How to Get Better at the Things You Care About


Working hard and not improving? Want your best to be even better? In this Ted Talk, Eduardo Briceño, leader of Mindset Works, reveals the reason why you may be feeling stuck and shares techniques for how to get better at the things you want to improve, whether at work, home, or in any area of your life.

The Learning Upshot

After completing the work on this page, you will be able to:

  • Recall the difference between learning and performance zones
  • Experiment with techniques to improve yourself and others
  • Foster your own low-risk learning environment

Watch the Video


Make It Actionable

Now it’s time to personalize it. Give this concept some momentum in the workplace and your own life by completing the following:

  1. At work, what percentage of the time do you spend in the learning zone versus the performance zone? Why is that?
  2. Think of a time when you were in a productive, low-risk learning environment. Identify 3 characteristics of that environment that contributed your success as a learner.
  3. On a scale of 1 to 5, rate your own current learning environment at work: 1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree
    • I believe that I can improve (growth mindset)
    • I want to improve a particular skill (purpose)
    • I have an idea about how to improve (strategy)
    • I am in a low-stakes situation (environment)Try it out for yourself.
  4. Try it out for yourself. The speaker identifies 3 actions you can take as an individual to create a more low-stakes environment that encourages learning. Choose one of these techniques and try it out for a week.
    • Create low-stakes islands in a high-stakes sea. For example, find a mentor or colleague to exchange ideas or have vulnerable conversations, role play, shadow, read, watch videos, take online courses
    • Execute and perform as expected and then reflect. For example, think about what you could do better next time, solicit feedback, observe and emulate an expert
    • Lead and lower the stakes for others by sharing what you want to improve. For example, ask questions about what you don’t know, share your mistakes and learning moments
  5. Reflect on this experience:
    • How did applying this technique affect your personal learning environment?
    • How did your application affect or influence others?
    • How can you continue to foster a learning environment for yourself and those around you?
  6. Bonus (optional):
    • Teach your team at work the importance of fostering a low-stakes learning environment. Identify and implement techniques to make this happen, and/or
    • Initiate the conversation with your teammates about when you seek to learn and when you seek to perform so that you and your team’s efforts are more consequential.

Want More?

Dig deeper on this topic with the following resources:


Growth Mindset


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