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Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know

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Think Again is a book about the benefit of doubt, and about how we can get better at embracing the unknown and the joy of being wrong. Evidence has shown that creative geniuses are not attached to one identity, but constantly willing to rethink their stances and that leaders who admit they don't know something and seek critical feedback lead more productive and innovative teams.

New evidence shows us that as a mindset and a skilllset, rethinking can be taught and Grant explains how to develop the necessary qualities to do it. Section 1 explores why we struggle to think again and how we can learn to do it as individuals, arguing that 'grit' alone can actually be counterproductive. Section 2 discusses how we can help others think again through learning about 'argument literacy'. And the final section 3 looks at how schools, businesses and governments fall short in building cultures that encourage rethinking.

In the end, learning to rethink may be the secret skill to give you the edge in a world changing faster than ever.

307 pages, Hardcover

First published February 2, 2021

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About the author

Adam M. Grant

9 books17.8k followers
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. His New York Times article on languishing is one of the most-shared articles of 2021.

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. He received a standing ovation at TED in 2016 and was voted the audience’s favorite speaker at The Nantucket Project. 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.

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Profile Image for Ryan Boissonneault.
182 reviews1,939 followers
October 17, 2022
In 1933, the philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote that “the fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” While this is just as true today as it was in the early twentieth-century, the problem actually runs deeper; almost everyone recognizes arrogance and overconfidence in others—but never in themselves.

Since the time of Russell, what’s become known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect has been experimentally validated. Research shows—and personal experience confirms—that those who are the least knowledgeable in a subject tend to be the ones who overestimate their own knowledge and abilities, while those that are full of doubt know enough about the topic to better gauge the extent of their ignorance.

And so the telltale sign of a lack of knowledge is, paradoxically, arrogance and overconfidence, whereas in those with actual expertise you often see the opposite: humility, doubt, and open-mindedness.

Far more people fall on the side of overconfidence. This is due, at least in part, to widespread access to the internet, where people can quickly read articles and watch videos (of varying quality and credibility) on any conceivable topic, creating the impression that one has attained deep knowledge in a subject when only a very superficial understanding has been gained.

Overcoming this unfortunate state of affairs is the subject of organizational psychologist Adam Grant’s latest book, Think Again, which seeks to show us how to overcome our own unjustified overconfidence by developing the habits of mind that force us to challenge our own beliefs and, when necessary, to change them.

Grant begins by telling us that when we think and talk, we often slip into the mindset of three distinct professions: preachers, prosecutors, and politicians. We become preachers when the unwarranted strength of our convictions compels us to convert others to our way of thinking; prosecutors when our sole aim is to discredit the beliefs of others; and politicians when we seek to win favors from our chosen constituency.

What all of these mindsets have in common is the assumption that our beliefs are infallible, and that no one could possibly have anything to teach us. Trapped in the prison cell of our own dogma, we don’t set out to learn anything or update our own beliefs; our job is simply to convert others to our way of thinking because, of course, we are right.

These habits of mental imprisonment can happen to anyone at any level of knowledge or experience, and intelligence itself has actually been shown at times to be a disadvantage, as those with high IQs have the most difficulty updating their beliefs. As Dunning himself said, “The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” You may think all of your beliefs are correct (otherwise you wouldn’t hold them), but there is little doubt that at least some (probably many) of them are false or oversimplified. If your mind remains closed, you’ll never discover which of these beliefs require updating.

The key question, then, is this: If most of us are unaware of the extent of our own ignorance, how can we hope to overcome our own resistance to change?

The first step, as Grant recommends, is to detach your sense of self from any specific beliefs. If you identify with a specific set of fixed core beliefs, you will be far less likely to change your mind in the face of new evidence or better reasoning.

Grant recommends instead to ground your sense of self in mental flexibility, taking pride in the fact that you’re willing to change your mind and update your beliefs. To achieve this, you must consider all of your beliefs to be provisional hypotheses and then seek to disprove them, in the process becoming more knowledgeable by being wrong more often. Using this approach, you will have discovered the ideal mindset for personal development and learning—not the mindset of a preacher, prosecutor, or politician, but the mindset of a scientist.

The scientist, Grant tells us, has one overarching concern: the truth. The individual that adopts a scientific mindset will be equally motivated to challenge their own beliefs as the beliefs of others, testing hypotheses against the evidence and continually updating their beliefs in the process.

Of course, as Grant points out, being an actual practicing scientist does not guarantee the adoption of this mindset. There are plenty of dogmatic scientists that don’t abide by the principles of their own training. The scientific mindset is not, as Grant is describing it, the mindset adopted by scientists necessarily, but rather the ideal mindset that follows the principles of science as an open-ended pursuit of knowledge that is constantly updated in the face of new evidence.

In one interesting study described by Grant (the book is filled with fascinating examples and studies of a similar sort), two groups of entrepreneurs were provided training. One group was taught the principles of scientific thinking while the control group was not. The researchers found that the scientific-thinking group “brought in revenue twice as fast—and attracted customers sooner, too.” As Grant wrote:

“The entrepreneurs in the control group tended to stay wedded to their original strategies and products. It was too easy to preach the virtues of their past decisions, prosecute the vices of alternative positions, and politick by catering to advisers who favored the existing direction. The entrepreneurs who had been taught to think like scientists, in contrast, pivoted more than twice as often.”

Individuals that enjoy the prospect of being wrong—and so expand their knowledge more often—tend to be more successful and tend to hold more accurate, nuanced beliefs. It’s not that they lack confidence, it’s that their confidence is of a different nature. Flexible-minded individuals have confidence in their ability to learn and to unlearn beliefs that are outdated or are no longer serving them well. Their confidence lies in their ability to change and to adapt rather than in strength of their convictions concerning any single set of beliefs. As Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman put it, “Being wrong is the only way I feel sure I’ve learned anything.”

There is definitely a line to walk, and the reader may wonder just how far they should take this advice. To constantly question every one of your beliefs would result in paralyzing doubt. Sometimes, it is the strength of our convictions that give us the energy and perseverance to pursue and accomplish our goals. So this is surely a balancing act, and while we all have to find the sweet spot between timidity and arrogance, conviction and doubt, there is little question that too many of us tend toward the extreme of overconfidence.

After showing us how to become better rethinkers ourselves, in the second part of the book we learn how to open other people’s minds. Grant shows us how world-class debaters win debates, how a black musician talked white supremicists out of their bigoted views, and how doctors persuaded anti-vaxxers to get their children immunized.

In every case, we learn the same lesson in the art of persuasion: to change someone else’s mind, you have to help them find their own internal motivation to change.

This is not easy. The mindsets we typically slip into tend to have the opposite effect. Act as a preacher, and people will resist being told what to think (even if the facts are on your side). Act as a prosecutor, and people will resent your condescension and will become further entrenched in their original views. Act as a politician, and you’re just saying what you think people want to hear.

None of these approaches are effective as tools of persuasion. It turns out that your best bet is to adopt, once again, the mindset of a scientist—and to try to get others to do the same. This will transform disagreements from battles to be won and lost into a collaborative pursuit of the truth.

The most skilled negotiators, debaters, and persuaders all use similar tactics: they first find common ground and points of agreement, ask more questions to get the other person thinking deeper, present a limited number of stronger points, and introduce complexity into the topic to move the person’s thinking away from black-and-white and into shades of gray.

