In this post, I’m really excited to offer my review and summary of the book ‘Think Again’ by Adam Grant. I am an engineer-turned -HR and partner to leaders who drive personal agility in their teams. I often blog about what gauges my attention, especially books that can fuel personal growth and inspiration. Today, I have a phenomenal book that you can for sure include in your reading list. Written by Adam Grant, number one New-York times best-selling author of numerous books including Originals. He is also a professor at the Wharton School, where for seven years he has been ranked as the number one favorite teacher by all students. He was also the host of the Ted talk that has over 25 million views. From where I see it, he basically touches things and they turn into gold.
So, here’s my distillation of fiercely insightful book, Think Again by Adam Grant. In all honesty, it is very well-written, as it flows very smoothly from one aspect to another. Book initially focuses on Individual rethinking then smoothly progresses to Interpersonal rethinking and finally brings out collective rethinking. What I really loved about this book is that Adam had recruited a group of people who were his thoughtful critics, also they inspired him to do better to a level he had to re-start many things from the beginning. Well, the way this book is written, it is evident that a lot of thought has been given to how the audience might interpret the book. Literally, you need to check out the section of acknowledgement that actually transcribes how many people were consulted to improve this book.
Core of the Book
Think Again is for everyone who wants to unlearn, learn and re-learn at an individual level or perhaps at the collective level or even help others to rethink. If you are an analytical person like me who delves into thinking and rethinking, this book will definitely appeal to you even more. It has great ideas that can help team leaders, managers, entrepreneurs, and parents. In fact, anyone with an open mind will truly treasure this read. I would like to add, although, I have read more than 100 books especially on human psychology and self-development, this is my first book that I have read about ‘Rethinking’. Adam explains many concepts with the help of graphs which I truly love. I think graphical representation is one of the best way to explain your point, learnt it from my leaders here at BCG.
Ethos of the Book
Think Again has a lot of great stories like one from NASA. Indeed, stories about astronauts and space-station always grab my attention. There is also a section that calls for action for the impact. In this Adam has summarized all the key takeaways for you in just a few pages which offers practical application of self-help books. The only thing that was a little off, perhaps was the uncanny way in which the epilogue was written in the end. Nevertheless, it is so minor that I would still give a thumbs up and five stars to this book. If you plan to buy this book, I have shared the Amazon link below which you leverage, and If you don’t want to buy the book, “Think Again”.
Highlights of the Book
Now, let’s deep dive into this bestseller. Well, this book is an invitation to let go of the knowledge as well as opinions that are no longer serving you right. Furthermore, this read can be a solace to find a sense of flexibility in these competitive dynamics. Majority of us, take pride in our knowledge or tacit activities that we do urging us to focus on the beliefs that we already think is right (Confirmation Bias). This mindset may help us to gauge a sense of stability where we tend to reward the comfort of what we already know. However, the problem is, we live in a rapidly changing world where it is imperative to invest time ‘rethinking’ as we do think. Indeed, rethinking is a strong skill set that can enable emotional agility. It is often seen that we prefer the ease of clinging to our old views rather than welcoming new challenges. We’ll favour the comfort of staying connected to what we already know rather than the discomfort of doubt. You see we laugh at people who still use windows 95 yet we still cling to the opinions that we formed in 1995. We still listen to views that make us feel comfortable instead of ideas that make us think hard. Questioning oneself makes the world more unpredictable and requires us to admit many facts might have changed and something which was once right may now be wrong. Therefore, reconsidering something that we believe deeply can threaten our identities urging us to lose part of ourselves. Adam professes that as we think and communicate, we often slip into the mindset of a preacher or perhaps a prosecutor. The underlying risk is we become so entangled in preaching that we are right, prosecuting others who are wrong and politicking for support that we don’t bother to rethink our own views. Instead of taking on the role of preacher or prosecutor, Adam promotes us to consider acting like a scientist. You see, scientists by trade depends on rethinking as the fundamental aspect to grow in their profession. You are paid about constantly be aware about the limits to your understanding. You are expected to doubt what you know and to be curious about what you aren’t aware about. But being a scientist is not just a profession, it is a frame of mind, a method of thinking that differs from preaching and prosecuting. Author Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist so I could learn a lot of intriguing things about human psychology from this book. For instance, the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which says that when we lack competence that we are most likely to be brimming with overconfidence. I certainly know few people like that! Dunning quips, first rule of Dunning Kruger club is that you don’t know you are member of the club.
Another concept of psychology that I learned and found extremely fascinating is Motivational Interviewing or Persuasive Listening. This is a technique to enable change someone’s mind. While trying to open other people’s mind, we can frequently accomplish more by listening than by talking. This technique begins with an attitude of curiosity and humility, we don’t know what might motivate others to change but we are genuinely eager to find out. The objective isn’t to tell people what to do it is to help them break out of overconfidence cycles to seek new possibilities.
There are so many other nuggets of wisdom in this book that I couldn’t fit in this blog and urge you to read the book instead. I am curious what was your top takeaway from this video…Feel free to comment here and letting me know.