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5 things Wharton psychologist Adam Grant wants you to review in 2022

The best minds are those who are willing to rethink their assumptions and change their opinions – those who are willing to admit that they might be wrong. This idea comes from Wharton organizational psychologist and best-selling author Adam Grant, whose latest book, Think about, invites readers to rethink their assumptions about just about everything.

In a series of new year’s tweets, Grant presented a fascinating hierarchy of thought styles that puts those who are willing to change their perspective and continue to learn forever and squarely at the top. He followed that up with a list of 21 previous tweets about things he redesigned in 2021. Most of them can overturn your usual beliefs and practices of how to be a good leader, persuasive speaker, or even a good friend. And these are all good things to think about as we head into the New Year.

You can find the full list here. They are the most useful and the most stimulating for any business owner.

1. Experience

How much value do you place on experience? When you hire someone for a key position, do you look for the person who has had a lot of experience in that job before. After all, if someone has a proven track record, you can be sure that they will be able to do whatever you need to do.

Grant would like you to revisit this belief, because if you look at the data it will tell you that is wrong. He cited a meta-analysis of 81 studies that compared job applicants’ previous experience with their performance once they got a job. Overall, the current results suggest that the types of measures of pre-employment experience that organizations currently use to select candidates for a job are generally poor predictors of future performance and turnover, ”noted wrote the researchers – and they warned employers to stop using these criteria to screen candidates. “unless more positive evidence emerges.”

Instead, Grant advised hiring learners. “It’s how much people can learn to do a job, not how long they’ve already been doing it.”

2. Rest

When do you take the time to rest? In unhealthy cultures, Grant wrote, “people see rest as taking their foot off the gas pedal.” You go as long as you can to do as much as you can and when you are too tired to do more you rest.

Instead, Grant suggested, think of rest as the fuel that keeps the accelerator pedal working. “You take regular breaks to conserve your energy and avoid burnout. In other words, even if you don’t think you’re tired – which most of us don’t recognize anyway – you should take a break now to have more energy later.

There is a growing audience of Inc.com readers who receive a daily text from me with a micro challenge or idea of ​​self-care or motivation. Often they text me back and we end up in a conversation. (Interested in joining us? You can find out more here.) Many of them have told me that a little bit of rest at the right time can overload their energy and productivity.

3. Writing

Why are you writing? Most likely, because you have something to say. Whether it’s a memo to your team, a blog post, an opinion piece, or even a book, the reason you take the time to write something is to be able to share your ideas, knowledge, experiences and learnings with others.

It’s a great reason to write, but Grant wants you to consider another: it’s a great way to reflect and understand your own thoughts and ideas. “Writing reveals gaps in your knowledge and logic. It prompts you to formulate hypotheses and consider counter-arguments,” he noted. “One of the best avenues for clearer thinking is frequent writing.”

4. Open the minds of others

How do you get others to rethink their own assumptions? You know they are wrong, but how do you make them understand that they are wrong?

This is where many of us bring the data – we show the other person the facts and figures that we have collected. We share anecdotes and personal experiences that reinforce our points. Or we use the strength of our arguments to try to persuade them.

Grant wants you to put these tactics aside because they aren’t very effective. Instead, in a New York Times test From his book, Grant described his own efforts to change the mind of a friend who refused vaccines. After doing some research, he decided to try motivational interviewing on his friend. It’s an approach in which you ask someone open-ended questions, almost like interviewing them, about their beliefs and opinions. Rather than presenting the science to his friend, Grant asked his friend for his take on how to deal with the pandemic. In the end, the two opened their minds, at least a little. The friend admitted that vaccines could make sense in certain circumstances. And Grant changed his mind about the value of convincing others of his opinions.

5. Disagreement

“The clearest sign of intellectual chemistry isn’t agreeing with someone. It’s appreciating your disagreements with them,” Grant tweeted.

So rather than spending your time with people who share your point of view and vision, as satisfying as that may be, can you hang out with those who don’t agree with you, but whom you still respect? the mind ? When you find someone who doesn’t share your beliefs, but you enjoy discussing your ideas with them and listening to what they have to say, they are someone you should try to keep in your inner circle. They will keep your thinking sharp and maybe broaden it as well. Maybe they’ll even help you rethink yours.

The opinions expressed here by the columnists of Inc.com are theirs and not those of Inc.com.

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