It is common practice to define intelligence as the ability to think and acquire new knowledge. However, in an ever-evolving world, there is another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.
In our daily lives, too many people prioritize the tranquility of our convictions over the difficulty of our uncertainties. Instead of concepts that force us to think hard about what we should do, we hear points of view that make us feel good.
Think Again by Adam Grant [Download pdf Below]
We view differences of opinion as challenges to our self-esteem rather than as educational opportunities. We should gravitate toward those who challenge our thought process, but instead, we tend to surround ourselves with those who agree with the conclusions we’ve reached.
Consequently, our ideas become fragile long before our skeletons. We think too much, like preachers trying to defend our sacred beliefs, prosecutors trying to prove the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval.
We think very little, like scientists trying to discover the truth. Intelligence is not a treatment; In certain cases, it can even be a curse: if we are strong at thinking but not so good at rethinking, then we are in trouble. The more enlightened we are, the more likely we are to fail to see our limitations.
Adam Grant, organizational psychologist, is an authority on expanding other people’s minds and our own. One of his guiding ideas is to argue as if he were right but listen as if he were wrong. He is a top professor at Wharton and the author of the best-selling books Originals and Gives and Take.
Originals and Give and Take were written by him. He studies how we can harness the pleasure of being incorrect, bring complexity to contentious dialogues, and build lifelong schools, workplaces, and communities of learners through the use of bold ideas and rigorous evidence.
You’ll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a black musician convinces white supremacists to renounce hate, and a vaccine whisperer convinces worried parents to vaccinate their children.
Adam has convinced Yankees fans to support the Red Sox. He will also learn how vaccine whisperers convince worried parents to get their children vaccinated. The book “Think Again” shows that we do not have to accept everything we feel or believe or believe everything we think.
It’s an opportunity to let go of perspectives that no longer serve us and value mental flexibility over foolish coherence. If knowledge is power, then the ability to recognize what we do not know is the essence of wisdom.