It turns out that complexifying the issue is always key. Most people exhibit what psychologists call binary bias, or the “basic human tendency to seek clarity and closure by simplifying a complex continuum into two categories.” If you can show people—through the use of skillful questioning—that the topic they think they understand deeply (Dunning-Kruger Effect) is actually far more complex than they originally thought with more than two distinct positions, then you can plant the seeds of doubt that eventually lead to real change.

One example Grant uses is climate change. We tend to think that people fall into one of two categories—climate-deniers or alarmists—when in fact there are six distinct positions people can take from dismissive, doubtful, or disengaged to cautious, concerned, or alarmed—with shades of nuance in between. It’s often the recognition of this complexity that can get people talking and engaged in productive debate.

In the final part of the book, Grant shows us how to use the skills of rethinking to engage in more productive political debates, to become better teachers, and to create more innovative cultures at work. Grant provides a host of compelling examples, but my favorite is the middle-school history teacher who gets her students to think like scientists by rewriting textbook chapters that failed to cover important historical events in sufficient depth. Her students pick a time period and topic that interests them and then, through independent research, rewrite the textbook chapter, in the process cultivating the skill to always question what they read. This is a far better approach than simply delivering a lecture and forcing students to regurgitate the information on a test.

-----

Bertrand Russell was once asked in an interview if he was willing to die for any of his beliefs. His response was this: “Of course not. After all, I may be wrong.”

It’s a shame that most people adopt the opposite attitude, and Grant’s latest book will go a long way to remedying this. Think Again is a timely exploration of the importance of humility and the capacity to rethink your own positions while helping others do the same.

But in the spirit of the book—and to “complexify” the topic—it’s worth considering when displaying doubt and humility might actually backfire. Grant wonders this himself, and points out, for example, that displays of doubt and humility have been shown to have negative effects in the workplace in those who have not already established their competence. It can also be less effective when delivering a presentation to an already sympathetic audience. Does Grant downplay the frequency of these types of situations?

Another area where excessive doubt and humility might backfire is an area that Grant fails to consider in much depth at all: arguing with bad faith actors. When discussing politics, Grant seems to assume that in most cases both sides are equally motivated by the truth, and that each side has simply failed to understand the complexity of the topic or the merits of the other side.

But we know that this is not always the case. In politics, people have a host of motives when arguing that sometimes have very little to do with the truth: the desire for power, money, influence, and sometimes simply the desire to offend and get a rise out of people. Grant does not cover how to handle these situations—or how to identify them—and it is highly unlikely that the tactics of the book will work in these situations.

Additionally, it seems that the masses respond better to confidence when electing political representatives, because we know that Trump was not elected based on his knowledge or competence—and certainly not on his humility.

When dealing with bad faith actors, perhaps a good strategy would be to start with a simple question, one Grant mentions in the book: “What evidence would change your mind?” If the answer is “nothing,” then it’s probably best to walk away. Either way, a chapter or section on bad faith actors and the questions you can ask to identify them would have been a welcome addition to the book.

But of course, this book is not the final word on the topic, and Grant wouldn’t want it to be. As we gain better evidence and more experience, it’s our responsibility to continually rethink and update our beliefs. As Russell said, “If you’re certain of anything, you’re certainly wrong, because nothing deserves absolute certainty.”
Profile Image for Julie Bertrand.
59 reviews
May 23, 2021
I will save you 6 hours of your time:

Whatever you think you know, don't be afraid to re-think it.

The end.
Profile Image for Rishabh Srivastava.
152 reviews139 followers
February 23, 2021
Caveat: I'm probably not the target audience for this book. Saw 0 new arguments here, and also saw a lot of badly designed studies being masqueraded as "data-driven proof". Will not recommend – specially if you're an engineer, computer scientist or investor – and are in an environment where you're constantly seeking evidence that you're wrong and can do things better

Ray Dalio's Principles is Taleb's Skin In the Game are far better books if you're looking to understand what it is that you do not know

The first third of the book is about convincing the reader that being open to changing your mind is a good thing. The second third is about suggestions to get other people to change their mind. And the last third is about making societal level changes.

The book has statements like “how many of us even admit being wrong, and seek disconfirming evidence” (most of us who do not come from privilege, and are constantly second guessing themselves hardly have this problem thank you very much). It also included some terribly designed studies which no one who uses modern apps and tools would take seriously. And some of it claims are just patently false (like "no pollster had Trump as a frontrunner in the republican primary" – Trump was literally the top contender in every single poll!)

I can't wrap my head around how this is so highly rated. But to each their own, I guess
Profile Image for Michael.
413 reviews27 followers
December 8, 2021
I wavered between giving 2 and 3 stars, and ended up giving 2.5 rounded up. And I wanted to reflect on this book a bit, which is why the longish review.

A lot of people really like Adam Grant's thinking style, and I'm not sure why, although I have some ideas. I think he's the equivalent of a motivational speaker for thinkers. He sounds truthy, and righty. And he actually writes (rewrites?) pretty well. I think he talks about topics worth talking about, and some of it is decent. But for the most part, the first half of this book really bugged me because it was very much post hoc reasoning - he would take a scenario, and then explain why it worked or didn't work, in hindsight. Also, I think he has a strong epistemological reference point bias, but I'll get to that later.

Grant opened the book with a story about fire fighters who died in forest fires which didn't really work with the rest of the book. He followed by discussing studies that showed that people who change their answers on tests often get it right. That doesn't really explain how that works. Is he saying to choose a random answer, and then change it, and you're likely to get it right? If not, how do you know when to change it? Do you 'just know'? Not helpful. Perhaps he's just saying, "Don't be afraid to rethink your answers," but that kind of amounts to a platitude. When do you rethink them? How do you decide between them? This is what I mean by 'motivational'. It pumps you up, but you're not sure why or for what.

Hindsight bias - If we look at successful companies, we can easily make up a theory about why they were successful. Why was Apple so successful? Minimalists would say it's because Steve Jobs wore black turtlenecks, but Adam Grant says it's because somewhere along the line he rethought something. Some Apple engineers at some stage convinced him to try a thing. This must be the key to success! If CEOs would just try a thing, they would all make zillions! Ah yes, but Steve Jobs tried the right thing. How do we know it was the right thing? Because it succeeded. That tells us how we know the right thing in hindsight, but not in foresight. And we need foresight.

Grant writes that Jean-Pierre Beugoms successfully predicted that Trump would become the Republican nominee in 2015. And then he predicted that Trump would win the presidency, but later changed his prediction to Hillary. So.... did his prediction fail because he, uh.... thought again? Grant doesn't give us rigorous tools for knowing when to think again, and when not to. He just scrutinises past decisions and 'knows' when someone should have thought again, or when their predictions were too emotionally invested. This is the crux of my beef with 'Think Again'. It's post hoc justification, which feels so good because you're always right. If Hillary had won, Grant probably would have praised JPB for re-considering his first prediction.

Why does Grant sound 'motivational'? Because a lot of his advice is vague and impractical in the real world, like telling us to be open minded - but not too open minded. "Our convictions can lock us in prisons of our own making. The solution is not to decelerate our thinking—it’s to accelerate our rethinking." For me, these kinds of sayings amount to platitudes.

