Failure Management: Learning Goal Orientation

Failure Management: Learning Goal Orientation

Hi all, here it is, strategy #7 Failure Management: Learning Goal Orientation, from Dr Lee’s ‘Internal Drive Theory’ book. If you have not read the first six strategies, click here.

In this chapter, Dr Lee shares three kinds of goal orientation or mindset (paraphrased) :

  1. Results orientated.
  2. Risk orientated.
  3. Growth orientated.

Kids or even adults with results orientation focus only on the results. Once they meet with failure, they give up. Because the results tell them that they cannot do it.

Those who are risk orientated, looks at all the possible risks and never attempts to do anything. Another way to describe this condition is the fear of failure. This is very prevalent in our society, especially in the public sector. The mindset is one that says, ‘I don’t want to take risks at all, i want to be safe and comfortable. Nevermind if i never accomplish anything significant.’

The growth orientated mindset is the one we want to cultivate in our student/child. So that they view failures as a chance to learn from the experience. To grow in wisdom, knowledge and everything else. 

Challenges in cultivating the growth orientation mindset

  • Emotional impact
  • Wrong person adopting the attitude i.e. teachers and parents

Think about it, in Life, most of us learn from trial and error. When did we stop learning from errors and mistakes? When did we start getting frustrated and giving up on doing something worthwhile? 

To quote my favorite speaker, Mr Jim Rohn, ‘Don’t say i’ve got to do it. Say i get to do it.’ The first part has the victim mentality, of being forced and not having a choice. A simple shift in the verb brings us from being the victim to being a enthusiastic person who is privileged to do it.

Another quote, ‘Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.’ Shift in perspective, it’s not about the challenge, it’s about YOU!

Lastly, another quote from Mr Rohn, “I’d tell you how risky Life is, you’re not going to get out alive~. The Englishman says, ‘if that’s how it’s going to be, let’s give it a GO!’ Right~, give it a go!”

Remember to IMPART the growth attitude. Ask them what did they learn from the failure. Because most will. Get them to scrutinize their study strategies. 

Many people have remarked that A level H2 Chemistry is one of the hardest subjects to study for. But because some students did well for O level Chemistry with last minute work, they are lulled into complacency.

Prime them right from the start, get them to write down what do they expect to score for tests/exams. Then remind them AFTER they get back their results. Inculcate the growth mentality into them. When they can persist on their own conviction when faced with challenges, the battle is half-won.

That’s all for Strategy #7, hope you’ve found it useful 🙂 Go to strategy #8!

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