When was the last time that you stopped what you were doing and thought I will rethink that task. We get locked into behavioural patterns which are driven by our values and beliefs.
Adam Grant the author of Think again, says we create an overconfident cycle:-
- We form an opinion that feels right
- Seek information to support that opinion
- Feel validated
- Proudly express our opinions
The cycles strengthens every time we preach, prosecute or politick. What do each of these three modes look like?
Preaching – you have a belief and the more you preach the more you are 100% certain, you ignore data to the contrary as it does not support the belief you are holding onto. Examples: belief in a political party, an investment, a way of working, new software etc…
Prosecuting – we prosecute an individual’s idea we dismiss their views on other areas as we do not hold their initial belief. Examples: political views, charities they support, way of working etc…
Politicking – we adopt others view points as we want to be liked and accepted by them. Examples: political parties adopt policies that will attract supporters, you may support your Managers opinion in order to get promotion etc…
If you imagine all of these three areas compound our overconfident cycle and we become blinkered to rethinking.
Adam Grant asked the scientist Daniel Kahneman what he does when he finds flaws in his research. Kahneman’s reply was “Its wonderful, I get a chance to be less wrong”. We all need to “Think like a Scientist”. The whole makeup of a Scientist is that they see ideas and beliefs as hunches that need to be tested.
We can start by thinking like a Scientist by using The Rethinking cycle:-
- Doubt (acknowledge it)
- Curiosity (of other ideas, opinions, beliefs)
- Discovery (explore options)
- Confident humility (admit your way was not necessarily the best)
One way to begin this new mode of thinking is to write down two headings:-
- Things I don’t know
- Things I have learnt recently
Humility has always needed to be a leadership characteristic, however the ability to rethink and have a confident humility is something we can all look at now in a very uncertain world.
Make this blog practical by challenging your own beliefs this week, if you have a doubt about a meeting being at 9.00am rethink it. The project is not going to run on the software selected by yourself, put your hand up and express doubt. The new hire you have made might not be the right for the culture, be open with your team, have confident humility.
Please do get in touch for a workshop around rethinking firstname.lastname@example.org
Book a place on Developing YOU – Thursday 29th April 2021 @ 10.00am – 90 minute workshop £40 per delegate