How to Keep Your Mind Open to Creative New Ideas

Lessons learned from Adam Grant’s ‘Think Again’

Celia Fidalgo, PhD

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Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

In an era where middle ground is hard to find, the ability to rethink and unlearn has become an invaluable asset.

Adam Grant’s book “Think Again,” serves as a compelling guide for those looking to harness the power of reevaluation in their personal and professional lives.

By exploring psychological theories and captivating real-world examples, Grant encourages us to challenge our own beliefs and assumptions, paving the way for growth and innovation.

Here are the essence of Grant’s insights, with practical advice on how to apply these principles to solve problems and become more influential.

Embrace the Joy of Being Wrong

One of the book’s core messages is the significance of embracing our own fallibility.

Grant introduces us to the concept of the “scientist mindset,” a mode of thinking where we are constantly testing our hypotheses and willing to revise them in light of new evidence.

This mindset, as opposed to the preacher, prosecutor, or politician mindsets, allows us to approach problems with an open mind and adapt our strategies based on what works best.

Real-life Application: Next time you’re faced with a challenging problem at work, try to approach it with the curiosity of a scientist.

Instead of clinging to your initial solution, experiment with different approaches. Gather data on their effectiveness and be prepared to pivot based on what you find. This approach not only increases the likelihood of solving complex problems but also fosters a culture of innovation and flexibility.

The Art of Convincing Others

In the chapter “The Art of Convincing Others,” Grant delves into the psychology behind changing others’ minds.

He emphasizes the importance of listening and asking questions rather than outright persuasion. By understanding the perspectives and motivations of those we wish to influence, we can tailor our arguments to resonate more deeply with them.

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Celia Fidalgo, PhD

Head of Product @ Cambridge Cognition, Behavioral Scientist @ Irrational Labs, PhD in psych, I help people apply the science of psychology to daily life.