PSD70 Learning Coach Program

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The Four Horsemen…Not so Scary!!


We have all heard about growth mindset and the power and importance of having growth mindset to move forward.  At the same time, through various discussions fixed mindsets are what create some of a coaches toughest encounters.  Recently, I shared with the cohort about the MOOC course I had registered for  and I have to tell you it really has provided some really grounding information and clarity of the coaching role and how to work through fixed mindsets.  I would actually encourage anyone and everyone to look at taking this course not just to develop their skill set in coaching but also for reflective purposes.  As I worked through it I set some goals for myself and identified some target areas in my practice.

The course identifies four ways that teachers with fixed mindsets react to feedback: “You’re right, I suck”, “Your’re wrong, I rule”, “Blame it on the Rain”, and “Optimist without a cause”.  These are actually referred to as the 4 Horsemen of Fixed Mindset.  I find that this has really helped me when going into a conversation where I know there is a fixed mindset as I now can label it (in my mind) and begin to understand where that person is coming from, what they are maybe feeling insecure about and structuring my support, wording and plan accordingly.  We, as coaches, do need to work with these fixed mindsets, identify our own fixed mindsets and then move forward.

I am one of those people who never watch scary movies, do not like conflict..and talk of the 4 horsemen would make me squirm usually.  But now I have a new perspective.  The 4 Horsemen are attitudes/mindsets that we do encounter in our work and in ourselves.  I can deal with that!  Now that I have a deeper understanding I have open my mind up even more to those fixed mindsets…with understanding and vision.

And this Halloween, …I will be looking at the 4 horsemen at the door a bit differently!  LOL


  • bgericke says:

    I too found this MOOC extremely beneficial – and agree with you Patricia as understanding the “four horsemen” has provided me with new insight around growth and fixed mindset.

    November 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm
  • dlander says:

    It sounds like you are gaining a lot from your course, Patricia- what a great way to expand your learning around fixed and growth mindset, and support your work as a coach at the same time! Are you interested in facilitating a mini-session for our cohort at some point?

    October 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

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