Epistemological reference point bias - this is tricky to explain. It's tricky for me to think about clearly. Each individual person has their own epistemology. We act according to our premises and assumptions, not according to someone else's. And when we change our opinions, our epistemological reference point has, in some 'objective' sense, changed (although subjectively it's still exactly centred on us). Problems happen when we view past decisions (or other people's decisions) as though they were wrong because of the epistemological framework in which they were made, when in fact they're only 'wrong' according to our new epistemological framework. What we need are cognitive aids for crossing over from our current epistemological position to a new one, but starting from our epistemological position. You can't expect a 'terrorist' to think of himself as a terrorist, because from his perspective he's fighting for the just cause. From your perspective he's 'evil' or 'wrong', but from his perspective he's 'right'. What would help him change? This isn't simple, and I don't necessarily have the answers. But I feel like what Adam Grant does is critique an ideology from his perspective, not from within that ideology. If there's no way to critique that ideology from within, then it's impossible to escape. Maybe this has huge philosophical and quantum phsyics implications (anything can be tied to quantum physics after all), in that it's never possible to escape an ideology from within. There can always be an unknown variable that could explain away any problem. But I think we have to proceed in a way that assumes we can escape an ideology, without first assuming an alternative ideology. I think Grant's tendencey for epistemological reference point bias is related to his Hindsight bias. I don't know which causes the other (or if they work that way), but if you were inclined to the former, I could see that producing the effect of the latter, because you wouldn't be aware of the changes in your epistemological assumptions. Meh... I'm rambling now. And I can't think of a good example of Grant doing this, because I didn't make note of them at the time. If I can find one, I'll edit this. If you're not reading this, it's because I've found a good example. Just wanted you to know that....

Binary vs compexity thinking - I liked this part of Think Again. I think he framed the problem pretty well, and I agree that this is a really big issue. Although, funnily enough, I think Grant tends to fall into this more than he realises. One instance of this is where he analyses the downfall of Blackberry - "Mike Lazaridis was trapped in an overconfidence cycle. Taking pride in his successful invention gave him too much conviction." Does Grant know how much conviction Lazaridis had, and what specifically caused it? And that it was one thing? Hmm.... this seems overly simplified. Makes for good book material though.

My favourite takeway from the book was hearing about Motivational Interviewing. I'm actually looking this up now and considering taking a short course. I can see how this could be useful in everyday life, even with kids. I like that it preserves the other person's autonomy more, and doesn't set yourself up as an 'opponent', but a collaborator.

*Edit - I've since taken a course on MI and thoroughly enjoyed it.*

Another highlight of the book was his critique of evaluating Results instead of evaluating Processes. Point 26 of his Actions for Impact says, "Don’t evaluate decisions based only on the results; track how thoroughly different options are considered in the process. A bad process with a good outcome is luck. A good process with a bad outcome might be a smart experiment." Yes! I see this a lot, and it frustrates me. In sports they often penalise players for the results of their actions (accidentally knocking someone in the head) rather than the bad process that luckily didn't have bad outcomes (swinging a punch at a player but missing, or a dangerous tackle that luckily didn't result in damage). While accidents themselves are processes that need to be dealt with, it's more important to reflect on the process of a decision, and see whether or not that was the best decision, given that information. This should result in better outcomes, more often, even if sometimes luck doesn't go your way. Related to this is the idea of scapegoating - blaming something for a bad outcome, rather than blaming something for being a bad process. Again, this is related to epistemology, because our knowledge is limited, so we have to act as though we have limited knowledge, not as though we have perfect knowlege. If we had perfect knowledge, all bad outcomes would deserve harsh judgement.

Well, that's a wrap. Some people looooved this book, and maybe it helped motivate them to do a thing. I'm not sure what thing, or whether or not it was the right thing. I guess only hindsight will tell.

NOTE: If I cared more about writing a public review I would re-read and re-think and re-write parts of this, but I mostly wrote this because I wanted to reflect on these topics and not just blow through the book and move on. It's kind of a journal. Sorry for the half-baked effort if you're reading this.

OTHER NOTE: I'm happy to respond to any comments or criticisms. My thinking might be unclear in places, or just wrong, and I typically appreciate the perspectives of others.

POSTSCRIPT OR SOMETHING (2021-10-08): Yesterday I was reading Aesop's Fables, and there's a story about a pack of dogs trying to get to something at the bottom of a river by lapping up all the water in the river. They all burst and die from the effort, and the moral of the story is, "Don't attempt the impossible." This is basically the moral of Think Again - "Don't do the incorrect thing, do the correct thing!" But what's the point of even saying this? Who, knowingly, attempts to do something impossible? Better advice would be something like, "Assess the situation, make a plan, check your resources, make a model, analyse the causes and effects, establish a feedback mechanism so that you can learn from mistakes before they're catastrophic, look for precedents, know your limits, etc." If the dogs had known it was impossible, they wouldn't have tried, so the advice "Don't attempt the impossible" couldn't have helped them. I'm not sure if Think Again can help us much either.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,685 reviews14k followers
March 16, 2021
3.5 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. Using examples such as the demise of the blackberry and the success of the IPhone to the Wright brothers whose arguments eventually led to problem solving. How someone showing you that you are wrong could be a learning experience and the many who believe this is true. Non confrontational ways to discuss with those whose opinions differ from your own. There is much inside that makes a great deal of sense. Now if I can just practice some of what I learned. Interesting book. Interesting subject especially in our age of misinformation.

ARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Chris Boutté.
Author 7 books134 followers
February 3, 2021
Once again, Adam Grant releases a book that solidifies him as one of my favorite psychology writers. I didn't really know what this new book was about before it launched, but I love Grant's writing. Once I started reading it, I ended up binging the book in a day. This book is all about one of my favorite subjects, which is intellectual humility. In Think Again, Adam Grant challenges us to become alright with not knowing, being wrong, and rethinking our own conventional wisdom. Our egos hate when we do this, so it takes effort, but through psychological research and relevant stories, Grant explains how we can all begin working on this issue. 

One of the other great features of this book is that Grant spends a couple sections explaining why it's so difficult to get through to other people. In this day and age with people who are anti-vaxxers or there are those who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent despite a lack of evidence, I'm glad Grant helps explain how to have conversations with these types of people. As a recovering drug addict who worked in a treatment center, I appreciate how he highlighted the benefits of motivational reasoning, which is a powerful tool to help others rethink their beliefs. I can't give this book enough praise, and I hope everyone grabs a copy. I can definitely see myself reading this book again.
Profile Image for SeyedMahdi Hosseini.
110 reviews66 followers
May 14, 2021
موضوع مهمی بود ولی تعداد نکات جدید آن برایم کم بود. البته که همان نکات کم نیز حائز اهمیت بودند و یادآوری باقی نکات نیز بااهمیت است. در مجموع از مطالعه ی کتاب راضی هستم و به وقتی که برایش صرف کردم بسیار می ارزید. دلیل سه ستاره دادن نه کم اهمیتی کتاب (که بسیار پراهمیت بود) بلکه تکراری بودن برخی از نوشته هایش برایم بود. مطالعه ی آن را برای کسانی که با اطمینان نسبت به مسائل مختلف اظهار نظر می کنند و نیز کسانی که فکر می کنند انسانی که 10 سال پیش حرفی را زده ، الان هم باید همان حرف را بزند بسیار توصیه میکنم
پیروز باشید
Profile Image for Michael Payne.
63 reviews68 followers
February 9, 2021
The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is that you don't know you are a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.

