By Sister Kati Hamm
Sometimes when I am deciding which book to read next I go to the back cover blurb. If I find a recommendation from someone I admire, that influences my pick. Think Again was recommended to me by a friend AND in addition, by the very engaging author, research professor and TED Talk presenter Brene Brown. She describes Think Again “ as the right book for right now”. She adds, “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 never felt so hopeful about what I don’t know.” Those words were enough for me. This book addresses the topic of looking more closely into the beliefs we hold and where they come from. It is divided into three parts, looking at individual, interpersonal and collective rethinking.
Each part of the book is engaging and will have you reviewing your own style in past conversations. Sometimes we will laugh at ourselves and sometimes accept that humility is a basic building block for improved outcomes. The third part of the book is called Collective Rethinking. Here is where the strategies offered can have an impact on a family, culture, an institution or any place where people agree they want to move toward truth and pursuit of happiness together. One basic strategy identified here is to have more nuanced conversations. This can be challenging if one is most used to binary options, either/or choices. The suggestions given in the book are to expand one’s own emotional range, complexify issues to include shades of gray and recognize other circumstances that could shed a different light on an issue.
I recommend this book because it helps us look more carefully at what kind of conversations divide us and what kind of conversations could make us one. It is an interesting, practical, sometimes humorous and hopeful read.