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IKE Needs to Expand His Horizons!

Updated: Apr 28

We’ve all known an IKE — the ‘I Know Everything’ person who irritates us with his knowledge and self-righteousness. IKE doesn’t realize or, in some cases doesn’t care, that there are other views and opinions — and that those other views and opinions could benefit him!

IKE has a fixed mindset.

A fixed mindset is the belief that your intelligence, talents and other abilities are set in stone. It's the perspective that you're born with a particular set of skills and that you can't change them. Because of this, someone with a fixed mindset is usually intolerant of other views and opinions.

Worse still, a manager or leader with a fixed mindset may feel threatened by her staff or team and, as you can imagine, this can have disastrous results for the workplace culture and the company as a whole.

When we dig deep and look at IKE, it’s usually ego that is getting in the way. And ego is so limiting!

Someone else may see something differently than we do, and it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. While we don't have to accept or adopt another viewpoint, when we give someone an opportunity to voice their opinion, it's an opportunity for us grow!

Take wine for example. Because people have varying taste buds, backgrounds and experiences, their preference in wine differs. One is not right or wrong – just different. Imagine if only one type of wine was produced in all the world... boring!

We all have opinions. We hear them every day. We give ours everyday, too. Because they challenge our own views, differing opinions can get us thinking. They make life interesting.

Creativity and growth can be sparked by conflicting opinions. Leaders, in particular, need to recognize the power of of being open to opinions, ideas, and preferences. It can be destructive to force your opinion as the only way.

In her book, "Mindset," renowned Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck says that it's not intelligence, talent or education that sets successful people apart. It's their mindset, or the way that they approach life's challenges.

If your ego is too big and you're closed to other ideas and opinions, or you're being an IKE, you're probably not getting where you want to go. Time to shift your mindset.

Someone with a growth mindset believes that people are a work in progress. They choose to engage in the process of learning so they can better themselves and reach new goals. They also believe that they can overcome obstacles, learn from experiences, and reach ever-higher levels of achievement.

An opinion is a personal view, attitude, or appraisal. It's okay when someone sees something differently than you do. If you have a growth mindset, you won’t feel the need to get defensive when someone imposes their opinion on you. You'll be open to new ways of understanding.

Believe it or not, you actually don't know everything. None of us do. So don't be like IKE.

"Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?"

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

You either want to become your best version, or you want to remain stagnant. Attitude, or mindset, is everything.

You can believe what you want to believe and say what you want to say, no drama needed. Share, but don't impose your opinion on someone else. Respect where others are in their view, too. And if you do find yourself getting defensive, that’s an opportunity for awareness.

Dweck provides some simple steps that you can take to switch to a new way of thinking.

  1. Practice self-awareness and listen to your thoughts.

  2. Recognize that you have a choice in how you respond.

  3. Challenge your fixed mindset.

  4. Take action for positive outcomes.

Having a growth mindset is essential for success. When we are open to other possibilities, and not stuck in the confines of limited thoughts and beliefs, it will open doors and expand horizons. 

Ready to shift your mindset? Have you taken the free GRIT Self-Assessment?


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