Please mark your calendars for these must-attend events!
The UMCA will kick-off its Fall 2015 Education Lineup with a “Current Mechanical Construction Safety Affairs” Seminar presented by MCAA’s Director of Safety and Health, Pete Chaney. The seminar will focus on the latest updates and resources for mechanical construction safety. The course will be held on Thursday, August 20, 2015 at the Utah Career Center from 12:00pm-1:00pm. Attendance at the course will provide each participant with one hour of core continuing education credit toward contractor license renewal and one hour of professional continuing education credit toward plumber license renewal. The seminar is free to all UMCA Members and lunch will be provided. The registration deadline is Monday, August 17, but registration is available now online by clicking here or you can download the PDF registration form here._READ_MORE
On June 10th and 11th, the Utah Career Center (UCC) hosted the Region 5 Apprentice Contest. The event was a huge success and showcased the UCC's apprentice program and facility beautifully. For the first time ever, a Utah apprentice won a competition at the contest. Lucas Beckstead, an apprentice currently with Industrial Piping and Welding, took first place in the pipe fitter competition and will be moving on to represent Region 5 at the National Competition. Will Nickell, Mike Beckstead, Lydia Hone, and Tracie Darrington dedicated a substantial amount of time and effort to making sure everything went off without a hitch and representing Utah well. The staff at the UCC is also very grateful to other apprentice programs within the region for their help and support.
There were also a number of UMCA members who helped sponsor this event. They were Hajoca Corporation, Industrial Piping Products, and Milwaukee Electric Tool.
The UMCA has recently put together a membership survey for all UMCA Contractor Members and we are looking for your feedback. The information collected by this survey will be reviewed and used for planning purposes by the UMCA Board of Directors at their Annual Board Retreat. Topics covered in the survey include education, governmental affairs, labor relations, and member services. The survey should take only 5-10 minutes to complete, and we would greatly appreciate your feedback so we can continue to ensure the association is meeting your company's needs. To take the survey, please click here. (Please note that the survey is only for UMCA Contractor Members)._READ_MORE
The Utah Career Center will be accepting applications for the Fall Semester through Friday, July 17th. Applicants wishing to apply, should report to the Utah Career Center to pick up their applications prior to this date. If a UMCA Contractor has a Metal Trades Employee that they would like to encourage to apply, they should do so soon and, if they wish, can submit a letter of recommendation on that individual's behalf to Will at the Utah Career Center. With any questions, please contact Will Nickell at the Utah Career Center at 801-295-6198._READ_MORE
The 2015 UMCA Annual Golf Tournament held at Park City Golf Club was once again a success! The day kicked off with a shotgun start, with members taking the course at 8am on a beautiful sunny day and ended with a lunch on the deck of the Park City Hotel. This year the competition was stiff, as we had two teams tie for 1st place with the tie breaker being the 14th hole. In first place was Shawn Nordhoff, Matt Nordhoff, Todd Fellows, and Darren Marler and coming in second place was the team of Vaughn Lloyd, Kim Harris, Tom Zimmer, and Steve Shepard. Finally, in third place was Robert Cosgrove, Josh Hansen, Mike Mitchell, and Mark Anderson. Additionally, there were 4 closest to the pin competitions which were won by Paul Martin, Tony Prisock, Shawn Nordhoff, and Kim Harris. This year our long drive winners were Matt Nordhoff and Shawn Nordhoff.
The UMCA would like to thank all of those who sponsored this event. This event would not be a success without our generous sponsors, they were: CCI Mechanical, Inc., Ferguson Enterprises, Great Western Supply, Hajoca Corporation, Industrial Piping and Welding, Industrial Piping Products, LONG Building Environments, Marshall-Rodeno/Anvil/Gruvlok, Mechanical Service and Systems, Midgley-Huber, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Mountain West Marketing, Palmer-Christiansen Company, and Standard Plumbing Supply. In addition to sponsoring individual holes, members also sponsored prizes, those sponsors were: Harrington Industrial Plastics, Industrial Piping Products, Asahi/America, West-Tech Service. The UMCA would like to thank all who participated and we hope to see everyone out at Trap Shoot 2015 come October!
Does skill – and eventual achievement – result from an innate ability or from hard work, effort, and a burning desire to improve? Good question... and the way we answer it can make a huge impact in the degree to which we succeed, especially over the long term. And that’s why I love this take from Gregory Ciotti, a Customer Champion at HelpScout.
When I was a substitute teacher, perhaps nothing disappointed me as much when one young girl said: “Girls aren’t good at math like boys are.” I was totally disheartened to think that even at a young age, some children thought abilities in subjects like mathematics were already defined as innate.
Of course I wasn't alone in my concern; psychologist Dr. Grant Halvorson has published excellent essays like The Trouble With Bright Girls, where she addresses how this “fixed mindset” sets students up for failure:
“Bright girls, when given something to learn that was particularly foreign or complex, were quick to give up—and the higher the girls’ IQ, the more likely they were to throw in the towel.
