316: Maximizing Your Learning and Growth with Eduardo Briceño

By July 2, 2018Podcasts



Eduardo Briceño says: "It takes a higher degree of confidence... to consider... that we might not be right."

Eduardo Briceño discusses how to cultivate a growth mindset and maximize your learning.

You’ll Learn:

  1. The tremendous impact of growth vs. fixed mindsets
  2. Common misconceptions about improving your skills
  3. The best practices for operating at peak performance

About Eduardo

Eduardo is the Co-Founder & CEO of Mindset Works, the leading provider of growth mindset training services and programs.  He started it in 2007 with Carol Dweck and others to help organizations develop learning-oriented cultures and systems. Eduardo regularly speaks at conferences and trainings for professionals and leaders.  His TEDx talks have been viewed by millions of people. He studied engineering, business and education at Penn and Stanford, but most importantly, he continues to enjoy lifelong learning every day.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Eduardo Briceño Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Eduardo, thanks so much for joining us here on the How to Be Awesome At Your Job podcast.

Eduardo Briceño
It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’m so excited to dig into some of your wisdom here. First, you shared something that’s near and dear to my heart. You said you consider yourself a master spreadsheet ninja. Tell us how that came to be and maybe some of your favorite Excel moves.

Eduardo Briceño
Sure, happy to share that. Why is that near your heart? I’m sure your listeners would love to hear that about you as well also.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, in strategy consulting at Bain, I did plenty of Excel spreadsheets. I really enjoyed learning the sort of ninja tricks in terms of all the shortcuts. It’s kind of like a little bit of a badge of honor if you never have to touch the mouse using all the shortcut keys.

One time I remember I met another consultant at A.T. Kearney at a party. It was funny. Her name is Kristen, shout out. She said she was a consultant. I said, “So, what’s your favorite Excel shortcut?” kind of like… flirtatiously. We ended up dating for almost a year.

Eduardo Briceño
That’s hilarious. That’s awesome.

I have a similar story. I studied finance in undergrad and the two biggest industries that people would go into are either consulting … data or investment banking. I went into investment banking and a similar thing.

It was very important to become really fast with the spreadsheet because we would spend lots of all-nighters in the office or we would go home and sleep for like three hours or less, so being fast was very important.

I also learned a lot of the shortcut keys and there are a lot of very simple things like for me, Ctrl + down arrow or ways to navigate the spreadsheet is important.

But when I was working in investment banking sometimes I would create macros. I taught myself how to program macros. Sometimes I would have to leave my computer on for like 30 minutes just you would see a screen doing all kinds of things, so people would walk into my office and see the computer working by itself and that’s kind of weird. But yeah, it was really helpful for me.

But for me the biggest tip for Excel and I think applies for other programs also that I think is helpful and I see some people not doing and it’s been helpful to me is starting with an already formatted document rather than kind of starting with a unformatted document and then needing to format it later because starting with a template that’s already kind of with the visuals that I like saves me a lot of time.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that is good. Yes. I think my favorite shortcut combination was Ctrl + Shift + 8 or Ctrl + * which would highlight a contiguous block of cells, which immediately preceded me pushing Alt + D P P for make pivot table and since I switched to a Mac it’s like – it’s just not the same.

Eduardo Briceño
Yeah, yeah.  I have a friend who the only reason he didn’t switch to Mac is because of Excel and the shortcut keys. I didn’t know that shortcut key though, so thank you for teaching me because what I would have done is Ctrl + Alt + left arrow + Shift + right + left, so that’s a lot longer than just Ctrl + Shift + F8, so thank you for teaching me that.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh anytime, yes. It sounds like you have really adopted a growth mindset when it comes to learning Excel and all matters. Could you orient us a little bit? You’re the co-founder and CEO of MindsetWorks. What’s the story behind the company and Carol Dweck and how it got to be and what you’re doing now?

Eduardo Briceño
Sure. Our mission is to help create a more learning-oriented world. The way the company got started was through the research of one of the co-founders, whom you mentioned, Carol Dweck and also another colleague of hers, Lisa Blackwell.

