Friday Mindset #100 (!!)

Still Helping Students Get Better at Studenting

Happy Friday for - yes, you guessed it - the 100th time!

There’s only three people in the world who’ve read all 100, and that’s the three folks who write ‘em, but if you’ve played the smallest part in helping sustain us, THANK YOU.

The emails we get - often no more than quickly-typed messages of thanks written at the end of a long working week - make a huge difference to us. We’re so glad we started this.

We’ve got our sights set firmly on 200 now. OK, 150. Well, maybe 120. Actually, if we can make it to half term, we can die happy.

Anyway. For the hundredth time, let’s dive in.

Something to try...

Towards the end of covid we were working with a group of students who wouldn’t clearly define their goals. We’d asked them to, “write down the GCSE grades that would represent success for you.”

Some cracked on, listing subjects and numbers. Others just wouldn’t do it.

One told us, “My mum says everything happens for a reason. I’ll get what I get.” Another said, “As long as I pass I’ll be happy,” but wouldn’t commit to what ‘pass’ meant. One said they wanted “good grades” but wouldn’t commit to what ‘good’ meant. One darkly informed us that “the government will choose my grades.”

It got us thinking about types of goal-setting and back then, we ended up in a research rabbit-hole. As a result, over the last year or so we’ve got a little better at discussing academic goals with students. If you want to explore it yourself, we’ve made a really brief powerpoint for you - Six Types of Goals. It’s a simplification of the research, but a good starting point for a discussion, we reckon.

All you have to do is introduce and discuss the six types of goal - you’ll recognise them all and so will students - then you get six example goals that you have to correctly define. Pretty straightforward.


Something we're watching/thinking about...

We’ve followed the work of former spy turned consultant and advisor Shane Parrish for a couple of years now, and have been looking forward to his book Clear Thinking. In the video link you have here, Parrish explores some key ideas from the book.

These are observations about effort and what he calls ‘positioning’, vision-building and self-awareness, habit-formation and attitude. We’ve hyperlinked each of these so you’ll just be taken to the exact moment in the video. Each clip is about 2 minutes long, so you’ve got less than ten minutes’ of stuff here, but each clip is a good, rich source of thinking and discussion.

Just one of these might stimulate discussion and reflection for a coaching conversation or tutorial session. Enjoy!

01:08 - Clip 1: ‘positioning’ beats ‘I did my best’
03:14 – Clip 2: habit formation means changing who you are, not what you do
06:00 – Clip 3: the safety of the crowd suffocates - fear holds us back
09:35 – Clip 4: having self-accountability rather than blaming others - ‘what’s your next action?’

Our latest offer...

Wohoo! It’s an offer on The VESPA Handbook to celebrate 100 issues!

Our wonderful publishers are helping us celebrate 100 issues of the Friday Mindset by offering a discount on our new book. You can find it on their website here;

…and if you add the discount code VESPA when pre-ordering, you get 30% off - basically you can bag four years’ work for a mere £13.99.

That’s 40 brand new activities to begin or develop your VESPA project for basically the cost of a bottle of wine. A pretty decent bottle of wine, we know - you’d expect to taste the difference for fourteen quid. But we think you’ll like it.

The book, that is, not the imaginary booze we’re comparing it to.

We’re done! On to issue 101. All the best to you and yours,

Martin, Steve and Tony