Culture Factor 2.0

Christina Eanes: Tapping into Your Growth Mindset to Succeed

Episode Summary

Christina Eanes is a Former FBI violent crime analyst and senior manager. Now she is an accomplished author of 3 books: Life is an Escape Room and Secret to Super Productivity. One of her books is also a successful podcast called Quit Bleeping Around that is dedicated to helping individuals achieve more in life, offering tools and strategy to successfully be a super achiever. Christina is the epitome of one. Did I mention she is also an entrepreneur? Her team helps companies perform at their highest level by improving how individuals understand themselves. And today on Culture Factor 2.0 she has the goods about tapping into your growth mindset.

Episode Notes




Episode Transcription

Holly Shannon  0:00  

The framework of business is completely different in the new normal. To explore culture as the strategy we have to look in places we haven't before. Looking into company culture, from the C suite to employees and from fortune 500 to startups, it's time to understand the human side of company culture and the new shape it is taking. This is the conversation on culture factor 2.0. And I'm your host Holly Shannon. Christina Eanes is a former FBI violent crime analyst and senior manager. Now she's an accomplished author of three books, life in an escape room, secret to Super productivity, and quit bleeping around, which also happens to be a successful podcast that she has dedicated to helping individuals achieve more in life, offering tools and strategy to successfully be a super achiever. And Christina truly is the epitome of one did. I also mentioned she's an entrepreneur, her team helps companies perform at their highest level by improving how individuals understand themselves. And today on culture factor 2.0, she has the goods about tapping into your growth mindset. So let's get started. Hello, Christina Eanes and welcome to Culture Factor 2.0.


Christina Eanes  1:12  

Thank you. I'm happy to be here.


Holly Shannon  1:15  

Excellent. I wanted to dive right into talking about growth mindset. And I think it makes most sense. To start off with this first question is what is the definition of growth mindset?


Christina Eanes  1:27  

Nice. So this term growth mindset came about by Carol Dweck research. She's a Stanford psychologist, researcher. And she identified growth mindset in order to define it, we need to kind of contrast it with another mindset called fixed mindset. So it's a it's two different beliefs that originate from the brain. And they completely, shall we say, set the foundation for how we experience life, our work, what we learn failure, mistakes, all of that stuff. So let's dive in and look at the main areas. So a growth mindset essentially, is that you believe skills are built, you can learn and grow. Right? Whereas a fixed mindset is you believe skills are born. And you can't learn and grow necessarily, right? You either have it or you don't. All of that stems into a whole bunch of different areas. So if you don't mind, I'll go through both of those mindsets. That would be perfect. Perfect. Okay, so the let's go through the fixed mindset, because that's quite startling, at least to me, right? So, and again, as I go through these, please keep in mind they're not on. You're not in a bucket, right? So it's, it's more of a continuum. So you can have more of a growth mindset, or more of a fixed mindset, you could be kind of right in the middle between both of them. And it also depends on the situation. But let's let's dive deeper into that. Right. So a fixed mindset, you believe skills are born, you're born with talent, you're born with that, that level of intelligence that you cannot change. So that is a fixed mindset at its purest form, right. So what that happens is you're focused on performance outcomes, you don't want to look bad. So you're going to make sure and do things that you won't fail at. And where this affects us. The main, the four main areas that fixed mindset and growth mindset differ, are in how we view effort, challenge, mistakes and feedback. So someone with more of a fixed mindset doesn't believe that effort is necessary, and it's not useful. So if you have to try hard at something, that means you're just not good at it. And since they believe that you can't learn and grow in that area, that then effort is not worth it. Right? So it shouldn't be hard. When it comes to challenges, they'll back down. They'll avoid it because they see it as a threat, right? Because it's proving that they aren't good in a certain area. Unless, of course they know they're good at them, then they'll do them. Right mistakes, which I know we talked about before, is someone with more of a fixed mindset, they hate them, they get discouraged, they avoid them, or they have an intense fear of failure essentially, which also leads us then to feedback. They don't see that as helpful. They get defensive and they take it personal because they don't believe they can grow. They see it as a personal affront. So that kind of sets the the focus for the contrast right to the the growth mindset. Whereas again, skills can be built, you can learn them you can grow, you can increase your intelligence, you may have a natural talent in a certain area, but that doesn't mean that you can't develop skill, and and, and be successful in that area. So someone with more of a growth mindset focuses on the process of getting better. And again, back in those four different areas of effort, challenge, mistakes and feedback. Someone with more of a growth mindset believes that effort is important, right? It leads to our growth, you've got to put in the effort in the hard work to get where you want to go. Challenge. They embrace it, they persevere. They look at it as an opportunity. Oh, tell me, I can't do that I'm going to go after and I'm gonna prove you wrong, right? And then, yeah, and then mistakes, it's not the end of the world. Right? These are things that you can learn, you have to go out this again, growth mindset, right, you have to go out and make mistakes, and and push the envelope, right, so that you can learn from them. And you can improve because it's about the process of getting better. Along those lines. The other delineating factor, again, is feedback. So someone with more of a growth mindset is going to appreciate that feedback. And they're going to figure out how they can implement that and help themselves better. So again, I'm so I, you know, I love this stuff, right? So. So to summarise, growth mindset is about learning and growing and getting better with the you not, you don't either have it or you don't. Whereas fixed mindset, in contrast, is more of you either have it or you don't.