Carol has been doing research for decades on psychology and on what leads people to react differently to challenges and to mistakes. What she discovered is that people tend to see abilities or human qualities in one of two different ways or somewhere in the middle.

But she has now – she used to call that incremental theory of intelligence and to this theory of intelligence right now she has coined the term growth mindset and fixed mindset, which has sort of taken off.

What it means is when we see human qualities or abilities as fixed, as things that people are either good at or not good at and you can’t do anything about it, now what’s what we call a fixed mindset. When we see it as malleable, as changeable, as things that we can develop, that’s what we call a growth mindset.

That has a lot of technological implications about how we think, what we pay attention to, what goals we set for ourselves, how we react to challenges, how we speak with each other.

Our work is about helping people understand these two mindsets and how we’re thinking, what our own self-awareness is, and then how we build growth mindsets and learning orientation in ourselves and in our environment, like in our work environment or in our school environment.

The way that the company started is Carol had done lots of research and then she started working with Lisa on could we teach a growth mindset to kids, to kids in middle school is where they started.

They created different studies to see whether if you taught kids that the brain’s malleable and can change, it can become stronger and be able to think better, whether that would have a difference in the motivation and in the grades. They found that it did.

They started wanting to create products and services for schools to be able to foster a growth mindset in the students and the teachers and their cultures. They started looking for somebody with a business background to co-found a company with. I was introduced to them and we started MindsetWorks ten years ago. That’s how we got started.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that’s great.

Eduardo Briceño
Today we serve schools, but we also serve companies to help them build more learning-oriented cultures.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, understood. Well, could you maybe unpack a little bit more the distinction in terms of what it looks, sounds, feels like when you’re operating in a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset?

Eduardo Briceño
Yeah. First of all, here’s an example of how this research is done because I think it’s kind of interesting.

In this particular set of research studies what the researchers did is they asked people through a simple survey, people of different ages, whether they thought that people could become smarter or whether they thought that some people were smart or not smart and that was that.

What they were trying to assess is whether people were in a growth mindset or in a fixed mindset about intelligence, whether they thought intelligence was something people either had or did or whether people could become smarter.

Then they put these people into a brain scan machine, a functional MRI machine, that looked at their brain activity while they were solving problems. These people were actually solving problems inside of the FMRI machine, while researchers were imaging their brains.

What they found is that the people who thought that intelligence was fixed, that people couldn’t become smarter, their brain was most attentive when they were getting information about whether they got the problems right or wrong. But the brain was in most attention or doing much thinking when they were getting information about what mistakes they made.

That was really interesting because the people who thought they could become smarter, their brain was most active and paying the most attention when they were getting information about what mistakes they made. They were most interested in “Okay, what did I do wrong? What can I learn from this?”

As a result of that, those people solved problems more effectively and more successfully for the subsequent problems. They actually learned something useful. They became better at problem solving. The difference between these two groups is one of them thought that intelligence was fixed and the other one thought that intelligence was malleable.

That’s one example of how this research is done and through research like that researchers have realized that people in a fixed mindset tend to have a goal of looking smart and talented in front of other people. They’re saying, “Okay, people are either smart or not or talented or not. I want to be in the smart and talented category. I want people to see me that way.”

The way they go about doing that is by doing the things that they’re already very comfortable with, that they do very well, quickly, perfectly, without mistakes, without effort. They keep doing that over and over again.

Versus the people in the growth mindset, they can become bored if they’re not being challenged. If they’re doing the same thing over and over again, they can become bored and unmotivated because what they want to do is do something that they’re going to learn from or they can get better at. That’s a different goal.

They see effort in a different way. People in a fixed mindset tend to see effort as a negative thing, something that only people with low ability need to put effort into things, people with high ability don’t need to put effort into things. As a result of that, when they need to put effort into something, it makes them feel badly about themselves. It makes them feel incapable.

Versus people in a growth mindset understand the best people in their field who become the most skilled, they work really hard to get there and they continue to work hard to get even better.

There are Olympic gold medalists, they continue – even though they’re the best in the world, they continue to work really hard to get even better. They see effort as something that’s good, something that we can all benefit from.

