How often do you change your mind? I don’t know of anybody who keeps a journal of the amount of times they change their mind during the day, week, month or year. Changing our mind isn’t something we deliberately aim to do, but it’s necessary for our growth as people. As Adam Grant, author of Originals, says in his book Think Again: changing your mind does not mean you’ve abandoned your principles. It means you’ve evolved.
The smartest people change their mind often. They are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking. Revising their opinion often leads to being right more often.
And this is what Adam Grant’s book, Think Again, is about. Below are 7 lessons from the book that will enable you to be right more often:
- Think like a scientist;
- Develop confident humility;
- Detach opinion from identity;
- Argue about how, not why;
- Know how to win debates and negotiate well;
- Break stereotypes and prejudices;
- How to deal with polarised mindsets.
Think like a scientist
The most important lesson is this: think like a scientist.
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. Stop thinking like a politician, preacher, prosecutor. Think like a scientist and change the world around you.
Develop confident humility
Humility isn’t about lack of self-confidence. It’s about being grounded. Knowing that we are both flawed and fallible. Confidence is about self belief.
Detach opinion from identity
Our identity shouldn’t be based on our ideas and our beliefs. Instead, it should be based on what we value.
Argue about how, not why
Disagreeableness and conflict are not bad. But it’s damaging when emotions get involved. Make sure you know the difference.
Know how to win debates and negotiate well
Always attack the best argument your opponent has. Focus on fewer, but stronger points. Ask questions.
Break stereotypes and prejudices
Don’t buy into stereotypes and prejudices. You often have more in common with people who are different, and less in common than people who are the same.
How to deal with polarised mindsets
We see this in politics. You are either far right or left. Any argument which is over simplified and presents a binary view is not to be trusted.
Whatever you think you know, don’t be afraid to re-think it
“If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.” – Adam Grant
Do you make up your mind and stick to it no matter what? Are you unable to handle constructive criticism? Are you so set on doing things one way even when another, often better way can be found? Do you refuse to discuss things with those who don’t share your opinions? This and much more is discussed in this book. Below is a video review by Productivity Game:
Bottom line: The people who are right a lot often change their minds. Whatever you think you know, don’t be afraid to re-think it.