Holly Shannon  6:14  

So, let me ask you this question. How did you find yourself in this place? So, you know, you you've been teaching it on an individual level? And I know you teach it to companies, but can you share with us how, how you got to this path?


Christina Eanes  6:29  

Sure. Yeah. So a path of self discovery A few years ago, when I started when I went in and start opening up my own business. Right, so I wanted to look at Okay, so I've got, I've got a background in criminal justice, and leadership development, what we How can I make my own mark on the world in my own in my own business, right? So I started looking at myself, and what what skills Am I good at, and I looked at the basis of because I'm all about achieving more in life, you know, getting out of your own way. So I really did some reflection and looked at that and did a bunch of research. And I realized, it's because I have a growth mindset. And I'm trying to teach that to others. So developed classes around it, right. And then once I got into that classroom, I could see a stark difference between the individuals that were perhaps struggling with a fixed mindset, and those that had really adopted a growth mindset. So that was at the individual level, pretty much everything I do all of my resources, podcasts, videos, writings, books, it's all focused on I may not say it flat out, but it's all focused on gaining more of a growth mindset. But fascinatingly, in those classes, what I found was, well, and especially when we would go in and do coaching with organizations that supplement some of our programs. There are some organizations that there is a prevalence of a fear of making mistakes of you know, that you're either good, or you're not, you're, they're talented, or you're not. And so I started looking at how that relates to organizations and organizations actually have a culture of mindset that can either be more towards the growth end of the spectrum or more towards the fixed end of the spectrum.


Holly Shannon  8:24  

Have you seen with companies you've worked with, have you seen a big disparity in productivity and the company scaling just based on that type of culture, whether it was a no growth? Or a fixed mindset?


Christina Eanes  8:41  

Oh, yeah, great question. So I, it's funny, because right now, I have several companies just all along the spectrum. And those that are more in the fixed mindset, the culture, what I see is a very risk averse culture. People are afraid of making mistakes. So they're going slower, they're being more careful. They're not innovating. People unhappy, right? Because in more of a growth, mindset, culture, let's look at the contrast right to that. It's more of a development focused culture. I remember seeing one president slash CEO of company stand up to his group and say, Look, it's our job to develop you. Whether you stay with us or not, right, you'll at least be a better human being wherever you go. And that's what's important for this world of I call. This is like a growth culture organization. Right? They're feedback friendly. They, people are more comfortable making mistakes and innovating. And the leaders take the time to sit and discuss with the employees. Okay, what did you learn from this mistake? You know, what are you going to do differently next time. It's just night and day, what I see in the organizations as that happiness level of the the employees the motivation, the productivity, night and day.


Holly Shannon  10:07  

You know, I'm seeing so much and hearing so much and reading so much about company culture, especially in what we term the new normal, which I feel and I'm sure everybody else does is far from normal. Yeah. And, um, you know, it's it's just interesting to me that the companies that are opening the door to innovation and creativity and allowing their teams to lead at whatever level they're on, are really, I mean, you see it across the board, those are the companies that are hiring and scaling during a pandemic, I see that as well.


Christina Eanes  10:52  

Oh, yeah, more of an adaptable culture. So I've also seen in more of the fixed mindset type cultures, they're very power and positional based. So I like what you had just said about, you know, because I've been in organizations where pretty simple, pretty simple decisions have to go all the way up to the board level. I mean, we're talking like 1015 levels up, because they are so power and position based in the fixed mindset realm, versus like, you were just saying companies that push that power and that decision making. What should we say accountability, responsibility down as far as possible and giving people autonomy? treating them like adults?


Holly Shannon  11:38  

Right? Yeah. And yes, y'all are a human when you're working?