Think this ^ doesn't apply to you? > Think again :).

Are you really so certain you are a "Democrat", a "Tory", a "Labor" voter or a "Republican"?

Really? So, you have "the" answer? Or, could it be that parties themselves are in fact the problem you hope to resolve as they part 'us' against 'them'. Will your version of division truly help stop the division?

If you are oh so certain you don't need to read this book: you do.

Outside of computer science and electronics answers are rarely binary. There are many answers and many truths. Try turning challenge into exploration by hearing and learning something new in criticism.

When you are confronted with ideas with which you disagree, question whether if the circumstances were reversed and you sat in the other persons upbringing, culture, country and shoes would you too likely have those same beliefs?

Instead of trying to change others: start first in changing yourself.

In a learning culture you really don't have the answers, you only think you do with varying degrees of probability.

Think about it. Read this book.

And . . . think again.
Profile Image for Tania.
1,170 reviews266 followers
November 2, 2022
”It is a sign of wisdom to avoid believing every thought that enters your mind. It’s a mark of emotional intelligence to avoid internalizing every feeling that enters your heart.”

4.5 stars. I very rarely read self-help, but I’ve recently realized I do like books on the psychology of how we think and feel. In our current day and age information gets updated on an almost daily basis, a lot of information also gets simplified to a one sentence heading. All of this means that we need to be able to update our opinions/beliefs about everything on a continuous basis. On a personal level, we also need to be able to rethink choices we made even if this means giving up on something you have invested a lot of time and effort in. As the author points out: being wrong is the only way to be sure that you’ve learned something.
We need to be more like scientists, questioning everything – especially our thoughts and beliefs. The book also includes sections on Interpersonal rethinking (ask better questions), Collective rethinking (don’t simplify conversations, keep it complex) and covers teaching kids to rethink and making it part of your company culture.

I really loved the idea of motivational Interviewing (so much so, that I’ve just ordered a book on it), and I thought Daryl Davis was one of the most inspiring human beings I’ve read about. There are so many wonderful ideas in this book, all well laid out and researched.
A timely, entertaining, and important read. Highly recommended.

The premise: Bestselling author and TED podcast star, Adam Grant examines the critical art of rethinking -- how questioning your beliefs and knowing what you don't know can lead you to success at work and happiness at home.
Profile Image for Andy.
1,319 reviews456 followers
January 19, 2022
The whole book builds on the theme that the author is a scientist and "thinks like a scientist" and the world would be better with more science. I wish there were more scientific thinking in the world, but I don't get what this book is adding. Much of it is a rehash of stories that have been told in other books, e.g. the "drop your tools" firefighter parable. See: Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. There's a confusing tangent into so-called "super forecasters" who get predictions wrong. There's praise for how brilliant Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates are. There's an odd anecdote about Daniel Kahneman, but I think it's more useful to read: Thinking, Fast and Slow.


Nerd addendum:
If I am wrong about the stuff below, please explain to me what I am missing here.

Towards the end of the book, there's an argument about how outcomes don't matter as much as processes, and that you will get bad outcomes by focusing on outcomes. He explains this by saying how crazy it would be if you had to already know that a drug works before you could get funding for a randomized clinical trial (RCT). This needs to be unpacked.
-The RCT is a process for finding out about relevant outcomes. The whole point is outcomes. So it's not a good illustration of the benefit of not focusing on results. In fact, the usefulness of RCTs is evidence of the exact opposite.
-In addition, in the real world, you do actually need to have some kind of evidence that the drug works before you can start an RCT. Ethically and practically this makes sense. You can't just go around pulling poisons off the shelf in your chemical factory and injecting them into people to see if maybe they help to cure something. That would be insane.
-RCTs are not for finding out if a drug works at all, they are for confirming that the drug works better than placebos or alternatives.

Beyond the whole RCT comment, he's trying to illustrate this point in the context of "learning cultures" and psychological safety and using the example of NASA and the Space Shuttle disaster(s). He's trying to argue that NASA had a results-oriented culture based on all their successful space missions, so they never developed proper processes for safety. But the whole moonshot program was something humanity had never ever done before. So how could NASA possibly have started with a results-oriented culture? Moreover, they had spectacular and sometimes deadly failures throughout that process, so they did not have a history of excellent safety results.

Nerd addendum addendum:
The confusing commentary mentioned above about the Space Shuttle program bothered me enough that I went and read a long book about that The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA. What's clear from that book is that the difference between Apollo and Shuttle was a change from "developmental" technology to "operational" technology except that the Shuttle was really still developmental and everyone knew that but went along with the pretense that it was operational. Apollo was authentically developmental/experimental/high risk. The astronauts were considered heroes because everyone understood they were risking their lives. The Shuttle was labeled safe/routine/operational (so a schoolteacher, for example, could go along for the ride) but was actually risky.

Psychological safety at NASA was not the issue. The psychological safety there was off the charts. Anybody could communicate a concern up the chain. The field maintenance crew the same day as the Challenger disaster said there was too much icy mess and the bosses listened and delayed the launch for a while. The engineers were debating with each other all the time. The ones who were worried about the O-rings failing did get to make their recommendation to scrub the launch. They were heard loud and clear and were understood.

The problem is they made an illogical argument, which lacked the relevant data, so no one was convinced. But no one else at NASA asked to see the relevant data. These are literally rocket scientists, not stupid people, so why could they not figure out this basic scientific question (not just that night but over the preceding months)? My assessment is that having a whole program based on a falsehood leads to unscientific thinking. This would actually be a very important story to tell correctly in a book about scientific thinking.
Profile Image for Rob Schmoldt.
60 reviews7 followers
February 25, 2021
I’m still a huge Yankees fan but now have a little more appreciation for Red Sox fans (not much though) ⚾️

Think Again is a hefty collection of useful social psychology research well summarized and presented for the layperson interested in challenging how we think and why we think the way we do. Includes 249 research notes for further reading and a list of AG’s top thirty actionable takeaways as a resource.

You will enjoy and likely expand a bit.
Profile Image for Eliza.
593 reviews1,382 followers
October 24, 2021
I absolutely agree with rethinking/questioning yourself with anything and everything. There's always different perspectives, possibilities, etc., so don't get stuck on one view!
Profile Image for Bharath.
545 reviews423 followers
August 2, 2022
Adam Grant is a great story teller. I was familiar with most of the content of this book and yet I loved listening to it.

The underlying premise is that we need to be flexible in changing our views as we move on. More often than not, we form opinions and feel pressured to justify our positions. As such, if you have been reading mindfulness books / practising mindfulness, you would know this already. This is among the most important teachings and the problem is often stated simply as “Each of us see our own worlds”. That said, Adam Grant does an excellent job of collecting real life and recent examples to make his point. There is very good content around how you can engage in a mutually enriching dialogue instead of turning starting differences into a confrontation. As he puts it – a dialogue should be a dance where you can shift your positions as required. The examples around school funding, prejudices, companies who have encouraged rethinking, and others are all very good.

