Don't give this feedback if you want to build a Growth Mindset

It’s like what they say “It’s all in your mind and how you envision your life”. A Growth Mindset makes you believe you can achieve greater heights and skills because your abilities are through hard work and continuous actions. A Fixed Mindset makes you believe you are already good at something or not; because people say so or you believe in it.


Raising Kids or even a company have a common ground in developing such a mindset. It first comes from the top-down vision of the Parents or Founders.


What you think is a sweet compliment by praising someone can actually deteriorate their growth mindset.

There is a difference in Parents saying “You are so bright you gonna be a doctor” “ You’re so good at singing” vs“You are capable of great things when you put your mind to it"


6 Words feedback can make or break the mindset:
"You must be good at this." vs "You must have worked really hard"

Insightful example from Derek Sivers:

“Two impossibly hard tests were given to hundreds of children. After the first test, all of the students were praised, but half of the students were privately told these 6 words: "You must be good at this." The other half were privately told these 6 words:

"You must have worked really hard."

When they were given the second test, the students who were told, "You must be good at this", did 20% worse on the 2nd test. Those 6 words encouraged a fixed mindset that made them feel there was no point in trying. You either are or you aren’t.

The students who were told "You must have worked really hard", did 30% better on the 2nd test. Those 6 words encouraged a growth mindset that made them feel that working harder made all the difference.

So that’s a +-50% difference in performance because of 6 quick words by one teacher.”


If you are a parent, you may be harming your kids if you tell them they are really good at things.


Personally, now think of the praise and accolades you get from peers, families, colleagues, and institutes which makes you believe you are gifted and brilliant instead of your hard work and compounding skills. All this feedback in life can make and break your mindset.


Likewise, an organization is made up of multitudes of feedback mechanisms if not thought through this system can result in a fixed mindset.


Tell people that they must have worked hard; not that they are good or brilliant at something. It gives more mind space and room for growth.


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