Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know

by: Adam Grant (0)

#1 New York Times Bestseller  
“THIS. This is the right book for right now. Yes, learning requires focus. But, unlearning and relearning requires much more—it requires choosing courage over comfort. In Think Again, Adam Grant weaves together research and storytelling to help us build the intellectual and emotional muscle we need to stay curious enough about the world to actually change it. I’ve never felt so hopeful about what I don’t know.” —Brené Brown, Ph.D., #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dare to Lead

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 our daily lives, too many of us 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. We think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval--and too little like scientists searching for truth. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become.

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people's minds--and our own. As Wharton's top-rated professor and the bestselling author of
Originals and Give and Take, he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he's right but listen like he's wrong. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations, 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 concerned parents to immunize their children, and 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 over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don't know is wisdom.

The Reviews

The three hardest things to say in English are "I was wrong", "I'm sorry", and "Worcestershire sauce." Adam Grant can definitely help you with the first two. In a world changing at unprecedented speed, there's a new must-need skill on the block: "Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there's another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn."If you think rethinking is hard, you think rightly. Our inner Preacher, Prosecutor and Politician stand ready to trip us up: "The risk is that we become so wrapped up in preaching that we’re right, prosecuting others who are wrong, and politicking for support that we don’t bother to rethink our own views."So what should we do instead? This book helps you find your inner Scientist — infinitely curious, moderately confident, perennially skeptical. Then "you define your identity in terms of values, not opinions", and actively "seek out information that goes against your views."With expert storytelling and a breezy yet earnest tone, Adam guides you through the perils and rewards of rethinking at the individual, interpersonal, and collective level. In the process, you'll meet a cast of fascinating folks who practice expert-level rethinking. There's Daryl Davis, the Black musician with the hobby of converting KKK members into friends. There's the vaccine whisperer who gets legions of anti-vax parents to vaccinate their kids, and Erin McCarthy who has her students re-write old history textbooks. And the other stories I'm not even mentioning lest I spoil your fun in reading Adam's deft plot twists and big reveals.I particularly appreciate the plenitude of wisdom in this book, much of it counterintuitive. For example, assembling a "challenge network" of our most thoughtful critics (instead of a support network of yes-men) seems like a useful exercise against overconfidence. And it's heartening that a little bit of impostor syndrome actually renders us more credible. And now that Adam has highlighted the efficacy of motivational interviewing, I will use it much more in my coaching & behavioral change practice.In addition to being supremely well-structured and instructive, "Think Again" is delightfully quirky. I read 160-180 nonfiction books a year, and it's safe to say I haven't read anything like this. There are a ton of cartoons, real and faux diagrams, and funny-yet-true flowcharts to illustrate points and elicit chuckles. Adam often inserts italicized musings and asides smack in the middle of a paragraph. The epilogue, which is kind of bonkers, embodies rethinking in physical form. And -- mayonnaise.This is an utterly original book on a topic that not only bears directly upon our success, but also our long-term happiness: "It takes humility to reconsider our past commitments, doubt to question our present decisions, and curiosity to reimagine our future plans. What we discover along the way can free us from the shackles of our familiar surroundings and our former selves. Rethinking liberates us to do more than update our knowledge and opinions—it’s a tool for leading a more fulfilling life." That sounds pretty important to me, so I'll be re-reading rethinking regularly. Get the book for yourself and the other stubborn people you love who think they can pronounce "Worcestershire."-- Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil., Chief Happiness Engineer and author of  The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible , the highest-rated dating book on Amazon, and  Should I Go to Medical School?: An Irreverent Guide to the Pros and Cons of a Career in Medicine

Right up there with Malcolm Gladwell as one of my very favorite non-fiction writers.Learn while enjoying the reading experience.

This book is particularly relevant as many people reassess plans for their professional and personal lives. Well written, clear, and engaging- this book has been a quick and enjoyable read with many practical and actionable observations. I have already purchased extra copies for a few close friends and hope my team selects this for an upcoming book club.

The very premise of the book.....rethinking old patterns and not making assumptions is the very foundation of this book. When he starts off with racism and global warming as absolute truths unworthy of debate you miss the entire point. Experts and Technocrats have value....as long as they understand their limitations.Never confuse knowledge with Wisdom.

Quickly becoming one of the most important thought leaders of our era, Adam grand does it again. Building on his previous work in Give & Take and then Originals, the author challenges readers to reconsider how they approach work, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Unlike many authors in this category who repackage universal truths, Grant reveals fresh and surprising concepts that...well... really get you thinking again. Beautifully-written, funny, and eye-opening, this is one of my favorite books in the last couple years. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to learn, grow, and reinvent, both personally and professionally.

I am a big fan of Adam Grant. I listen to his podcast Work/Life and follow his posts on LinkedIn but had never read any of his books. Earlier this year, he announced the release of Think Again. I was hooked from the second I read the below quote from Daniel Kahneman on the book's website:"Adam Grant believes that keeping an open mind is a teachable skill. And no one could teach this hugely valuable skill better than he does in this wonderful read. The striking insights of this brilliant book are guaranteed to make you rethink your opinions and your most important decisions.”I could not have more conviction that tempering one's convictions and keeping an open, curious mind is crucial to success. Especially when you are trying to innovate. Embracing reality with an open mind, as put in Principles, another great book by Ray Dalio, is a great concept. But it is easier said than done.I picked up Think Again over the weekend and can't put it down. I'm struck by what a fantastic writer Adam Grant is. He seamlessly weaves this broad topic of "open-mindedness" with practical tools for how to, and how not to, put it into practice. He also tells vivid, and sometimes heartbreaking stories that show this value in practice. If you're trying to improve your openness and curiosity and embrace the mentality of a tinkering scientist over a confident prognosticator, this book is fantastic. This is one of the most important, and underrated, leadership skills in the world and I'm so pleased to see a book that helps people understand what it looks like and how to put it into practice!

This has really great advice and I enjoyed the book until I started picking up little messages that I felt we’re trying to sway me to believe a certain way. Some ideals he mentions I do agree with, but it felt like a sneaky way of swaying those who may think otherwise. Specifically on vaccines, abortion, climate change to name a few. You could say, he’s only presenting arguments and showing you how to debate them but something just didn’t feel right about the commentary around these sensitive topics. Therefore, I have to give this book 3 stars.

Wonder why your smart friends think differently than you do? Maybe you should think again. Adam Grant has written a book that may be the best explanation of what's going on in our country today. I'm only a couple of chapters into the book and I'm already thinking it may be the best book I'll read this year.

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know
⭐ 4.6 💛 11445
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paperback: $15.98
hardcover: $12.26
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