In the best guide I’ve found to learning this skill, “Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well,” Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project explain that feedback — both positive and negative — is challenging because it hits us in the vulnerable soft spot between our desire to grow and our deep need to be accepted and respected. The key to hearing feedback well, they argue, is to adopt what the psychologist and author Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset.” People with a growth mindset believe that effort and challenge make us better, stronger and smarter, while those with a “fixed mindset” believe that our inherent assets are static no matter what we do.
Not all of the criticism kids face is constructive. Some of it is born out of ulterior motives or dark intentions, but the good news is that a growth mindset can protect kids from this sort of feedback as well.
Via Gust MEES