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🔊 Listen up, leaders! Do you find yourselves subscribing to the stale belief that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Prepare to have your managerial minds blown wide open. It’s time for this antiquated belief to “sit” and “stay” in the past where it belongs. Neuroscience and psychology are about to team up to bust this myth wide open!

🆓 Speaking of Old Dogs and New Tricks! You can download my new book, The Change: Insights Into Self-Empowerment, for FREE! It’s part of the fastest growing personal development book series in the world. Click here! 🆓

Myth-Busted by Science, Sponsored by Your Brain 🧠

The folklore says older workers are set in their ways—adapting to new tech or strategies might as well be climbing Everest. Yet neuroscience tosses this idea to the curb faster than you can say “neuroplasticity.” Yup, neuroplasticity tells us that our gray matter can learn and adapt at any age. The brain’s capacity to form new neural connections is not just a young pup’s game.

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset: The Ultimate Showdown 🥊

Let’s introduce the dynamic duo of mindsets: Fixed and Growth. A Fixed Mindset says, “I am who I am, and no new software update is going to change that.” Meanwhile, a Growth Mindset whispers, “Bring on the challenge, baby; I’m just getting started!” Leaders, if you can promote a growth mindset in your workplace, you’re not just upgrading skills; you’re upgrading lives.

Why It Matters: The Skills Revamp 🛠

In our high-speed world, reskilling and upskilling aren’t optional—they’re survival tactics. When these old dogs learned new skills, they lasted decades. Today, the half-life of many skills is less than two years. In other words, the skills today’s college freshmen are learning are half as valuable by the time they reach their junior year!!!

Automation and changing job scopes mean that deskilling is a lurking monster, and unlearning is the superhero we never knew we needed. In short, promoting a growth mindset isn’t just good for your older employees—it’s mission-critical for the whole organization.

If Old Dogs Could Talk: 3 Red Flags for Managers 

Listen closely, leaders, and you might hear some age-old howls that signal your managerial journey is akin to herding cats—or in this case, old dogs. Here’s what those wizened woofs might sound like:

🚩”Back in my day, we didn’t need all this fancy tech.”

Translation: I’m a bit apprehensive about learning new technologies and would rather stick to what I know.

🚩”I’ve always done it this way, and it’s worked fine.”

Translation: The status quo is my comfort zone, and I’m not too eager to step out of it.

🚩”You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, you know.”

Translation: I’ve already internalized the belief that I can’t learn new skills at my age, so why try?

🌟4 Lightbulb Moments: The What, Why, and Watch-Outs 💡

Microlearning Modules

Actionable Insights for Managers

Switch your lengthy, snooze-inducing training sessions for quick, engaging microlearning modules. Think of them as “knowledge snacks” that your team can nibble on throughout the day.

Why It Works

Microlearning respects the brain’s natural capacity for information absorption. People are more likely to engage and retain bite-sized pieces of information. Plus, let’s face it, who wouldn’t prefer a quick jog over a grueling marathon?

Mistake to Avoid

Don’t just chop up an existing long course into smaller parts without rethinking the flow and engagement factor. Each module should be a stand-alone unit that delivers clear value.

Skill Swaps

Actionable Insights for Managers

Set up regular Skill Swap gatherings. Let your employees pair up and teach each other something new in an informal setting. Pair younger team members with more experienced folks for a mentor-mentee mashup.

Why It Works

Skill Swaps foster a dynamic learning culture. They bring a sense of camaraderie, flatten organizational hierarchies, and cultivate a growth mindset. It’s mentorship meets happy hour.

Mistake to Avoid

Don’t let these sessions turn into unfocused social hours. Set objectives, ensure that pairs are well-matched, and perhaps follow up with a recap email to reinforce the learning.

Psychological Safety Nets

Actionable Insights for Managers

Create an environment where it’s OK to mess up. Whether it’s through affirming team meetings or personalized one-on-ones, make it clear that mistakes are part of the growth process.

Listen to the full interview with Speak-Up Culture author Stephen “Shed” Shedletzky here.

Why It Works

People are more willing to step out of their comfort zones when they know they won’t be crucified for errors. This fosters innovation and a culture of continuous learning.

Mistake to Avoid

Don’t confuse a “safe to fail” culture with a lack of accountability. Make sure to differentiate between honest mistakes made in the pursuit of growth and chronic, unaddressed issues.

Success Spotlight

Actionable Insights for Managers

Regularly showcase the success stories of employees who have successfully learned and adapted. Create a “Wall of Fame” or feature them in your company newsletter.

Why It Works

Success stories serve as tangible proof that change is possible and inspire others to follow suit. Plus, recognition boosts morale—no one ever complained about too much positive reinforcement.

Mistake to Avoid

Avoid making the spotlight solely about the end result. The journey, with all its trials and errors, is just as important to highlight. You don’t want to create an atmosphere where only the end success is valued.

The Final Word: You Can’t Spell Manager without Change

It’s time to cancel the fixed mindset subscription and go all-in on growth. If your mind can change, so can your skillset, no matter the number of candles on your cake.

Armed with these tips, you’re now set to be the Sensei of Skills, the Maven of Mentorship, and the Guru of Growth. Go unleash that managerial magic! 🌟🔮

Speaking of Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks!

DOWNLOAD Your FREE* Copy of My New Book

It’s part of the fastest growing personal development series in the world.

EVERY EMPLOYEE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION NEEDS A COPY!

Can I Ask A Favor?

Thanks for joining me again as I continue my myth-busting journey through the fascinating labyrinth of the human brain. I hope you’re enjoying my Brain Guide to Bossing series on debunking neuromanagement myths enough to share this with just two connections.

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Thank you and watch for next week’s myth: what neuroscience has to say about the “photographic memory.”