The book does make it appear as if there are new concepts which one would have not seen or heard elsewhere. In reality though, new content is rather minimal, if any. Nevertheless, this book does well to package many concepts and some great examples together. Also, based on my experience, the techniques in the book are not enough for anyone to inculcate a rethinking practice – for that you are better off turning to mindfulness literature & practice which has delivered proven results since long.

Overall, an interesting book and a topic which is very important for our times. The audiobook narration by author was very engaging and I loved listening to it.
Profile Image for Juliet.
18 reviews7 followers
October 12, 2021
I’m so shocked that this book has the reputation it does because after reading the first third of it, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know. And I’m genuinely confused how this is an entire book when it could be summed up in one sentence: Consider that you may be wrong and that there are other perspectives besides your own, and then learn from the experience.

Basically, tone down your ego. Which, like, yea good point…but also, how self-unaware (is that a word?) and conceited do you have to be for the points in this book to be anything but obvious. It's not that I disagree with anything he writes, I just didn't feel I needed to read a whole book about it. There’s literally a whole chunk of chapter basically saying not to mansplain. Adam Grant is mansplaining mansplaining to me, and it’s…off-putting to say the least.

It is just so clearly written by a straight white man for a straight white man who has never considered that he may know less than he thought or that he *gasp* may be wrong. You’re trying to tell women and marginalized folk that we need to curb our confidence and learn to admit when we’re wrong? This might be shocking to consider, but not everyone has the brain/confidence of a straight white man.

This is also coming in stark juxtaposition to my reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle, who is telling me to stop contorting myself to fit the idea of a ~good woman~ and honestly what I don’t need right now is Adam Grant telling me 1) what I already know while trying to pass it off as novel/brilliant and 2) to tone down my confidence; what I need is Glennon Doyle telling me I’m a freakin cheetah.
Profile Image for Banafsheh.
172 reviews114 followers
June 24, 2022
حقیقتش من این مدل کتاب‌های توسعه فردی رو اصلا نمی‌پسندم و چی بشه که برم سراغشون.

این کتاب هم توی پکیج خوشامدگویی شرکت قبلی که کار می‌کردم بود و اصلا قصد نداشتم برم سراغش.

اما نویسنده این کتاب یعنی آدام گرانت رو یه مدتی توی لینکدین فالو کردم و دیدم چقدر حرفاش حسابه.

رفتم این کتاب رو برداشتم و دیدم به‌به🤩
نه این اصلا شبیه کتاب‌های توسعه فردی دم دستی نیست، واقعا داره یه معضل رو از جوانب مختلف می‌شکافه و حتی خیلی جاها راهکارهای قشنگی هم داره پیشنهاد می‌ده.

معضلی هم که بهش پرداخته رو پشه توی مهمونی خیلی زیبا با یه جمله برامون گفته: چرا انقدر سفتی؟

خود من یکی از کسایی هستم که توی تغییر باورهام سفتم. یعنی تجدیدنظر خیلی توی بعضی جنبه‌های زندگیم به سختی یا به ندرت اتفاق میوفته و این کتاب کلا درباره‌ی تجدیدنظر و فواید بی‌شمارشه.

بسیار بسیار از خوندنش لذت بردم و پیشنهادش می‌دم. قشنگ یه ضربه سفت و محکم به باورهای قدیمی و کهنه وارد می‌کنه و باعث می‌شه بشینی دوباره فکر کنی.

حتی شاید بعد خوندنش به پشی هم بدی بزنه😂👊🏻
Profile Image for عبدالرحمن عقاب.
665 reviews729 followers
July 30, 2021
قبل سنوات؛ انتبهت للفرق بين "التفكير" و"التفكّر" قرآنياً. وكتبتُ في ذلك بضع مقالات قصيرة. كان لهذا الإدراك دوره لاحقًا بحمد الله، في فهمي لبعضٍ من أهمّ ما كُتب وطُرح في علم النفس الإدراكي وعلم الاقتصاد السلوكي.
كان من أهمّ الفروق وأوّلها هو اعتماد التفكّر على "إعادة التفكير" في القضية المطروحة.
هذا الكتاب الذي بين يدينا اليوم، يقوم على هذه الفكرة. أهمية وضرورة "إعادة التفكير" أو تقليب النظر في الأمر. يطرح الكاتب فكرته من خلال ضرورة العودة إلى المسألة ويطرح السبل العملية التي تعين على ذلك؛ على مستوى الفرد والجماعة والمؤسسة. كما يناقش ما يؤثر سلبًا على هذه العادة في تربيتنا وأسلوب دراستنا.
أسلوب الكاتب جميل، ولغته سهلة قريبة، وأفكاره مرتّبة. واستخدامه للدراسات والقصص متوازن.
يستحقّ هذا الكتاب أن يُترجم.
Profile Image for Jolanta.
120 reviews206 followers
April 6, 2021
Well written, clear, engaging and hilarious - this book has been an enjoyable and extremely valuable read for me. I initially purchased the audiobook because Adam Grant reads it and it feels like a long podcast. What a FANTASTIC writer AND narrator he is! He masterfully opens some of your blind spots and motivates you to rethink our beliefs and assumptions we have from decades about different things. Seriously, be prepared for your life to be changed after reading this! I found the science in this part of the book particularly fascinating. I can’t recommend this enough! One of the best books I’ve ever read.

Thank you for the inspiration and saving me the trip to Mount Stupid!

“It takes humility to reconsider our past commitments, doubt to question our present decisions, and curiosity to reimagine our future plans. What we discover along the way can free us from the shackles of our familiar surroundings and our former selves. Rethinking liberates us to do more than update our knowledge and opinions—it’s a tool for leading a more fulfilling life."
Profile Image for shamim.
127 reviews106 followers
Read
July 29, 2021
« “باورهای من” نه مجموعه ای متناهی با پایان قطعی، که یک پروسه ی جاری است. »
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تا حالا بارها برامون پیش اومده که تو بحث های مختلف روی عقیدمون پافشاری می کنیم و اصلا نمیخوایم شکست رو بپذیریم چون پذیرفتن شکست یعنی عقیده ای که داری اشتباهه و در نتیجه باید توش تجدید نظر کنی؛ اما تجدید نظر توی عقایدمون انقدر سادست؟
«تجدید نظر یک مجموعه مهارت و البته یک طرز تفکر است.»
«نقطه خطرناک اینجاست که آن‌قدر درگیر موعظه برای اثبات حقانیت، بازپرسی دیگران برای اثبات اشتباهات آن ها و سیاسی بازی برای جلب پشتیبانی می شویم که زحمت تجدید نظر راجع به دیدگاه‌هایمان را به خود نمی دهیم.»
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محور اصلی کتاب و هدفش اینه که به آدم ها این باور رو بده که گاهی عقاید و نظرهایی که ما داریم نیاز به تغییر دارن. همون طور که الان اگر کسی ویندوز قدیمی استفاده کنه برای ما عجیبه عقاید هم به همون صورت باید آپدیت بشن و تغییر کنن. عقایدی که مربوط به سال های قبل هست و مربوط به همان زمانه.
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کتاب به مسائل جالبی از یه زاویه دید دیگه پرداخته بود که شاید کسی اینطوری تا حالا موضوع رو بررسی نکرده بود؛ مثلا اینکه بارها بهمون گفتن پشتکار داشته باش و رو کاری که می کنی پافشاری کن در حالی که شاید مشکل فقط پافشاری نباشه و باید روند کاری که می کنی رو تغییر بدی.
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معمولا توی این کتاب هم تکرار زیاد دیده میشه. یعنی شاید یه مسئله ای رو که یکبار اعلام می کنی و کافیه و رو بارها تو کتاب روش تاکید شده باشه که خب کمی خسته کننده میشه برای مخاطب.
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ترجمه کتاب خوب و روون بود از نظر من و ویراستاری کار هم تمیز بود.
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در نهایت کتاب فکر می کنم توی دسته کتابهای خودیاری طبقه بندی بشه. پس اگر طرفدار این ژانر هستین یا دنبال کتابی هستید که طرز تفکرتون رو تغییر بده؛ این کتاب پیشنهاد خوبیه.
Profile Image for Joy D.
1,676 reviews203 followers
April 5, 2021
Adam Grant examines how we know what we know and asks us to rethink our beliefs, assumptions, and 0pinions. Rigid adherence to beliefs, and “knowing,” without questioning, usually results in poor outcomes. He asks us to regularly update our beliefs based on new evidence.