The people in the fixed mindset avoid challenges versus seeking challenges for those in a growth mindset.

When we make mistakes or face failure or setbacks, if we’re in a fixed mindset, we interpret that as saying, “Okay, this means that I don’t have the necessary ability and so I’m going to go do something else. This is not for me. I’m not meant to do this,” so they give up. There’s less resilience.

Versus people in a growth mindset understand that if we’re working on what we haven’t mastered yet, we’re going to make mistakes, we’re going to have setbacks. That’s part of the learning process. We’re going to learn from that. We’re going to try different strategies. We’re going to ask for help. We’re going to look for resources. They’re a lot more resilient as a result of that.

When we receive feedback we react differently. If we’re in a fixed mindset, we say, we act defensively, like we say, “This person doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” or “They’re just trying to hurt me.” Versus if we’re in a growth mindset we listen. We say, “What is this person saying? Can I learn from this? Is there some truth to this that I can learn from about what they think or how I can get better?”

When other people succeed we see it as a threat versus an opportunity. There are other differences between a growth and fixed mindset that affects how much we improve in our performance and also how we interact with each other, our relationships.

Pete Mockaitis

Eduardo Briceño
Those are some examples.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, that’s – thank you for laying it out there.

It’s so intriguing when I was checking out your TED-X talks, you mentioned that brain scan piece about how we’re most engaged when we see how we’re doing if you’re in a fixed mindset.

That was a little bit of an alarm for me because I was – I’m familiar with this stuff a little bit. I thought, “Uh oh, growth mindset is where you want to be,” and I find that indeed like, let’s say I’m sending out an email to all the subscribers and I’m so darn curious I’ll click refresh, refresh, refresh. What’s the open rate? What’s the click rate? How did I do? Am I doing good at sending these emails or not so much?

It’s intriguing that I suppose even maybe how you approach it can tell you something is it’s like, I want to hear how well I did primarily in order to feel awesome about how great I am or because I’m using that as an indicator, a piece of feedback information to point to me doing better.

I think it’s intriguing how even how you receive the information about your performance is telling of what is going to happen to you in terms of your growth and learning.

Eduardo Briceño
Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. In a growth mindset, it doesn’t mean we’re not paying attention to the scores or to our performance. The brain is also active for people in the growth mindset at that time. It is also active if it’s relevant information, right? Whether what we did worked or didn’t work is useful. We learn from that also, especially if we got the wrong answer. But even if we got the right answer, we know that what we did worked.

Also, when we have a great performance, when we do something really well, that’s motivating. Sometimes it gives us the motivation to continue to improve, to continue to experience that in the future at greater levels. It’s not like in a growth mindset we’re not – we don’t care about performance or those outcome metrics, but we’re more aware of the process and how kind of what the difference is between working to improve versus working to perform and that we need to do both of those things in order to do things and have a positive effect in the world.

Pete Mockaitis
Mm-hm. Understood. What’s been really encouraging as well as I think about – it kind of changes the way in a way see everything in terms of daily interactions.

I recently bought a home, so I’m a home owner. There’s not – I’m not super handy. Oh, that sounded like a fixed mindset sentence, eh? But I have not yet developed a lot of those skills.

I’ve been so encouraged because I’ve been seeing contractors and others actually crack open the instruction manual for the things. It’s like, oh, even this person who knows all about how to install a reverse osmosis machine or a TV mount or whatever it may be, are actually learning, getting better and it’s not like looking at the instructions is something for losers or those who don’t really know what they’re doing.

Eduardo Briceño
Right. Yeah. That makes sense. What you say resonates because I grew up in Venezuela in an apartment building where all the walls are cement. People are – homeowners are not usually working to improve their home. That’s not as common. That never happened in my home. I’m also – … learned any of that stuff. Living in the US, I’ve learned a lot more of it.

But what you’re saying is interesting that it’s – for me it changed – thinking about this stuff changes what we perceive, like you’re perceiving that person looking at the manual. You’re noticing it and then you’re interpreting it in certain ways. All of these kind of thinking and … that we’re talking about helps us kind of change our perspectives and our interpretations of the world.

