I’ve been listening to the new book by Daniel Coyle, entitled The Talent Code and I ran across something truly eye opening. In fact it goes against conventional wisdom to such a degree that I didn’t believe it at first.
In a chapter on “Ignition,” about how to get talents started, Daniel goes into a study by Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford. Her premise is simple..
Children praised for their effort do much better than children praised for their intelligence or skill.
The reason, she explains, is that when you praise for skill, kids tend to react by protecting their status — they don’t want to take risks that might harm their standing.
Conversely, when you praise for effort, kids tend to react by taking on more engaging tasks, making mistakes and fixing them, and spending time in the sweet spot where skill is truly acquired.
This is such a powerful finding that it could have major consequences for parents and teachers. Can such a simple change have such a profound effect? Here is a great article on the subject by Po Bronson to spur your thinking…
Question: How not to praise your kids… What do you think?