4 Questions That Enhance Your Intellectual Humility

One of the greatest abilities every one should develop is to change one’s mind when they are wrong; this is called intellectual humility. And it is rare. It doesn’t come easy for any of us to accept we’re wrong.

Lack of intellectual humility kills relationships, impedes opportunities and can derail careers as well as organizations. So, how can you develop intellectual humility?

Warren Berger, author of two of my favorite books – A More Beautiful Question and The Book of Beautiful Questions, suggests 4 questions that can enhance intellectual humility:

  1. Do I think more like a soldier or a scout? – Soldiers defend positions, scouts explore new territory.
  2. Would I rather be right or would I rather understand? – Long-term knowledge is more valuable than a short-term victory.
  3. Do I solicit and seek out opposing views? – Instead of saying “don’t you agree?”, say “tell me if you disagree” and sexplain why.
  4. Do I enjoy the pleasant surprise of discovering I’m mistaken? – Being wrong isn’t a failure, it’s a success because you’ve just learned something new.

To summarize: be curious and explore, understand, seek out opposing views and embrace being wrong to learn.

Overall, intellectual humility is about truly being humble and open minded. It’s about understanding and being in a Vuja De mindset where you approach everything without expectation or belief.

Hat tip to Daniel Pink for sharing this!

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