Many people are more concerned about being right or defending beliefs or seeking approval, and these often take precedence over the truth. He asks us to take the mental role of a scientist, searching for what is true by hypothesizing, experimenting, and analyzing. The result, he argues, is a path to integrity, improved thinking skills, knowledge, and lifelong learning.

The book is structured in three parts: the individual level, one-on-one, and group level. Each part makes the argument for rethinking. Grant is an excellent writer, and it is certainly a timely topic. The book is entertaining and presents a strong case. The only drawback, for me, is that he covers lots of ground at a high level, and it leaves lots of room to dig deeper. Even so, I can only applaud a book that encourages curiosity, open-mindedness, listening, flexibility, and empathy.
Profile Image for Wick Welker.
Author 5 books313 followers
August 12, 2022
Be passionately dispassionate.

Question: why would we laugh at someone using Windows 95 but don't bat an eye at our own ideas formulated in 1995 that still form our world view? Think Again is a great quick read about questioning the old scripts that we read from and getting ourselves to rethink everything. Grant keeps an engaging pace full of research and anecdotes trying to convince the reader of the joy of being wrong and the growth that comes from questioning our world view and how we come to conclusions.

When we are ideologues, we typically act in three flavors: preacher, prosecutor or politician. We are either acolytes of in idea, prosecute others don't have those same ideas or try to convince someone out of self interest like a politician. Grant encourages us to engage our scientific mind instead. Speak to others in a way that gets them, and yourself, to rethink assumptions and ask the important question: how do you know?

Confirmation and desirability bias infiltrates all of our decision making. There is a reason Blackberry couldn't compete with Apple: the founder was stuck thinking that his product was what people wanted. It was a resistance to change and a death grip on bias that resulted in the demise of an enormously successful device. Steve Jobs even though it was a bad idea to make iPods into phones but he listened to those under him and became convinced.

Men constantly over-estimate their leadership skills while woman tend to do the opposite. As opposed to the Dunning-Kruger effect that is rampant among the misinformed, the Imposter syndrome creeps up into the academics. It is when we go from novice to amateur that we particularly begin to overestimate our expertise. Arrogance is ignorance plus conviction. Grant also argues that the Imposter Syndrome can be a benefit: it is highly motivating and compels humility. One can both be humble and confident in their ability to adapt and re-learn.

It's wise to recognize the difference between relationship conflict and task conflict. The latter is desirable as it creates a marketplace of ideas and is exactly how the every-arguing Wright Brothers invented flight. We should also be careful of being a "logic bully", someone who is informed and tries to hit you over the head with pristine logic. This tactic doesn't convince anyone of anything. And rather than using the straw man argument to divert away from the core debate, Grant suggest the Steel Man argument: take your opponents best made point, validate it and then explore from there. This is highly disarming and creates discourse. A single line of reasoning is a conversation, any more and it's prosecution. We should engage in something called Motivational Interviewing where we explore how someone knows what they know.

The greatest advices is that we should focus on values, not opinions. Values create common ground and open discourse. In the end, don't be afraid to be wrong, rather, we should take joy in being wrong to ever sharpen our understanding of the world and people.
Profile Image for David.
385 reviews9 followers
February 20, 2021
I am a bit in a stretch on this one.

First - I did complete it in one sitting. To the point without any major waste of words or repetitions and very, very engaging.
What is in the hindsight less fascinating is it´s core message: or the web of it´s core messages. Will need to do a lot of thinking and rethinking on it (which is great), but in the end I feel now that there is inherent weakness in hailing the "scientific approach" (as defined by author) as the main way of approaching problems: as a model, sure. In the real world, in politics, day to day decisions, pandemy handling: the main problem is not the ability to rethink, but the inflow of data, the choice of it and to an extent resignation on truth. And if we want to talk about "bringing people to truth" while abhorring being preachy or politicky: well, it does not get ethically better if we exchange those communication strategies for wanton emotional manipulation. And one by one even the other basic positions of the book reveal deep inherent problems. Without any need to go deeper into philosophy for the sake of philosophing, what is truth then? How can we talk about "truth getting to people" and at the same time describe the world as having multiple truths? There is also some erosion of trust as soon as the superforecasting is mentioned, which itself comes into a series of well deserved criticism as a concept (where most of it is actually even result of the original study) - or when we are confronted with more and more "feel good" or exciting stories, but without any solid intrinsic connection. Yes, so somebody was able to convince antivaxxer - cool, but we do not get to go under the skin deep issues of the problem. Same with NASA: or even with the initial smokejumping scenario, which makes a very, very bold connection of comparing adrenaline filled scenario where people were not able to rationally choose to follow random good idea of one of them. Is it actually a story of critical thinking and rethinking, if the decisions are made in split seconds?

There are very interesting and even useful bits and pieces all around, but if this should start up critical thinking: well, naturally, first target should be the book itself. And it does not pass the scrutiny as gracefully as it probably should.
Profile Image for Venky.
927 reviews327 followers
February 6, 2021
“Think Again” by American psychologist, bestselling author and professor of organizational psychology at the Wharton Business School, Adam Grant, is known wisdom repackaged efficiently and repurposed expertly. The nub of Grant’s latest book is rethinking the art of thinking. Received wisdom, stale conventions and entrenched dogmas have, according to Grant not just permeated our thoughts but have also succeeded admirably well in influencing our very approach to both personal and professional lives. A stereotypical obsession with standing circumstances, makes us, in the words of Grant, ‘mental misers.’ The technical term for such a rigid attitude is cognitive laziness. The handmaiden of status quo, cognitive laziness couches us in illusory relief and imagined comfort. This is also known as the seizing and freezing phenomenon.

Grant encapsulates the phenomenon of justifying accepted norms, by taking recourse to a theory propounded by Canadian-American political Science writer Philip Tetlock. Tetlock opines that as we think and speak, we tend to lapse into three different ‘professional’ modes. As we think and talk, we often slip into the mindsets of three different professions: preachers, prosecutors, and politicians. When our sacrosanct beliefs are under attack, we don the garb of a preacher, delivering sermons to preserve and protect our views. When we perceive another individual’s, belief sets to be false, we seamlessly go into the mode of a prosecutor pointing out flaws and poking holes in opposing arguments. Finally, when the need of the hour is to effect defection from the opposing camp to our own, we become politicians garnering for support and consensus. While this in itself is not an undesirable trait, unflinching adherence to it may turn out to be costly.