Pete Mockaitis
Mm-hm. If you find yourself in a growth, I’m sorry, in a fixed mindset, can that be changed either in terms of internally in how you’re thinking and working on your own thoughts or externally? How is that in and of itself malleable?

Eduardo Briceño
Yeah, that’s great. Mindset can definitely be changed. There’s a lot of research that manipulates mindset. That is definitely something that – it can be changed and it’s what our work is about.

I would say that a really important kind of early step is not even try to change it too quickly almost, it’s just kind of sit in a fixed mindset and just notice it and just acknowledge it and become more self-aware, kind of try to catch ourselves when we are in a fixed mindset and how it’s affecting us, how it is affecting the way we think and what we do.

Because then we use that opportunity to learn more about mindsets and to really develop a deeper understanding of why they matter, how they’re affecting us, and then we become more motivated to take on the journey to shift our mindset.

Pete Mockaitis
Mm-hm, absolutely. Well, I also got a kick out of some of the research associated with the children doing puzzles and the external encouragement. Can you share that story?

Eduardo Briceño
Yeah, sure. One of the kind of surprising things about this research is that we’ve discovered that praise that we often as a society tend to see as positive can have really negative unintended consequences.

In this particular set of studies, children of about kind of fifth grade were asked to work on a set of puzzles. They’re kind of non-verbalized … tests and they’re puzzles. They work on them. They’re about an appropriate level difficulty for them.

Then after they work on them they were randomly split to receive one of two different types of praise. One type of praise is what we call process praise. They were told, “Wow, that’s a really good score. You must have worked really hard.” The other half were told intelligence praise. They were told, “Wow, that’s a really good score. You must be really smart.”

It turns out that the students who heard, “You must be really smart,” that the next thing that happened in the study is that the children were asked, “Okay, now we’re going to do a second set of puzzles. Do you want to do an easy one or a hard one?”

It turned out that more than 90% of the students who were praised for working hard, who heard, “Wow, you must be so smart. You must have worked really hard,” more than 90% of them wanted to do the hard set of puzzles, but less than half of the ones who heard, “You must be so smart,” chose to do the hard set of puzzles. The majority wanted to do the easy set of puzzles.

We tell kids, “You’re so smart,” and we do it with the best intentions and they feel good about themselves in the short term because they’re saying, “Wow, I am smart,” but the deeper message that we’re communicating is that people are either smart of not smart and that’s why they succeed and that’s what allows them to be effective and to solve problems.

Then what they want after that is to feel smart and to have people think that they’re smart. They know that the way to do that is to do things perfectly and without mistakes. That’s what they end up thinking that that will let people know that they’re smart, so they don’t want to take on challenges after that.

In the same study what the children were then told was, “Okay, we’re going to do a second set of puzzles. It’s going to be hard, but we’re going to learn from them.” They all did that puzzle.

Then they did a third set of puzzles that was of equal difficulty to the first one. Because researchers were trying to figure out would this different sentence that the children heard affect their performance between the first set of puzzles and the third set of puzzles, which were equivalent.

It turned out the students who heard, “You must be so smart,” actually performed worse in the third set of puzzles than they had originally. Their performance went down.

The children who heard, “You must have worked really hard,” their performance went up. They learned something useful about problem solving when they were working on those hard problems and they were able to become better problem solvers in the third set of puzzles.

Versus the first group was worried about what this person was thinking about them. They were kind of struggling in that second set, so they were thinking, “Oh, I must not be so smart after all,” and that actually kind of affected their performance.

… to how we speak with children. Instead of speaking about them being for example smart or natural leaders or natural anything, what we can do instead is focus on their behaviors, their choices, their strategies, ask them questions for them to reflect and share their experiences, focus on what they can control, and what they can do as opposed to labels of what they are and aren’t.

Pete Mockaitis
Lovely, thank you. I also want to get your take because we chatted with the CEO of Korn Ferry, Gary Burnison, earlier. Episode 273 I think. He shared that – they did all sorts of research associated with competencies and which ones are relatively easier or harder to develop.

