Mind in the Making- A Second Look

Courtney Keating, Education Coordinator

Courtney Keating, Education Coordinator

When I first start to explain Mind in the Making, people will ask, “How does teaching kids the 7 life skills pertain to your job in adult education?” Well, it’s actually pretty simple.

The 7 essential life skills taught by Mind in the Making applies to everyone. Yes, the research supporting Mind in the Making involve children. However, anyone who interacts with any other human being needs all 7 of these skills mastered. Unfortunately, not all adults have these skills perfected.

When I first went through Mind in the Making training this past May, I saw so many opportunities to better myself. Last month, I had the pleasure of becoming a Mind in the Making facilitator. As I’m revisiting the research, I still found areas of my life in which I need improvement. I also thought about the millions of ways Mind in the Making can make the professional world a better place.

Think about how many different people you interact with on a daily basis. I’m not just talking about your family, co-workers, and friends. You interact with strangers; the barista, acquaintances on social media, other drivers on your commute, the customer service rep, and the guy changing your oil. Unless you are off the grid on a mountain, you are interacting with other people and (hopefully) exercising the 7 essential life skills (focus & self-control, perspective taking, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, and self-directed, engaged learning). Utilizing the 7 skills will help you exercise executive functions needed to lead, not only a productive life, but be productive on a global scale.

As stated on the front flap of Ellen Galinsky’s book Mind in the Making, “These aren’t the kind of skills that children just pick up; these skills have to be fostered.” If any of these skills were not learned in childhood, then as adults, they will be lacking.

Here’s the really awesome thing about Mind in the Making; it’s never too late. No matter your age, you can work to better each and every one of these skills. Mind in the Making paves the road for each of us to do that. So, here’s more:

Skill 1: Focus & Self-Control

How hard is it to stay focused in today’s world? We have distractions every waking moment. I hear people complain that they don’t sleep well because they can’t put their mind to rest. Mastering how to stay focused and have self-control is difficult, but oh so important. As adults, we know we need to focus, but do you know how? No? Well, Mind in the Making can help with that!

Skill 2: Perspective Taking

How many times does drama occur? Whether it’s office drama, family drama, or Facebook drama, it is everywhere! Other than avoiding all people at all times, how do you keep your emotions in check? Seeing other people’s perspective is the key here. Having the skill to consider other’s point of view is of utmost importance in handling conflict, cultural literacy, and it is the foundation for utilizing reason and logic. So, if you have a “My way or the highway” attitude, Mind in the Making can help with that!

Stay tuned next week where we discuss more skills and how Mind in the Making is changing human interaction!

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