Christina Eanes  11:42  

I know, right? So. So those companies are able to pivot more. I've also seen like how you're talking about, especially like with the remote working, right, those same companies that I'm working with that are more of a fixed mindset, the people feel even more isolated. They have even more zoom fatigue, there is a loss of boundaries, if you will, like people are expected to check their email and monitor it until late in the evening. Because now they're working from home. Versus Yeah, go ahead with the merge versus those with more of a growth mindset. Again, employees are humans, right? They have lives outside of work. We want what's best for our employees, and they will in turn, be dedicated to us, they'll be able to pivot, they'll feel connected.


I don't know what other term to call it, but night and day, like,


Holly Shannon  12:34  

yeah, I you know, I think companies that are able to really embrace, creating almost entrepreneurship. We've spoken about it before on the podcast, and just really leaning in on individuals getting creative within the confines of what their original job description was, I think is so important right now, because we don't really know completely what new businesses are going to look like the shape they're going to take, right, because it's right now it's remote. It's hybrid. It's not. I don't know what it is at this point. But I think it's it's critical right now. We're just at that critical juncture.


Christina Eanes  13:19  

Oh, yeah, immensely. So right. And some companies, I mean, they're, well, well, no, right. What is it culture eats breakfast


Holly Shannon  13:28  

culture eats strategy for breakfast, which I will tell you was the first iteration of this podcast. And then one of the things that I had read by Seth Godin, who's the, you know, the king of marketing, but he wrote in his book, this is marketing culture is strategy and and I actually really feeling that for a long time, and, you know, sort of repositioned my thinking that way. And it makes so much sense, right? Yeah.


Christina Eanes  13:56  

Well, I would almost want to change it to growth mindset, right add instead of culture like a growth mindset culture equals whatever success or empowered employees,


Holly Shannon  14:07  

I think that might just be your fourth book,


Christina Eanes  14:16  

I have been an employee working in in both of these types of organizations and it and I will and there can be pockets like so you can have like a growth mindset, culture overall right, but have a small pocket of a fixed mindset or, or vice versa, right. So it also depends on the leadership right involved. But I just as an employee, experiencing these two different cultures, it has been a stark difference in whether or not I wanted to go to work or be there or anything related right to the job versus wanting to go there and not just go there but do anything that they needed me to do because I was so dedicated and motivated. To be there,


Holly Shannon  15:03  

you know, it's nice when you're in a company like that. What I would say is, you know, there's a couple things I'd like to sort of dive into. So there are strategies individuals could use. And and I do want to lean in on you here, because I know that you are tactical, and you can provide individuals with strategies. But I also want to point out that, you know, so I'd like to think that I'm of a growth mindset. But, you know, I am human. And I think there's points in time where my mindset is somewhat fixed or static. Yeah. And so it's not that I don't want to grow. But I think that, you know, we all harbor certain things like maybe it's a little bit of fear about something because we've been burned before, or getting critical feedback, because we've had that boss who was just brutal to us. Yeah, as we were coming up, or we've had so many challenges that we've got this right, we're the we're that person who bring bring on the challenge. I'm good. It actually catapults me further. So what I want to say is, I think that there are people out there that would consider themselves have a growth mindset, with an occasional fixed problem. Yeah. in there. So, again, getting down to brass tacks. What What do you think are some strategies these individuals could use?


Christina Eanes  16:37  

Awesome, well, first of all, I love that you say that? Because so we have a basic growth mindset course, where we go over exactly what it is, right? And the first step, and I think everything is awareness, right. So Carol Dweck found in her research that just by teaching people fixed mindset versus growth mindset, and having an awareness of that is life changing? Right? So that is actually the first step. However, our second class, we even go deeper into growth mindset. And, and the focus of that classes, okay, so you've got a growth mindset, you're normally sitting towards the growth mindset end of the spectrum. But guess what, when you get pushed out of your comfort zone, and I mean, far out of your comfort zone is, depending on the level of growth mindset you have, you will get you, your ugly little fixed mindset will pop up. Right, and so we walk them through a process of how to work through that. So individually, it's being aware that you have been triggered, it's being aware of your emotions, right. And and that all they're representing is, guess what? Your brain is nervous because you've gotten out extensively outside of your comfort zone. Right? You're human.


Holly Shannon  17:58  

Like you said, I was just about to say that we're all human, right? Yeah.


Christina Eanes  18:03  

So it's acknowledging that right? It's okay. Oh, hmm. fixed mindset got triggered. Let's let's do let's dive a little further into that and look at it right. And then it's looking at the belief that came behind that so if you wouldn't mind playing with me here let's do you remember the last time maybe perhaps you got triggered? You don't have to share specifics, but a situation that you think maybe you went into a fixed mindset.


Holly Shannon  18:29  

Oh, my goodness, see, you really did put me on the spot.