I asked him to get a little bit of sense of the scale for how much easier, how much harder. He said that it was something on the order of 200 times harder to learn and grow and improve on the most challenging to grow competencies than the easiest competencies.

I would just like to get your take since you’re looking all about people learning and growing and developing in anything. How do you wrestle with that one when it comes to certain things being way harder than others to master.

Eduardo Briceño
Well, that’s interesting. I haven’t listened to that episode and I will. Thank you for pointing me to it. I look forward to learning about that. I’m not familiar with that research. But a couple of things that come to mind.

First of all in a sense of what’s hard or easy to learn, it tends to be easier to learn something when we are novices. We can learn faster and with not as advanced learning strategies as when we are experts. Like so if you’re in the top ten tennis players in the world, it take a lot of hard work to improve a little bit, yet that’s really important at that level to keep on that journey. That’s one thing.

Another thing is that there are domains where there’s a lot of knowledge about how people can improve and there are domains where that’s a lot fuzzier.

For example, in chess or in ballet or classical music, there are coaches and teachers who have done this for a long time and have learned from other coaches and there’s very established practices about the best techniques that each kind of learner needs at any level. Then there’s lots of fields where there’s a lot less of a tie in.

It seems to me that in those fields where we know more about how people improve in that field, it seems it would be easier for somebody working with a great coach to improve than in other fields.

If you think about medicine 200 years ago, George Washington died because they bled him. They thought that was a good thing. To improve as a doctor then, you would learn from a doctor who would teach you how to kill people. People didn’t know how to get better as a doctor. Now we know a lot more about that for example.

Also there’s a lot things that people care about and want to get better at that are not skills. If you ask a lot of people what do you want to get better at, some people will answer, “Well, I want to become famous,” or, “I want to become rich.” The correlation between being famous or rich and being skilled or an expert at something is very, very weak. Versus there are things that are more skill-based.

That’s a – not to say, I mean there are very skilled like, Warren Buffet is an incredible investor and he’s so skilled at it, so I’m not saying that there’s no correlation. But people who study the development of expertise don’t study things like being famous or rich because it’s not well correlated. Those are some of the things that come to my mind.

The other thing that I would say is that it’s not that in a growth mindset we should get good at everything. Like, you gave the example of becoming handy as an example. You can be in a growth mindset about the ability to be handy, meaning that if you took on that journey and you made the time to learn and to practice, you believe you could get better at that.

But yet you could make a choice of saying, “I’m not going to spend all this time learning to be handy because there’s only so much time in the day. Here’s where I want to focus my time. Here are my priorities and I can’t get great at everything. Even though I could become great at anything; I’m going to choose my battles and I’m going to become great at these things.”

As part of that thinking process we can think about how much work and resources would it take for me to get better at something and that can be part of the – and what are my goals. What do I want out of life? What do I want in my work? And all of that goes into that equation of where do I put my effort in terms of improving it.

Pete Mockaitis
Mm-hm. That’s good. You talk about the lack of correlation between fame and skills. I was just thinking about some certain I guess, very popular music that isn’t very skillful in … together so. That’s sort of what … there.

Eduardo Briceño

Pete Mockaitis
Understood. Thank you. That’s really cool. Then what are some of your perspectives when it comes to if we do want to get better at some things, what are the top things we should do in order to fast track that learning growth development?

Eduardo Briceño
I think first of all, we tend to have this kind of vague notion that the way to get better at something is to work hard and to spend a lot of time doing it. That is I think kind of a misconception.

For example, if you look at studies of chess or the serious chess players, the more time they spent playing games of chess, the worse they are as chess players and the lower their ranking as chess players. The more time they spent playing games of chess, the lower the ranking.

The reason is when they were playing the game of chess we are performing. We are trying to do things as best as we can. We’re trying to minimize mistakes. We’re trying to win the game. Versus – that’s a different activity than an improvement oriented activities.

For example, in chess, and example of that would be to take a chess board position that happened in a game between grand masters and picking what move we would make. Then going back to what the grand master made and saying, “Okay, why did they make this move instead of the move I chose?” You might spend like 30 minutes trying to figure that out. That activity is a very different activity than just playing a game of chess.

