Over the past month and change my team and I have been reading 2-3 chapters of Grit by Angela Duckworth each week. We get together via Zoom, one team member presents the core concept and then we dive into a dialogue about how it applies to our lives (work and personal). This has been an awesome bonding experience for us while also helping us continue to live into one of our core values, Growth Mindset.
The chapters this week were related to parenting for Grit in our children. As Duckworth discussed this wasn’t just for parents, this was for coaches and anyone who cares for others. To help demonstrate the concept she showed a grid. The X axis was Undemanding to Demanding. The Y axis was Unsupportive to Supportive. In each of the quadrants created by the axis were different parent styles. What was found to be the ideal for fostering grit was a combination of Highly Supportive AND Highly Demanding.
This concept was very well timed for me today as there was a specific situation in which I had a choice to make. It would have been very easy to be highly supportive and not demanding. The person was in a tough place and it felt like pushing would have been very uncomfortable. That said, the right thing to do in the situation is exactly what would have been uncomfortable. If I truly cared about their future success I needed to be the voice that helped push them as opposed being permissive, allowing the cycle to continue, and the issue to persist. As I quickly though through what action would be best I saw this model in my head and made the right decision. Was it uncomfortable? Definitely! Was it what needed to happen and what needed to be said? Yes.
Something else that helped me down the right path when it would have been so effortless to take the easy way out were my core values. My team and I do our best each day to live into our four core values. Are we perfect every moment of each day? Nope. Do we take time to talk about our values and find how to better live them? Yes and often. Our four core values are rather simple yet complex: Grit, Growth Mindset, Gratitude, and Do Right. When we take time to think about our core values before taking action we always seem to make the best decision. When times are tough and there are multiple options our values are there to help guide us towards our vision. I’m so thankful for having this clear values burned into our brain as they help keep us on track so many times throughout the day.
Today there were some difficult decisions and situations. There were also many times the correct course of action was crystal clear when viewed through the lens of our values. Well timed ideas like Parenting for Grit Matrix also helped us out. Funny how when we live to our values everything becomes almost effortless as the right thing to do becomes so clear and bolsters our courage to do the right thing as we are doing it out of love.