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Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation.
Virtually all people can identify goals they want to accomplish, things they would like to change, and things they would like to achieve. However, most people also realize that putting these plans into action is not quite so simple. An individual’s self-efficacy plays a major role in how goals, tasks, and challenges are approached.
People with a strong sense of self-efficacy:
People with a weak sense of self-efficacy:
Unless people believe that they can produce desired effects and forestall undesired ones by their actions, they have little incentive to act. Whatever other factors may operate as motivators, they are rooted in the core belief that one has to power to produce desired results. That self-efficacy belief is a vital personal resource.
The practical build projects that I promote and lead are founded in the common four routes to self-efficacy. Successful projects offer a sense of ‘mastery’. Guidance towards a positive outcome is paramount in our planning. In the group context the 'shared experience' of seeing others achieve bolsters our own that anything is possible. My role as leader is also to offer sufficient praise and recognition that success is the only outcome and in doing so offer powerful 'persuasion' to overcome doubt. It is also my role to 'model' how to minimise the impact of failure and the avoidance of stress. Much of these are teaching strategies that can be learnt and are at the base of my training courses.
The workshop is a social place; a place where ritual practice glues us together through informal mentoring. I am clear that the head and the hand must not be separated.
Within most craft practices there is an opportunity for insight as to how we deal with each other. How we approach a problem is so often the way we approach life. And therein lays a chance for us to see ourselves differently. The simple acts of repetition that we see in so many craft processes allow us to develop skills from within.
This is a practical form of meditation much like Tai Chi; it is also the same effective mechanism that is at work behind children’s play. It is a process of growth and in the process we make beautiful and practical things. And the world is a better place for it. Not just because of the ‘thing’ but because of who we are and the contribution we make to each other.
For further reading on the subject of motivation consider work by MV Covington and A Bandura; for further reading on the workshop as a social space, consider Richard Sennett's book, The Craftsman. All have highly influenced my teaching and training philosophy.