We think about playing tennis or golf. If we think that the way to improve at those things is to go out and play tennis or play golf, what usually happens is we get better at the beginning when we’re novices because we’re so bad, anything we do will make us better. But then we stagnate and we don’t continue getting better if all we’re doing is playing games.

Instead what we need to do to improve in those things is to usually work with a coach and have them observe us and have them give us feedback on what to work on. Then we can kind of narrow down and say, “Okay, I’m having trouble with my top spin serve so that’s what I’m going to work on right now.” You do the top spin serve and you’re working on that and getting feedback from where the ball goes and adjusting your movement.

What Anders Ericsson calls deliberate practice, which is being clear about what sub-skill we’re working on, having repetition and feedback from what we’re doing at high … level. It’s something that we do focusing 100% of the time or 100% kind of our attention on that high-level of challenge and that activity, ideally with the help of a coach.

Those are examples of something – an activity that’s improvement related versus an improvement that is performance related.

What often happens at work is that we are so busy, we have so many things to do that we spend all of our time just performing, just executing, just trying to get the job done, focusing on trying to minimize mistakes and that if we are not spending any time in what we call the learning zone, being deliberate about improvement, then it leads to stagnation and we don’t improve further.

The way to improve – then the specific activities vary by what it is you’re trying to improve, but I think what’s common is a) kind of being clear about what you want to improve, so are each of us clear on what it is that we want to get better at. Perhaps, you can consider that doing that with our teams, like is each team clear on what we’re trying to improve.

Then how we’re going to go about improving that. In the workplace it can include things like first like listening from people who have thought a lot about this stuff and done research. Your listeners in this podcast have learned lots of lots of people’s perspectives and look at different parts of improvement. That’s an example of that.

Experimenting, trying different things, not just doing the same thing with it yesterday, today, but doing something different and learning from that, consulting with colleagues, asking for feedback, reflecting, especially reflecting on our mistakes or what was surprising to us, what went well, what didn’t go well.

Those are examples of activities that are not just about getting the job done. I think it’s important to think about how improvement requires activities that are different from just pure execution.

Pete Mockaitis
Mm-hm. Is there a sort of an optimal ratio, if you will? If we are sort of segmenting and clearly delineating performance zone versus learning zone, and you mentioned the best players got worse if they just played more, more, and more games. Is there a kind of a 60/40 or is it 80/20 kind of a balance or split that often seems to be about the sweet spot?

Eduardo Briceño
If you look at domains performance can be effectively measured and where people have one specific thing that they’re trying to become really great at, like chess, ballet, classical music, those types of things.

If you look at those types of fields, the people who become top world performers in those fields engage in deliberate practice anywhere between two and five hours per day, which is – so depending on the field.

That is a little surprising because one quick could think, well the person who spends eight or ten hours a day doing deliberate practice is going to become the best in the world, but that is actually not the case. These people spend between two and five hours a day doing deliberate practice.

The reason – and usually they do it in the morning when the brain has much more energy. They usually don’t do it for more than about an hour at a time before taking a break and doing something else. A couple of reasons for that.

First, when we’re engaged in deliberate practice, trying to do something beyond what we’re comfortable, where it’s requiring full concentration, our brain is getting tired. It requires a lot of concentration and then the brain needs to rest.

Also when we rest when we do something else, like we go play music or listen to music or go for a walk or do something else, our brain is working in the background. It’s making connections in the background while the mind is wandering or thinking about something else.

Also while we’re doing other thing or going about other things, that fosters creativity. Then we start making connections between things that are usually not connected and that leads to improvement in performance as well.

Also, what we see is that these people who become top in the world also sleep more than other people. First because their brain isn’t stressed, but also because while we sleep we are actually learning. Our neurons are making new connections. They’re disconnecting things that shouldn’t be connected together. They’re removing toxins from the brain. Sleep is also really important.

When we think back about – these are people who play violin for a living. They can afford to spend two to five hours a day doing deliberate practice.

