The bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals examines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions and open other people's minds, which can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life
Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In recent months, the pandemic has forced us all to reevaluate our assumptions about health and safety and multiple acts of police brutality have challenged most of us to reconsider our responsibility for fighting racism. Yet in our daily lives, too many of us still favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: there's evidence that being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder we can become to our own limitations.
As an organizational psychologist, Adam Grant has spent his career exploring how we can open other people's minds--and our own. As Wharton's top-rated professor and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, one of his guiding principles in life is arguing like he's right but listening like he's wrong. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, harness the surprising advantages of impostor syndrome, bring nuance into charged conversations about abortion and climate change, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. You'll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, a vaccine whisperer convinces anti-vaxxers to immunize their children, and how Adam has coaxed Yankees fans to root for the Red Sox. Think Again reveals that we don't have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It's an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don't know is wisdom.