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Book review

Think again: the power of knowing what you don't know
Blog 187 Think again book

You’ve no doubt read articles that we’ve written here about the importance of ‘unlearning’, as well as learning. The ability to unlearn is critical – after all, many of our thoughts and beliefs may be holding us back or preventing us from understanding other people’s perspectives. So, for our own growth and development, it’s imperative that we learn to be open to ideas that challenge our thinking.

There are significant shifts playing out in how we think about life and work and the skills that will be most valued are becoming clear. We’ve always talked about innovative and dynamic thinking, but this book will really challenge you to rethink your beliefs and gain insight into what you don’t know.

In Think again: the power of knowing what you don't know, author Adam Grant draws attention to the value of mental flexibility and provides strategies for letting go of the views that no longer serve us. Drawing on research, he explores how we can develop open-mindedness to evolve our opinions. He writes:

“When people reflect on what it takes to be mentally fit, the first idea that comes to mind is usually intelligence. The smarter you are, the more complex the problems you can solve – and the faster you can solve them. 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.”

To master ‘rethinking’ skills, Grant says people must have the “humility to know what you don’t know and the curiosity to find out more”. That by looking for reasons why we might be wrong – rather than giving in to our in-built tendency to find proof that we’re right – we’re better equipped to modify our views. It’s a particularly useful skill for leaders, who by questioning their assumptions and admitting they don’t know everything, can become more evolved (and inspire more productive and innovative teams in the process).

Grant is The New York Times bestselling author of five books – he’s also an organisational psychologist and a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He hosts the chart-topping WorkLife with Adam Grant podcast and his TED Talks have been watched more than 30 million times.

His latest book is a must-read for current, and aspiring leaders alike – or really anyone who’s open to discovering all the things they’re getting wrong, so they can start getting more things right.

– The Coach Place Global

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