Time for Re-Thinking

If knowledge is power, then knowing what we don’t know is wisdom

~ Adam Grant

Adam Grant’s latest book, ‘Think Again’ digs into how our way of thinking becomes a habit that weighs us down, our ‘go to thought pattern’ that we don’t bother to question until it’s too late!

If this global covid pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that there’s never been a more vital time for Re-Thinking.

Accelerating change means we need to question our opinions and beliefs more readily than ever before.

We’ve had to test our mental pliability, our flexibility and adaptability, our very mindset. There are so many fires and crises in this never- ending turbulent changing environment.

Adam is calling on all leaders (which pretty much means everyone, as we’re leaders of ourselves) to ‘hit the reset button on opinions and beliefs that might have become part of our identity’.  

Re-Thinking or Thinking Again is another way of saying it’s time to ‘grow our intellectual humility’.

The first idea we get excited about may not be the best idea, and a ‘healthy level of doubt is important’.

How stuck are you in your thinking at this point in your life?

Adam Grant describes three ‘stuck’ mindsets:

  • Preacher: ‘I’ve found the truth & my job is to persuade you’
  • Prosecutor: ‘I know you’re wrong, and my job is to turn your thinking and prove my case’
  • Politician: ‘Campaigning for the approval of my audience: I’ll change what I say but not what I think’

There’s a little bit of the Preacher, Prosecutor and Politician in all of us, but what if you could do a little less preaching, prosecuting and politicking?

What if you were open to celebrating what you don’t know, willing to ask more questions to which you genuinely don’t know the answer, and listen with an open and curious mind to the response?

What if you started majoring in CURIOSITY in the university of daily life?

In a recent Dare to Lead podcast, Dr Brené Brown asked Adam Grant what gets in the way of us all doing more Re-Thinking,

And the reply…

  • Our ego and sense of self-worth *wanting to be right and justified in our beliefs
  • Our need for predictability *wanting to know what’s going to happen next, and our comfort with certainty
  • Our need to belong *wanting to fit into a group and feel accepted

So when you face a threat to your ego, remember to say to yourself:

I’m not here to prove myself. I’m here to improve myself”.

The world would be a better place if leaders had the courage to step out of ego, ditched their need for predictability and stepped into Re-Thinking about the tough challenges we’re facing in our teams, organizations and countries.

To put a stop to preaching, prosecuting and politicking.

The implications of not adopting a Re-Thinking mindset for organizations are serious.

Leaders who haven’t learned to courageously question and re-question their thoughts, opinions and beliefs may be left residing over irrelevant organizations in five years time.

In Brené Brown’s words, they ‘may not be still standing’.

And hence her other words of wisdom:

“I’ve never in my life worked with a truly transformational leader who has not worked with a coach”,

…because through the coaching experience, they’ve learned to Re-Think.

Stay curious, calm and kind,

Alison