First published: January 29, 2023 @ 6:00 pm
Think Again by Adam Grant
Do you ever feel as if you’re not learning enough? Do you think there’s a big gap between what you know and what you don’t know? If so, this book is for you.
Adam Grant is a Wharton professor and one of the world’s leading experts on creativity, innovation, and motivation. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know is one of his most popular books, and for good reason. It’s packed with compelling ideas about the benefits of knowing what you don’t know.
Intelligence is commonly defined as the capability to think and learn, but in today’s quickly evolving world, another set of cognitive skills may be more important: the capacity to rethink and unlearn.
Adam Grant’s Think Again demonstrates that we do not have to believe or understand everything we think or feel. It’s an encouragement to let go of beliefs that no longer serve us well and to value mental flexibility, modesty, and exploration over stubborn consistency.
In this book, we investigate the idea of altering our minds and discover how to assist others in changing theirs. Grant explains why we shouldn’t just allow ourselves to doubt, but also completely reconsider our beliefs on a regular basis.
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash
Here are three takeaways from Think Again:
1. You’ll never know things you don’t know, so maintain a positive attitude.
2. The most ignorant people can be persuaded to change their ideas with the correct tools and experiences.
3. Ask questions to persuade individuals of your view of things.
Without any further ado, let’s look at the details of this fascinating book.
Accept That You Don’t Know Everything
Did you realize that the majority of us are absolutely unaware of our weaknesses?
According to studies, those who score the lowest on logical thinking and taste of humor exams also have the most exaggerated perceptions of their ability in these areas.
To make matters worse, someone who believes they are excellent in one area is less inclined to want to improve.
In order to address this obvious blind spot, you should maintain your modesty. You will be more receptive to acquiring new knowledge if you start addressing that you don’t understand everything. This indicates you’ll improve your valuable skills.
Don’t be concerned because modesty and confidence are not mutually exclusive characteristics. Confidence refers to self-belief, whereas humility is about being willing to question your own techniques.
People with Ignorant Beliefs can Alter Their Ideas
Grant portrays the story of Daryl Davis, a black musician. In 1983, he did talk to Ku Klux Klan members in an attempt to persuade them to modify their beliefs about race.
Since then, he has encouraged numerous KKK members he has spoken with to reconsider their ideas and quit. As Davis’s example shows, one of the most effective methods to modify people’s prejudiced attitudes is to demonstrate how unnecessary those beliefs are.
Grant also observed this pattern while researching Yankees and Red Sox fan rivalry. Both groups usually thought the other group was arrogant, confrontational, and disagreeable.
Grant asked baseball fans to compose an essay about how odd some of the causes they disliked the opposing team were. After drafting the essays, followers on both sides understood that their views were incorrect.
As a result, one of the most effective ways to persuade someone to reconsider their views is to demonstrate that their opinions are just the result of chance.
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
Ask the Right Questions
Interviewing someone with the correct simple question is another effective technique to convince them to reconsider their opinions. Grant narrates the account of a young mother who did not want her infant to receive the measles vaccine.
The maternity unit staff summoned Dr. Arnaud Gagneur, whom they knew could assist. Gagneur began by asking the woman questions about why she believed so strongly about the immunization. Gagneur then inquired about her feelings about the risks of not vaccinating her kid.
A motivational interviewer does not merely attempt to persuade someone with information. Instead, they listen. Gagneur used a method called as reflective listening to acknowledge her worries.
He closed by emphasizing that it was her decision. She opted to vaccinate her kid on her own after the interview, with no convincing required.
People sometimes do not change their key ideas because they would rather enjoy their own rights than disagree, so it is critical to provide someone the opportunity to decide for themselves.
Think Again will help you become more sophisticated, compelling, and self-aware. It is done by recognizing the strength of being modest about what you don’t know, how to classify blind spots in your mindset before they create issues, and what you can try to improve your skill at persuading others of your point of view.
People have a tendency to be too stubborn in their core beliefs, but it is vital to be open to changing them. With the appropriate tools, you can be lifelong learners who unlearn things that are not useful for you and learn to question the things you think are important.
Readers can obtain a lot from Adam Grant’s Think Again. You can improve your understanding of your own limitations, recognize what works and what doesn’t work in your interactions with others, and discover how to better assist people in changing their minds.
In the event that you have an issue with your mindset in your daily lives, try out this book.
“We’re mental misers: we often prefer the ease of hanging on to old views over the difficulty of grappling with new ones.”
– Adam Grant
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