Christina Eanes  18:33  

Oh, goodness.


No worries, I can always provide a basic example. But if


Holly Shannon  18:40  

you give a basic example, if I think of something like quickly, while we're doing this, I'll make you dive into that one too.


Christina Eanes  18:46  

Okay, actually, you know what, I can take you through one of the first activities that we do, so draw an animal and you can even draw it figuratively in your head but when I told you to draw an animal, any animal what's the first thought that went through your head?


Holly Shannon  19:02  

A monkey


Christina Eanes  19:04  

a monkey but what was your first thought about your artistic ability?


Holly Shannon  19:09  

Oh, you see, you're talking to I am actually artistic. Ah, strange people that sort of I like I was always analytical I went to school for international business, but I actually had a jewelry business for 15 years so I'm probably the wrong person to ask that question. Growing up our process


Christina Eanes  19:29  

that's all good we'll say the average person right the minute and this is so funny because right though you're right yeah, we hear it in the classroom. You have them and they start showing their they start showing the animals and in the in the even those little inside voices come out. Yeah, I I really suck at drawing and, and blah, blah, blah. So you have a you so you have a growth mindset related to drawing but most people are good. So right so we have those initial nuggets. So that would be an Example, have you been pushed out of your comfort zone, right? And those little voices get triggered. So you would know immediately because you're not feeling confident. Matter of fact, to the extreme, this would be imposter syndrome, right? So you don't feel like you've earned the position that you've got into or. But I digress. Let me go back to the artistry here. So we have people look at those negative thoughts that start coming into their head. And there is it's called the ABCD model, I won't necessarily get into it in detail, because it it takes a while and it's a whole classroom activity. But it's a way to, you notice there's so the A is the activating event, the B is the belief behind it, and the C is the consequences. So I was asked to draw a picture. The belief behind it is my artistic ability sucks. So the consequences are, I'm feeling bad about myself, and I'm embarrassed to share my drawing in class. Right? And so the D is you dispute with yourself. And that's, it's through a whole process of so what really is true, right, what are the facts here? What are some other ways that I could explain this? So taking yourself through that process, and essentially breaking down that belief, and then choosing a more empowering belief, and then working on imposing that in the brain as a program?


Holly Shannon  21:25  

Well, that sounds amazing. I think that is a really, really interesting approach to that. So now, I'm going to flip this on you. Sure. So we talked about some different ways that individuals could look at growth mindset, even if they have a few, shall we call it fixed tendencies?


Christina Eanes  21:48  

Everyone does?


Holly Shannon  21:51  

How would you approach this with a company, say a pretty large company that that does have maybe more of a fixed mindset, but is realizing that they need to shift? What How do they go about that?


Christina Eanes  22:06  

Excellent. So there are some individuals that work solely on company culture, right? From my perspective, what I do is I start working with the leadership, right? So the first thing is to make sure that all of the leadership are onboard with a growth mindset. So getting them through that process, getting them to understand what is the impact that their fixed mindset is having whatever degree they have it at, right? The impact that that is having on their employees. And then of course, the organization as a whole so very much for them. It's taking the leaders of that organization through that individual process, but then adding a few more steps to that. So helping them be aware of what is fixed mindset, what is not when their employees are sitting in fixed mindset and growth and helping their employees be aware of that. But the extra key ingredient is how the leaders approach mistakes, how they approach learning for their employees. So turning everything into a learning moment, having those those weekly conversations with them on the employees development, right. And then instead of asking, you know, Aaron, and being I've seen this actually, in some companies, yes, they award successes, but some companies also award failures. And they turn it into a learning moment. And it's almost like people can say can get up and say, hey, guess what, I did this. This is what I learned from it. And I'm going to teach you guys about this so that you don't do the same thing. So they almost turn it into a celebration of failure as well. I have you ever heard what is that? failing? Fast failing forward?


Holly Shannon  23:49  

failing forward? I think it is


Christina Eanes  23:50  

something Yeah. So yeah, no, I have a growth mindset culture right there. So really getting more into the the learning what did you learn? Doing debriefs? Okay, so what went well, what didn't go so well? What did we learn from what didn't go so well? And what are we going to do differently next time? instead of turning those into punitive conversations, right? They're turning them into learning conversations. So that would need to happen at the individual level, at the unit level at the division level. So just I almost think of it as infiltrating the whole organization at all levels.


Holly Shannon  24:27  

I wish there was a better word for failure or mistake, because I feel like there's such a negative connotation in it. And I think a lot of people have a hard time moving around that or admitting I failed or yes sake. There's such a terrible psychology around those words. And


Christina Eanes  24:45  

well, and what I do recommend for that his people call it learning what did you learn?


