Adam Grant on his new book Think Again

Virgin Radio

23 Feb 2021, 11:11

The psychologist and author extraordinare joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about opening up the most narrow of minds and the power of re-thinking for the better.

He told Chris why he to write his new book: “I kept running into people who refuse to change their minds and I was hoping I could read a book about how to get better at opening the minds of close minded people.

“I kept waiting and waiting and no one wrote it and finally I decided it was time for me to do it.”

On re-writing the book, he said: “I got a bunch of feedback that first of all we are going through a global pandemic that's forced us to rethink so many assumptions we did not want a question like, “Can I eat indoors in a restaurant safely?’ and, ‘Can I hug my loved ones who aren't in my bubble?’

"‘Could I possibly get anything done working from home when I have three kids in online school?’ and I realised I needed to take that into account which was a lot of rethinking and rewriting but that's the point of the book.”

Explaining the thinking behind the three Ps, he said: “My colleague wrote this brilliant paper about how we spend way too much of our time thinking like preachers, prosecutors and politicians.

"In preacher mode we are basically trying to proselytise our sacred beliefs, in prosecutor mode we're trying to win an argument and in politician mode we're trying to appeal to our tribe by campaigning and lobbying for their approval.

“I worry a lot when we’re in preacher and prosecutor mode we're not willing to think again, because I'm right and you're wrong which means you need to change your mind, but I get to stick to my convictions. 

“In politician mode we're a little bit more flexible because I might tell you what I think you want to hear but that doesn't mean I'm changing what I believe deep down."

So where do we start? “The first thing I would say is we should all be a little bit more open to changing our minds and I think one of the things that stops us from doing that is we get too attached to our opinions and they start to become who we are…

“You don't have to rethink every decision you make or any every opinion you form 19 times. All you need is one or two more moments of rethinking than you might do by instinct.”

Think Again is out now