I was impressed by the book Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, by Adam Grant. The book has over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, causing me endless envy but a boatload of respect, too! What follows are some of the quotations I believe represent wisdom from the book Think Again, by Adam Grant:
“We laugh at people who still use Windows 95, yet we still cling to opinions that we formed in 1995. We listen to views that make us feel good instead of ideas that make us think hard.”
“If we are insecure, we make fun of others. If we are comfortable being wrong, we’re not afraid to poke fun at ourselves. Laughing at ourselves reminds us that although we might take our decisions seriously, we don’t have to take ourselves too seriously. Research suggests that the more frequently we make fun of ourselves, the happier we tend to be.”
“Every time we encounter new information, we have a choice. We can attach our opinions to our identities and stand our ground in the stubbornness of preaching and prosecuting. Or we can operate more like scientists, defining ourselves as people committed to the pursuit of truth – even if it means proving your own views wrong.”
Research shows that how often parents argue has no bearing on their children’s academic, social, or emotional development. What matters is how respectfully parents argue, not how frequently. Kids whose parents clash constructively feel more emotionally safe in elementary school…and demonstrate more compassion towards classmates.
“Motivational interviewing starts with an attitude of humility and curiosity. We don’t know what might motivate someone else to change, but we’re genuinely eager to find out. The goal isn’t to tell people what to do; its to help them break out of overconfidence cycles and see new possibilities. Our role is to hold up a mirror so they can see themselves more clearly and then empower them to examine their beliefs and behaviors. That can activate a rethinking cycle, in which people approach their own views scientifically. They develop more humility about their knowledge, doubt in their convictions, and curiosity about alternative points of view.”
Psychologists find that people will ignore or even deny the existence of a problem if they’re not fond of the solution. Liberals were more dismissive of the issue of intruder violence when they read an argument that strict gun control laws could make it difficult for homeowners to protect themselves. Conservatives were more receptive to climate science when they read about a green technology proposal than about emissions restriction proposal.
“The greater the distance between us and an adversary, the more likely we are to oversimplify their actual motives and invent explanations that stray far from their reality. What works is not perspective taking but perspective seeking: actually talking to people to gain insight into their nuances of their views.”
Psychologically safe teams reported more errors, but they actually made fewer errors. By freely admitting their mistakes, they were then able to learn what caused them and eliminate them moving forward. In psychologically unsafe teams, people hid their mishaps to avoid penalties, which made it difficult for anyone to diagnose the root causes and prevent future problems. They keep repeating the same mistakes.
“It takes confident humility to admit that we’re a work in progress. It shows that we care more about improving ourselves than proving ourselves. If that mindset spreads far enough within an organization, it can give people the freedom and courage to speak up.”
For more wisdom from the book Think Again by Adam Grant, which gets into rethinking, open-mindedness, and intellectual humility, check out his book on Amazon.
For quotes about intellectual humility, plug that keyword phrase into The Wisdom Archive, a 36,000-quote search engine, available for free HERE