The world is in flux. The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every corner of the globe, profoundly impacting our economies and societies as well as our personal lives and social networks. Innovation is happening at record speed. Digital technologies have transformed the way we live and work.

So, how can we as educators prepare our students to succeed in this tumultuous and uncertain—yet hopeful and exhilarating—global environment? As the world changes, so do the skills students need to build their careers—and to build a better society. For students to acquire these evolving skills, we believe educators must help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

6 Ways You Can Inspire Entrepreneurial Thinking Among Your Students

Show Students What They Can Achieve

For Eric Fretz, a lecturer at the University of Michigan, the key to launching his students on a successful path is setting the bar high, while at the same time helping them understand what is realistic to achieve. “You will never know if your students can jump six feet unless you set the bar at six feet,” he says.

His undergraduate students work in small teams to create a product in three months and generate sales from it. At the start of the semester, he typically sees a lot of grandiose ideas—a lot of “fluff and BS” as he calls it. Students also struggle with assessing the viability of their ideas.

To help, Fretz consults with each team extensively, filtering through ideas together until they can agree upon a feasible one that fulfills a real need. The real magic of his course is in the coaching and support he provides.

“People know when you’re investing in them and giving them your attention and energy,” Fretz says. He finds that coaching students in the beginning of the course helps assuage their concerns about embarking on an open-ended team project, while also supporting initiative and self-reliance.

In your classroom: Design ways to nudge your students outside their comfort zones, while also providing support. Like Fretz, you should set high expectations, but also adequately guide students.

Read the full article at Harvard Business Publishing