Helping leaders emerge


Why Be Intellectually Humble?

A key leadership skill, whether at work, home, or in your community, is the ability to cultivate intellectual humility which is NOT believing everything you think and remaining curious and open minded to the not knowing.

While leadership includes staying true to core values, like integrity and doing the right thing, it is also about challenging opinions, assumptions, and beliefs – and knowing when (and how) to let go of the need to be right and admit when your thinking is wrong.

So this month I’m recommending Adam Grant’s latest book Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, where he makes the case for cultivating the skills of rethinking and unlearning, backed by research. Grant is a top-rated Wharton professor (seven years in a row) and organizational psychologist.

Key Concepts in Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

  • Intentionally rethink, unlearn, and challenge thinking. Why it’s important to have conversations where the focus is to learn versus argue to win.
  • Have a challenge network. Thoughtful critics whose opinions you respect and push you to challenge your assumptions by providing constructive feedback.
  • Test intuition versus trust intuition. How evidence suggests that the first answer you think of is not always the right answer.
  • Difference between impostor thoughts and impostor syndrome. An interesting and useful reframe as many smart, successful leaders struggle with imposter syndrome. Grant also discusses the potential benefits of having imposter thoughts. For more information on what imposter syndrome is, click here to read my blog Feel Like an Imposter? You’re not alone.
  • The Think Again, How Open Am I quiz. Are you a preacher (defending your beliefs), proselytizer (proving other wrong), politician (campaigning for approval), or scientist (searching for truth)? See below for link to take quiz.

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