In the workplace, for most of us, we usually can’t afford to do that. We have to produce. We have to get things done. We have a lot of things on our plate. We need to spend most of our time in the performing zone.

But for me kind of the most important thing is are we regularly spending time in the learning zone. Is that a habit that we regularly engage in? For me, especially kind of for people in the workplace, the habit of doing it regularly is more important than how much time we spend on it.

There’s a lot of kind of good performers in business like Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, and Opera. They have the five-hour rule. It’s that they spend at least five hours a week in the learning zone, deliberately learning something. That gives you a little bit of a measure of how much great performer in business spend time in the learning zone.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, excellent. Thank you. Eduardo tell me, anything else you really want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Eduardo Briceño
No, nothing particular.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, sure. Well then could you start us off by sharing a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Eduardo Briceño
Sure. Favorite quote for me is “Between stimulus and response there’s a space. In that space there is the freedom to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” That is a quote by Viktor Frankl, who is a psychiatrist and also a Holocaust survivor.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. How about a favorite particular study or experiment?

Eduardo Briceño
I think the study I described about the functional MRI machine, brain scan machine and how people in a growth or fixed mindset attend to mistakes or not. That’s a favorite study for me.

Pete Mockaitis
Alright, how about a favorite book?

Eduardo Briceño
The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. That was very impactful for me.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you. How about a favorite tool, something that helps you be awesome at your job?

Eduardo Briceño
I love Poll Everywhere when I do kind of things or talks to engage people in reflection and interact with them. It’s a great kind of poll tool. Personally, I also love using kind of flashcard applications to help me remember and learn things that I want to remember and have in mind all the time.

Pete Mockaitis
Alright, how about a favorite habit?

Eduardo Briceño
Oh, my morning habit. The first thing I do every day, it’s like sacred for me, I do several things when I wake up. They include meditating, which I actually do upside down, in an inversion table hanging from my ankles.

Then – so I do a kind of a hanging routine and then when I get to the computer I do several things priming my day and setting the priorities for the day and reminding myself of, for example, what I want to be working on so that every morning before I get started I have, what they call a keystone habit, which is a habit that helps other habits form.

I have a way to remind myself of what it is that I want to be working on or what new habits I want to be building. That’s sacred for me. Throughout that whole period, I don’t turn on my phone. I don’t look at emails. I start my day by just internally generated thoughts and not by looking at the news or email anything like that because then that can derail me.

Pete Mockaitis
Is there a particular nugget you share that really seems to connect and resonate when you’re sharing this stuff?

Eduardo Briceño
Yeah, one that people sometimes quote is “Real confidence is about modeling ongoing learning.”

Sometimes we think of confidence as something that means that you know a lot of stuff and you’re sure that you know. But I think that it takes a higher degree of confidence to model learning and to really not be sure that we know, to be open to what other people are thinking and saying and to consider the possibility that we might not be right.

Pete Mockaitis
Alright. And do you have a preferred way if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Eduardo Briceño
Sure. We have our website, MindsetWorks.com. You can contact us through our website or I’m also on Twitter at EBriceño8.

Pete Mockaitis
Do you have a final challenge or call to action you’d issue to folks seeing to be awesome at their jobs?

Eduardo Briceño
Sure. I would encourage people who don’t have a keystone habit to consider developing one. Again, a keystone habit is a habit that enables other habits to form.

It could be as simple as setting up in your calendar a recurring reminder a recurring appointment with yourself once a week, 15 minutes, to think about what it is that you’re working to improve, how it’s going, whether you want to change anything in your approach. That can be an example.

For me, is the example of what I do first thing in the morning. It could be what you do when you get to work or when you get into your car. That is something to think about.

Pete Mockaitis
Beautiful. Well, Eduardo, thanks so much for taking this time and sharing the goods here. I wish you and MindsetWorks tons of luck and success in helping young people learn and older people learn and all that you’re doing.

Eduardo Briceño
Thanks Pete. I enjoyed the conversation. Thank you for your work with How to Be Awesome At Your Job. It is so awesome to have a learning-oriented space that we can learn from lots of other people and from you as well. Thank you for what you do and keep it coming.

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