Grant sets out the example of the maverick genius Mike Lazaridis to illustrate the pitfalls of the ‘3P’ Approach. An innate genius, Lazaridis upended the world of technology and telecommunications with the Blackberry. Yet when the company was valued at a whopping $70 billion, and Apple was just an irritating but formidable pretender to the throne, the brilliant Lazaridis failed to see reason. Firmly entrenched in his opinion that what people did not want on their mobile phones was a computer, he sacrificed both market share and possibilities at the altar of obstinacy. Even when one of his premier engineers exhorted Lazaridis as 1997, to add an internet browser, Lazaridis instructed him to focus only on email. A chance for redemption materialized in the year 2010, when Lazaridis was goaded on by his team to feature encrypted text messages. But Lazaridis nursing an apprehension that allowing messages to be exchanged on competitors’ devices would render the BlackBerry obsolete, put paid to the hopes of his engineers. The rest, as we all know is history. First Apple, and then Samsung raced paced Blackberry, first reducing it to be a mere blip before finally finishing it off.

Lazaridis, although blessed with immense intelligence was in the throes of two types of biases that drove his decision making strategy. Confirmation bias: seeing what we expect to see, and desirability bias: seeing what we want to see. As Grant writes, “These biases don’t just prevent us from applying our intelligence. They can actually contort our intelligence into a weapon against the truth. We find reasons to preach our faith more deeply, prosecute our case more passionately, and ride the tidal wave of our political party. The tragedy is that we’re usually unaware.” John Maynard Keynes is famously attributed with this telling quote, “when the facts change, I change my mind.” It is this propensity to adapt oneself to changing circumstances and fact patterns, that serves as a weapon against these two biases.

Grant appeals to all of us to inculcate within us the bent of a scientist. A scientist is at once curious and humble, While she possesses an insatiable thirst for knowledge, she also derives immense pleasure in knowing that she is wrong. For erring, during the course of a research, in itself is a smart experiment that yields some knowledge. For example, during the course of a lecture by Grant, Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, found out that a sphere relating to his research was wrong. Kahneman’s reaction was one of pure joy – he was now less wrong than before! However, the world seems to be far removed from such acts of self-introspection. On the contrary, there is a massive overdose of the “Dunning-Kruger’ Syndrome. The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias hypothesis that people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability.

Grant also highlights the fact that people are usually informed by an innate bias called ‘binary bias.’ “It’s a basic human tendency to seek clarity and closure by simplifying a complex continuum into two categories. To paraphrase the humorist Robert Benchley, there are two kinds of people: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.” The legendary debate between Daniel Goleman and Jordan Peterson over the preponderance of Emotional Quotient (“EQ”) and Intelligence Quotient (“IQ”) being a classic case in point. While Goleman remains steadfast in his stance that EQ matters more for performance than IQ, thereby accounting for “nearly 90 percent” of success in leadership jobs, Jordan Peterson, argues that “There is NO SUCH THING AS EQ”. According to Peterson, EQ is “a fraudulent concept, a fad, a convenient band-wagon, a corporate marketing scheme.” Grant points out that both men of great reputation and stature have failed to recognise that the concepts of EQ and IQ have relevance, but in different settings and circumstances.

Grant offers thirty key takeaways at the conclusion of the book to nurture and foster a sustained and consistent practice of rethinking. This thinking about thinking that has some innovative and pleasing shades includes:

Learning something new from each person that we meet;
Embracing and not moving away from constructive conflicts;
Practicing the art of conscious and persuasive listening;
Asking what drove people to originally form an opinion;
Acknowledging common ground during the course of engaging in debates;
Refraining from asking kids what they want to be when they grow up

“Think Again”, inspires the reader to reevaluate and rethink accepted conventions, taken-for-granted beliefs and deep-rooted tropes. And as Grant illustrates this can be done by having fun too!
Profile Image for Hestia Istiviani.
873 reviews1,356 followers
April 4, 2021
I read in English but this review is in Bahasa Indonesia

Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.


Beberapa kawan yang juga mengikutiku di Twitter dan Instagram sudah paham betul bahwa salah satu sumber keracunanku adalah resensi yang ditulis oleh Griss. Suatu ketika, Griss mengunggah catatan bacanya terkait Think Again oleh Adam Grant ini. Kondisi Griss sama dengan kondisiku: kami sempat tidak cocok dengan buku-buku Adam Grant yang lain. Namun rupanya ketika Griss mencoba membaca Think Again, ia langsung terpikat hingga memberikan bintang 5 pada buku ini. Tentu saja, aku penasaran dan tidak butuh waktu lama untuk mampir ke Periplus dan membawanya pulang.

Think Again berangkat dari premis yang sederhana: kemampuan manusia untuk terus belajar meski sudah tidak lagi di bangku akademik yang formal. Tetapi benarkah manusia bisa melakukan hal tersebut?

Perlu diingat, Adam Grant adalah seorang psikolog yang menggeluti bidang psikologi industri. Grant punya beragam paper tentang eksperimennya terhadap macam-macam tipe individu. Dari penelitiannya, ia menemukan bahwa manusia seringkali menganggap bahwa intelegensia adalah harga mati. Apa yang manusia percayai tidak bisa berubah. Pokoknya, sulit mengubah cara pandang seseorang. Dalam buku ini, Grant menunjukkan bahwa think again bisa terjadi bahkan pada orang dewasa yang sudah lama meninggalkan bangku sekolah/kuliah sekalipun. Mengapa seseorang sukar untuk menerima perbedaan pendapat salah satunya karena dipengaruhi oleh ego (untuk hal ini, aku rasa ada kaitannya dengan yang ditulis oleh Ryan Holiday dalam Ego Is the Enemy). Grant pun lalu membeberkan apa-apa saja yang sebaiknya kita hindari, kurangi, dan apa yang bisa kita lakukan agar mau melakukan rethinking and unlearning dengan lebih legowo.

Think Again dibagi menjadi 3 bagian besar: Individual Rethinking: Updating Our Own Views; Interpersonal Rethinking: Opening Other People's Minds; Collective Rethinking: Creating Communities of Lifelong Learners. Dalam masing-masing bagian terdiri dari 3 bab yang menjelaskan lebih detil melalui beragam studi kasus pendukung.

Changing your mind doesn't make you a flip-flopper or a hypocrite. It means you were open to learning.


Kutipan di atas bisa bermakna dua hal: kita yang menerima bahwa sangat wajar adanya perubahan dalam meyakini sesuatu atau menolak kutipan tersebut dan bersikeras bahwa itu adalah contoh orang yang plin-plan. Grant memberikan alasan mengapa normalisasi pemikiran yang berubah-ubah sebaiknya dilakukan untuk mendukung rethinking and unlearning kita. Salah satu ide yang ditulis Grant dan aku setuju ialah perihal pentingnya memiliki intelectual humility atau kerendahan hati secara intelektual. Maksudnya begini, boleh jadi kita ahli di satu bidang tapi kita juga sebaiknya mengakui dengan tenang bahwa ada beberapa hal yang tidak ketahui. Apabila kita memiliki sifat kerendahan hati seperti itu, akan mudah untuk kita dalam menerima hal baru. Bahkan kita bisa mendorong diri untuk terus belajar.

