People with a learning orientation are not afraid of challenging themselves and are okay with failing because they know that they can improve with time and persistence. People with a performance orientation are fearful of failing and looking incompetent so they choose easier to accomplish tasks.
Thinking about your experiences at school, or at work or on a team, please read the items below and see which ones you agree with. I am willing to select a challenging work assignment that I can learn a lot from.
- I often look for opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge.
- I enjoy challenging and difficult tasks at work where I’ll learn new skills.
- I prefer to avoid situations at work where I might perform poorly.
- Avoiding a show of low ability is more important to me than learning a new skill.
- I would avoid taking on a new task if there was a chance that I would appear rather incompetent to others.
If you agree with items 1 and 2 you have a learning orientation. If you agree with items 3-5, you have a performance orientation. For your homework please answer the following questions:
(1) Based on the items above, do you have a learning or performance orientation? Or does your orientation depend on the context. For instance, at work you have a learning orientation and at school you have a performance orientation?
(2) Are you surprised by your answers to question 1? Did you ever think about how your beliefs shape the choices you make?
(3) Do you think being aware of these different ways of viewing the world will influence future decisions you make?