Day 48 (of 185) interviewing and attitude (day one)

Day 48 (of 185) interviewing and attitude (day one)


Todays session was an introduction to Motivational Based Interviewing – we focused on attitude and mindset (connection to the work of Carol Dweck  and an earlier blog: )




Not everyone thinks in exactly the same way

People make up their minds within seconds of encountering an obstacle whether they think they can or can’t conquer it.

Knowing how is NOT a prerequisite for having an “I can” attitude

There is a connection between one’s attitude and outcome



We’re Wired to Prove Our Thinking Right:


Step 1:

“Possibility” is asserted in a split-second in the cerebral cortex which predicts an outcome based on our learned way of thinking

Step 2:

This prediction is automatically accepted as being right. The appropriate response to prove it follows.  As Ford said: Whether you think you can or cannot, you’re right.

Step 3:

Only “I can” thinking activates the problem-solving part of your brain which is locate din the frontal lobe. This is the same area that controls and activates motivation.



Attitude – Locus of Control (latin for location) – refers to the perceived control or power a person thinks hehe has to determine an outcome.



The “I can’t “ attitude sees oneself as powerless, an external locus of control – pessimistic or defeated way of thinking

The “I can” attitude sees power as internal and optimistic and spawns action

Example: when receiving poor test results, people with an eexternal locus of control will insist it wasn’t their fault, will blame the test or the teacher (test too hard, bad teacher) and see no reason to change themselves. People with an internal locus of control will take responsibility for their poor results and explore to find out what they did not know.



Locus of Control Scale

The internal “I can” attitude is the fuel behind self-motivation

The “I Can” attitude seeks solutions then takes positive action to prove the obstacles can be hurdles & the goal can be achieved

Sees self as more powerful than the obstacle. Believes control over results resides within.

The External “I can’t” attitude blocks self-motivation because it believes the obstacle is insurmountable…so why bother.

It fails to seek solutions or take constructive action.

Seems as being powerless over the obstacles. Believes control over results resides elsewhere…not within.



Excuses, Blame….and Externals  (Obstacle-Centric Rationale

  1. Excuses and blaming are offered up as a substitute for good results
  2. They have an inverse relationship with success
  3. Their purpose is to shed responsibility for poor results off of oneself and place it elsewhere – it’s not my fault
  4. They are a self-proclamation of powerlessness. They are used to deny, cover up and rationalize personal ineffectiveness
  5. Excuses and blaming work in partnership with the external locus of control or the “I can’t” attitude

-excuses and blaming are huge clues that point towards an external locus of control


–> and during a “music test” looking for internal vs external rationalizing, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville was played…specifically the lines “Some say there’s a woman to blame…but I know it’s nobody’s fault” –> the audience was split between internal & external…with most “internal blamers” reflecting on the line at the end of the song: “It’s my own damn fault”…..and this song is used intentionally, because when interviewing…. you can’t assume that which is not shared to you. You may think you know the end of the response, but we can’t make assumptions (or give them part of the answer) – because it is better that they do not know the “right” answer than assuming that they “should” (or being aware of what is not known and later deciding how “essential” that area is).



What we want to hear (with internalizing) is that the person is/has been reflective. It’s okay to admit a weakness/problem….especially when they share their strategies that they needed to be problem-solvers. Not just saying “I didn’t do it because……”


We heard the Eagles “Get Over It” which is internalizing the external blame that others may use

(two good songs to add to the playlist)


And as we make our way into Passion….when people get to do what they love to do they are naturally self-motivated…




Passion is…

  1. Likes – it’s what we enjoy or love doing the most
  2. Strengths – it’s where we develop our greatest strengths
  3. Goals – it’s what we can’t get enough of and want to do more of


Oprah: Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you


When this happens, it’s a win for the employee and the employer.


Looking forward to Part 2….

About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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