In this episode we discuss the relationship between bad ideas and creative genius, the three biggest lessons from studying the most successful hedge fund on earth, why a complete stranger may often be a better judge of your abilities than you are, the key things that stand in the way of developing more self awareness and how you can fix them, why it’s so important to invest in the ability to make better decisions, and much more with our guest Dr. Adam Grant.
Dr. Adam Grant has been Wharton’s top-rated professor for six straight years and has been named a Fortune’s 40 under 40, as well as one of the world’s 10 most influential management speakers. He is the multi bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals and Option B which have been translated into over 35 languages. His work has been featured on Oprah, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and he is the host of the new TED Podcast, WorkLife...
You don’t know yourself as well as you think you do
There are two things that stand in the way of self awareness
We have blindspots that other can see, that we can’t
Biases - the things we don’t want to see
We are better judges of our internal state, but much worse at judging our external behaviors than our friends and colleagues
We are motivated to have a positive image of ourself
A complete stranger is a better judge of your assertiveness, creativity, and intelligence after 8 minutes than you are of yourself (after your entire life!)
We all want to think of ourselves as being smart and creative
“Male pattern blindness”
Any time a trait is easy for others to see and hard for us to see - we are bad at judging it
Human blindspots are predictable and most people have the same kinds of blindspots
At Bridgewater they tape video + audio of every single meeting
Bridgewater was a fascinating place to study deep self awareness
No one has the right to hold a critical view without speaking up about it
Peer support in the workplace is vital
When we get criticized, we make the mistake of going to people to support and cheer us up - we need a “challenge network” to challenge our assumptions, push us, and see through our BS
When things are going poorly, people usually ignore the naysayers and dissenters, but the more you do that the worse things typically get - you should be doing the opposite
How do we avoid shooting the messenger when we receive negative feedback?
Any time you are about to receive negative feedback, get some praise / positive feedback in a positive domain to buffer your negative emotional response first
Why “feedback sandwiches” (praise, criticism, praise) doesn’t work as well as people think they do
If you’re praising, praise in a separate realm
“Democracy is a dumb idea for running a company” - some people’s decisions are objectively better than other people’s
The power of domain specific believability scores and how that’s shaped Bridgewater’s results in a positive way
Not all feedback is equal
Go around and look at your feedback sources and ask yourself two questions
What’s their track record in the skill you’re asking for feedback on?
How well do they know YOU?
The three biggest lessons Adam learned from studying Bridgewater
Turn the idea of Devil’s advocate upside down
Someone arguing for a minority view often turns the group against that view
Don’t assign a devil’s advocate, unearth a genuine devil’s advocate - it helps groups make better decisions