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Think Again – The Power of Knowing What you don’t know by Adam Grant

We’re all human beings and we’re cognitive lazy. We follow our beliefs, we hold our opinions, we make our assumptions. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. Therefore, let’s face it: many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt.

“If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.”

Think Again by Adam Grant is a book about the benefit of getting out of your comfort beliefs, and about how we can get better at embracing the unknown and the joy of being wrong.

The first section of this book focuses on opening our minds. The second section examines how we can encourage other people to think again, and the third section is about how we can create communities of lifelong learners.

“This book is an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility over foolish consistency.”

Grant’s aim of this book is to explore how rethinking happens. Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world (like we live in right now), there's another set of cognitive skills or mindsets that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.

Therefore, the solution is not to decelerate our thinking - it’s to accelerate our rethinking and to move more often into so-called scientist mode. By doing that we don’t start with answers or solutions; we lead with questions and puzzles. We don’t preach from intuition; We teach from evidence. It requires searching for reasons why might be wrong – not for reasons why we must be right – and revising our views based on what we learn. By doing that we can find new solutions to old problems and revisit old solutions to new problems.

“The purpose of learning isn’t to affirm our beliefs; it’s to evolve our beliefs.”

I love Adam's motivation to build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. The numerous stories, cases, and ideas in this book range from how an international debate champion wins arguments to how a vaccine whisperer convinces concerned parents to immunize their children.

Within two months more than four people recommended me to read this book and I’m glad they did. This book captured my attention and I started rethinking and reflecting a lot on my own thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and opinions while I was reading this book, after finishing it, and hopefully in the future as well. Rethinking and unlearning never felt so eye-opening and good!

About the author:

Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for 7 straight years. As an organizational psychologist, he is a leading expert on how we can find motivation and meaning, and live more generous and creative lives. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers and Fortune’s 40 under 40.

He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 5 books that have sold millions of copies and been translated into 35 languages: Think Again, Give and Take, Originals, Option B, and Power Moves. His books have been named among the year’s best by Amazon, Apple, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Adam hosts WorkLife, a chart-topping TED original podcast. His TED talks on original thinkers and givers and takers have been viewed more than 30 million times. His speaking and consulting clients include Google, the NBA, Bridgewater, and the Gates Foundation. He writes on work and psychology for the New York Times, has served on the Defense Innovation Board at the Pentagon, and has been honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He has more than 5 million followers on social media and features new insights in his free monthly newsletter, GRANTED

Favourite quote:

No matter how much brainpower you have, if you lack the motivation to change your mind, you’ll miss many occasions to think again. Research reveals that the higher you score on an IQ test, the more likely you are to fall for stereotypes, because you’re faster at recognizing patterns. And recent experiments suggest that the smarter you are, the more you might struggle to update your beliefs.


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