes and challenges in your life? Think about a recent mistake you’ve made at work, at home, or in some other part of life. Which statements more accurately reflect how you felt?
"There wasn’t much to be learned from that mistake. It is just something that happens to me."
"I can get better at not making those kinds of mistakes in the future."
Now think about the challenge of being a mentor to your mentee. Which statement more accurately describes how you feel about that role:
"How well I do as a mentor is mostly a reflection of who I am as a person."
Based on how you answered above, you can see whether you’ve been thinking about these things from a growth or fixed mindset. It doesn’t matter so much if you are at one end of the spectrum or somewhere in the middle — although reflecting on your results provides an opportunity to orient your thinking more toward the growth-focused ideals. Knowing how you perceive mistakes will also help you be mindful of the messages you give your mentee in conversations, and the examples you give to help them rethink how they view mistakes and failures.
The next lesson explains why reframing thinking about challenges is so important to your mentee.