Cara penuturan Grant sangat nyaman untuk diikuti. Buatku pribadi, setiap bab selalu membawa kejutan entah hal yang aku setujui (karena aku baru tahu kalau ada istilah resmi/akademisnya) atau hal yang aku baru tahu bahwa sesuatu yang kontra dengan apa yang aku kini bisa benar terjadi. Grant sangat menekankan kalau rethinking and unlearning ini seharusnya tidak dihempaskan begitu saja dari individu. Untuk mereka yang sudah menjadi orang dewasa, menghadirkan perasaan untuk mau rethinking and unlearning memang tidak mudah, dan Grant memberikan caranya di bagian terakhir (ada 30 poin yang bisa diikuti).

Buku ini juga dilengkapi dengan ilustrasi dan diagram guna memudahkan pembaca dalam memahami ide yang disampaikan oleh Grant. Sebuah kombinasi yang enak: narasi rapi nan terstruktur + visual yang jelas.

Aku rasa bagi mereka yang sudah pernah membaca Mindset: The New Psychology of Success-nya Carol Dweck dan Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance-nya Angela Duckworth bisa sangat "tersetrum" dengan Think Again. Bahkan menurutku, ada beberapa bagian yang menjadi penjelasan lebih lengkap dari apa yang ditulis oleh Ruby dalam buku You Do You: Discovering Live Through Experiments and Self-Awareness.

Think Again is a very recommended read.
Profile Image for Anne Bogel.
Author 6 books50.5k followers
March 21, 2022
I wasn't planning on reading this ... until our MMD Book Club community manager Ginger raved about it at our team's best books of the year event. In his latest release, organizational psychologist Grant argues that we may collectively admire confident and quick thinkers, but the far more valuable skill—especially in today's rapidly changing world, is the ability to question—and even unlearn—what we know. Whether we're talking about workplace success, interpersonal relationships, medical questions, or parenting teens, we're far more likely to reach satisfying (and often, correct) answers if we're willing and able to rethink everything we thought we knew. I took ample notes on this book, and I plan to revisit them regularly in the future—both signs of a worthwhile read.
Profile Image for Sharon Orlopp.
Author 1 book271 followers
September 4, 2022
The primary premise of Think Again is to think like a scientist and develop the ability to rethink and unlearn. The book suggests different ways to increase mental flexibility.

Rethinking is fundamental to scientists. Scientists are expected to doubt what they know, be curious, and update their views based on new data. Scientists run experiments to test hypotheses and discover knowledge and new truths.

I really like the concept of thinking like a scientist and being open to new data and viewpoints. For me, the first 50% of the book was the most intriguing and compelling.
Profile Image for May Ling.
1,071 reviews287 followers
April 29, 2021
Summary: Great book that lays hubris and ways to over come it in simple terms. It's pretty fantastic and I needed it at this time.

P. 24 - In the section, the smarter they are, the harder they fall. "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." Not 100% sure i agree with this. I see this in those that are smart and accomplished but not really truly smart, but I can see why on a pure test these are the results you'd get. I like the quote though: "Mental horsepower doesn't guarantee mental dexterity."

p. 39 - I like the stats on the idea that the less we know the more we overcompensate. "In the original Dunning Kruger studies, people who scored the lowest on tests of logical reasoning, grammar, and sense of humor had the most inflated opinions of their skills."

p. 90 "Disagreeable people don't just challenge us to think again, they also make agreeable people comfortable arguing, too. The book then talks about task conflict vs personality conflict.

p. 109 - Common ground conflict vs. defend attack-spirals.

p. 117 - Honest interview section was priceless. Very funny.

p. 193 - another very funny cartoon with the punchline: "We'd now like to open the floor to shorter speeches disguised as questions."

p. 214, the "mean quotes" example from Wharton b-school.

Great book, well researched. Very enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Sara Kamjou.
574 reviews286 followers
October 19, 2021
این کتاب می‌تونست یه مقاله‌ی بیست سی صفحه‌ای جالب باشه که بهمون می‌گه چطور از تفکر قالبی‌ای که بهش عادت داریم فاصله بگیریم و مسائل رو با نگاهی بازتر به صورت نقادانه ببینیم، اما در عوض کتابی بود که حرفشو صد بار تکرار کرد و حوصله‌سربر شد.
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یادگاری از کتاب:
وقتی خودمان را زیر سوال ببریم، دنیا پیش‌بینی‌ناپذیرتر خواهد شد.
...
آسودگی ناشی از یقین، خوشایندتر از دردسرهای ناشی از تردید است.
...
تحت استرس شدید، افراد عموما به سراغ پاسخ‌های نهفته در ناخودآگاهشان می‌روند.
...
الیزابت کولبرت خبرنگار می‌نویسد: «پس از شنیدن استدلال دیگران، با مهارت تمام ضعف‌هایش را شناسایی می‌کنیم، اما مشکلات خودمان را نمی‌بینیم.»
...
ری دالیو بنیان‌گذار بریج‌واتر گفته: «اگر به گذشته‌ی خود بنگرید و نگویید که "ای وای، یک سال پیش چقدر احمق بودم"، پس حتما در طول سال گذشته به اندازه‌ی کافی یاد نگرفته‌اید.»
Profile Image for Hank.
765 reviews68 followers
January 1, 2022
This review is going to make me look foolish and decidedly not open minded but I just gotta be me.
I just wrote a seriously long, boring review so...

tldr; Lots of great thoughts and ideas which fell in line with my core beliefs but too much pop-psychology type of writing and the delivery made my shields raise, preventing me from learning whatever he was teaching.

First this book really is a 4-5 star book, lots of intriguing insights into how people form opinions, how they communicate them with both friends (like minded people) and differntly opinioned people.
Great examples on how challenging you own beliefs can add to your knowledge and confidence and how intractable opinions can be made a little less so.

I really enjoyed the chapters discussing the advantages of not being a straight A student and the parts discussing the scientific method. I have been employed as and have worked with scientists for 30 years, I was gratified that someone valued how I live my life which is never afraid to be wrong as long as the goal is to get to the best truth you can. I was also gratfied to know that I unconsciously employ many of his think again techniques daily.

Here then is the foolish part. Grant is a big proponent of having some humility in both your own assessment of your knowledge and during your interactions with others. Clearly I am currently not showing any of that and I suspect my wife will contend I never do. There are also several passages where I refuse to think again and create the basis of my mediocre rating.

Grant narrated the book himself and frequently shared anecdotes of him working for one business or another, my reacti0n to the tone of his voice, his words and his discussion of his actions was entirely negative in most of these cases. Possibly it is my 30 years of experience with yearly B.S. team building, forced self help from company administrators and every other pop psychology fad, that every one of his scenarios seemed blatently manipulative and Freud like. Even his last sentence
"I think the world would be a better place if everyone put on scientist googles a little more often. I'm curuious: do you agree? If not, what evidence would change your mind," drives me nuts. It comes off as something like a used car salesman: "What would it take to get you in this car today?"

I know he wants me to try to think again and give him the key to persuade me but having lived my life constantly battling people and ads trying to sell me things, my hair trigger shield went up before I could learn everything he wanted me to.

With that said his Actions for Impact at the end are fantastic and his general thoughts are well receieved by my own core beliefs.

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