Holly Shannon  24:51  

No, no, that's perfect. You know, as you speak about companies that are trying to transform like that, and they're maybe having those Learning moments, they're also doing the one on one development you spoke of, do you think incorporating in a really strong mentoring program sort of up and down would help facilitate growth and also give some leadership moments to people that are maybe lower on the totem pole?


Christina Eanes  25:21  

Oh, absolutely. with the caveat that those that are in the mentoring program are screened. And I'm talking about the mentors, because we want to make sure that they are mentoring, the right behaviors, right, those growth mindset behaviors for the the people who are learning from them.


Holly Shannon  25:41  

Makes sense. Yeah. Let me let me ask you a question. Because you have a very storied past, which we gave everybody in the intro. Are you? Can you share a story? Maybe that would dive into an experience you've had with mindset? And it could be either growth or fxt?


Christina Eanes  26:02  

Yes, actually, I have experience both.


Holly Shannon  26:05  

All right, Bring it on, because everybody's getting a lot of value from this. Yeah.


Christina Eanes  26:10  

Well, the one that is very, we'll call it visceral. In my memory, is when I was working violent crime analysis. And at one point, in that in those few years, I did have a boss who was quite a micromanager, very fixed mindset based. And the boss before him was completely growth mindset oriented. It was all about, okay, let's try new things. Okay, it fails. Let's Let's learn from that. What can we do to change things? Right, let's, let's get out there. Let's be innovative, how can we help these police departments even better? Right, so what are some other things? What? How can we expand our services? Right? So I went from that the growth mindset culture, to the new person that took over was, basically we were children, we couldn't do anything without getting permission. And he was very power positional focused. So if you weren't at the same level, he was, you obviously haven't earned that same level. So you don't you haven't earned the right to speak up with your ideas. You need to do what I tell you, your robots. Wow, that's so on top of dealing with violent crime, you know, the that kind of topic of work it having a fixed mindset Boss, I was able to I struggled with it for a little bit, then I was able to like, wait a minute, this isn't me. I need to look at this as a learning opportunity. So what is working in this unit with these individuals as they are with this boss? What is this teaching me? So I was able to do that for a while before I ended up going and getting promoted in a different area of the organization.


Holly Shannon  27:54  

And I hope you landed on a growth mindset boss when you got over to the new division.


Christina Eanes  27:59  

Yeah, I think


they were actually kind of neutral, which I would take that over fixed any day.


I agree. I yeah.


Holly Shannon  28:07  

You know, an excellent podcaster once suggested to me that I asked this question. What have I not asked you? I'm thinking it might just be the podcaster Quit Bleeping Around, but I turned the tables on you. And I'm going to ask you that question.


Christina Eanes  28:31  

What have you today?


Oh, well, I think you've done a great job covering all the different areas. I love how we've looked at this from an individual point of view, up into all the different levels in organization up until the whole organizational culture level. resources I have a bunch of resources out there it mainly for the individual, but individuals at all levels are interested in them. There's a course of the equip leaping around podcast as well as the Christina Ian's YouTube channel has a lot of different and I'm actually coming out with a growth mindset series of videos and podcasts over the next few months.


Holly Shannon  29:10  

Oh, access to them should subscribe to on YouTube. Yes, they can be great. And I've put all the links that you spoke of actually, in the podcast in the show notes so everybody can access you in terms of you know, books or your work as well. So we definitely have that covered. So without a doubt, they'll be able to reach you.


Christina Eanes  29:31  

Awesome. Oh, and there is also Carol Dweck book called mindset. And it's dub d w e ck and she goes over the research that she did as well as there's like a chapter for each type of person like business leadership, coaches, parents relationships, how to have a growth mindset in a relationship. So she has all kinds of cool resources in that book as well.


Holly Shannon  29:56  

All that is great because I think we probably will see Are we will probably as we think about this podcast realize that, you know, growth mindset and fixed mindset bleeds into all aspects of our lives, not just the work that we're trying to do than


Christina Eanes  30:11  



Holly Shannon  30:12  

Yes. So I will, I will include that link as well in the show notes in case anybody wants to be able to go over and grab her book. So I have to say thank you, Christina Ian's this was really great. And I think we covered a lot on here. And I hope once we we get this up for everybody, they'll engage and feel free to ask questions, as I'm sure that you might be able to get even so tactical that you can answer individuals questions


Christina Eanes  30:41  

as well. I'd love to. I love this stuff. And thank you so much for having me. Thank you,


Holly Shannon  30:47  

Christina. Thanks for coming on the show.


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