Rethinking so we can change our minds

Stream:
Thinking

We're terrible at changing our minds. Once we get locked in on what we think, it's very challenging to change that view. But *rethinking* is a critical skill in a turbulent world. 👇

Changing how we think is hard. Yet the world is always changing, and we're always learning, and what we think should be changing, too.

To our rescue: Adam Grant and his book "Think Again". He argues that we need to make rethinking (our opinions, beliefs, assumptions, etc.) a regular practice.

How? Get cool with "The Rethinking Cycle". "It starts with intellectual humility—knowing what we don't know. Recognizing our shortcomings opens the door to doubt. As we question our current understanding, we become curious about what information we're missing. That search leads us to new discoveries, which in turn maintains our humility by reinforcing how much we still have to learn."

Humility ➡️ Doubt ➡️ Curiosity ➡️ Discovery ↩️

So: We should think more like scientists by being open to what different ideas may have to offer us ... instead of falling to the natural patterns of defending what we already know: preaching (protecting and promoting our ideas), prosecuting (attacking the ideas of others, often in an effort to hold true to our worldview), or politicking (campaigning and lobbying for our ideas).

Five more quotes from the book:

"Thinking like a scientist involves more than just reacting with an open mind. It means being actively open-minded. It requires searching for reasons why we might be wrong—not for reasons why we must be right—and revising our views based on what we learn."

"When you start to form an opinion, resist the temptation to preach, prosecute, or politick. Treat your emerging view as a hunch or a hypothesis and test it with data." (Anecdotes and experiences and feelings are data, too.)

"Most of us take pride in our knowledge and expertise, and in staying true to our beliefs and opinions. That makes sense in a stable world, where we get rewarded for having conviction in our ideas. The problem is that we live in a rapidly changing world, where we need to spend as much time rethinking as we do thinking."

"Unfortunately, when it comes to our own knowledge and opinions, we often favor feeling right over being right. In everyday life, we make many diagnoses of our own, ranging from whom we hire to whom we marry. We need to develop the habit of forming our own second opinions."

"The risk is that we become so wrapped up in preaching that we’re right, prosecuting others who are wrong, and politicking for support that we don’t bother to rethink our own views."

More on the book.

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Through The Work is a talent development studio for healthcare leadership embracing The Transforming—the always-happening, always-unfolding state of change in your job ... and using it to make more of the change you know should be happening, happen.

The Transforming is the most important professional opportunity of our careers—one that will lead to new job opportunities, real change, and a transformed industry for all of us and everyone else.

My name is Drew Weilage and I work in healthcare, too. At Through The Work, I assist people like you with the skills, attitudes, and points-of-view to propel your professional success. It's personal training for a transforming world of work.

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