“Researchers have uncovered the reason for this … bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.”
But the problem goes much deeper. Although Halvorson points out that young girls may be especially susceptible, all people, young and old, are at risk of succumbing to a fixed mindset. We often persuade ourselves into thinking that we need to have established talent and confidence before we can accomplish something. The reality is that small accomplishments lead to confidence -- and that talent is often overrated. This sort of thinking aligns with the “growth mindset,” a concept Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford discusses in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset
The first step to getting the things you want is to believe you deserve them. Far from a trivial platitude, this sort of thinking actually closely mirrors what modern psychology depicts in how our beliefs influence our behavior. Dr. Dweck’s studies posit that there are two basic mindsets that control how most people see themselves.
Those with a “fixed mindset” assume intelligence, character, and creative potential are unchangeable attributes writ in stone since birth — that they cannot be modified in any meaningful way. They further assume that success is simply a result of this inherent talent, and as a result, they often avoid failure in order to maintain an aura of infallibility.
Those with a “growth mindset” have a much more malleable view on success. They do not view failure as a reflection of their ability, but rather as a starting point for experimentation and testing of ideas. Their main advantage is in treating unsuccessful attempts simply as another data point: “This didn’t work out, but I eliminated one option and will now pursue the next.”
How You See Yourself
Perhaps you’ve heard this premise before: “Praise your child for their effort, not for their intelligence.” It comes from papers like Praise for Intelligence Can Undermine Children’s Motivation and Performance, which conclusively show that reinforcing how smart a child is can be detrimental: they face obstacles differently than those children who were consistently praised for being hard workers. When you believe strongly in innate ability, any sort of initial friction creates a desire to give up before you embarrass yourself. Subjects who were praised for “effort” reacted by solving even more problems on the next trials; they improved as time went on. Those praised as “smart” kids often coast on their intelligence until they start facing real challenges. Once they do, they view their failure to breeze through these difficulties as a threat to their ego. This often leads to the avoidance of failure, keeping the “smart kid” persona intact.
As you might expect, this transfers over to adulthood. Dr. Dweck cautions us by stating just how powerful these underlying beliefs can be:
“For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value. How does this happen?
“How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life? Believing that your qualities are carved in stone — the fixed mindset — creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over.
“If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character — well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics.”
A body of research supports her claim, and we are now beginning to understand how this “fixed mindset” can insidiously sabotage how we see ourselves, which in turn affects our behavior and creative effort. And we can confidently say that you don’t need to worry about being a “math person” in order to succeed in math.
Where Talent Still Matters
The knee-jerk reaction to the “growth mindset” is often criticizing it by pointing out individuals who have clearly benefited from talent — as if anyone is claiming that talent isn’t an advantage. Of course it is. The thing to remember is that talent plays a smaller role than hard work for long-term success.
There are two ways in which talent truly matters.
1. As a head start. Talent is essentially a head start in the race to mastery — the good news is that any goal worth achieving is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Even large head starts leave an opening for those willing to work hard to pass you by, hence the saying: “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
2. In edge cases. For the best of the best, talent matters more. I’m sure there are Olympic runners who work just as hard a Usain Bolt, but hard work won’t guarantee that you’ll be the fastest person ever. In these edge cases, talent adds that little something extra that takes them to the peak of performance.
The key takeaway from the literature on how we view our abilities is that it’s beneficial for everyone—young and old—to see their basic qualities, skills, and habits as things they can cultivate through extended effort. No one should ever try to claim that talent doesn’t matter at all, but we need to recognize that success is less dependent on the hand you are dealt and more dependent on how you play the hand.
Believing in Growth: Use Small Wins
The key to developing a growth mindset is to understand why “fake it until you make it” is actually quite effective — it results in small wins, which then lead to genuine confidence. That is exactly what you should do: focus on creating small wins through changing your habits. Make daily “micro quotas” (10 minutes of working out a day) that are so easy you can’t say no. In short, nail it then scale it.
Fitness serves as the perfect example, and I’m sure those of you who have introduced a friend to working out have seen this time and time again. Simply starting off small with a few push-ups at home, a few salads for weeknight dinners, and a few quick runs in the morning leads to a real increase in one’s confidence. Once you’ve nailed that it’s time to scale to tougher workouts, better eating habits, and a more consistent routine.
Over time, this creates a key trait in the growth mindset: a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Initial progress creates the desire to move forward. The innate mindset is what stops most people from starting (“I’m not a fit person…”), but the growth mindset will blossom after just a few small wins prove, “Hey, I can definitely do this!” It is a useful reminder that the things we want need to be claimed through personal growth. They aren’t a given for anyone.
You don’t receive an education. You claim it. You don’t receive athletic success. You claim it. You don’t receive mastery in your work. You claim it. If you want to improve in anything, start seeing mistakes and failures for what they are — the way you learn, and improve, and eventually succeed.