what we're reading now
follow us on facebook
follow us on twitter
subscribe to our blog
find it

What We're Reading Now

Developing Intellectual Humility

23 June 2020

Janie watched Dan Pink’s Pinkcast 3.09: This is how to boost your intellectual humility and it prompted her to look for pleasure in unexpected places.

Tags: dan pink, janie read, janie watched, learning

In one of his recent newsletters Dan Pink shared a Pinkcast about intellectual humility — the willingness to recognize that what you believe might be wrong — and how critical it is to develop this skill. Pink talked about the importance of being able to identify when you might be mistaken and that this is not a weakness but rather an opportunity for growth. He acknowledged that developing this capability can be difficult and shared that the best resource he has found are four questions from The Book of Beautiful Questions: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead by Warren Berger.

His comments really resonated with me, and I’ve found myself thinking about two of the questions several times since I first heard them. The two that have really stuck with me are:

  • Would I rather be right, or would I rather understand?
  • Do I enjoy the pleasant surprise of discovering I am mistaken?

Family members and friends who have known me for a long time might find it interesting to know how much time I have spent reflecting on these questions. In my younger years, I was told many times that I always have to be right, or that I always need to debate or question things. While I like to think I have made great strides in this area as I’ve gotten older, I also recognize that there is definitely room for improvement. Recently I realized that sometimes when I receive feedback about something to improve or change, my immediate reaction is to become defensive and want to explain myself. Watching this Pinkcast helped me recognize that I would rather understand than be “right” and this habit of immediately becoming defensive is not helping me learn or grow.

These questions in tandem have been powerful for me. I tell myself that I am a person who wants to understand things, but I recognize that this can’t actually be true if I’m not ever willing to be wrong. I’m not sure I’ve ever considered being mistaken a pleasant surprise, but Pink helped me see that thinking about things this way can be a great way to see things differently. With all the darkness in the world right now, I’m excited to find an easy way to look for more pleasant surprises.


Our Comment Policy:

Our blog posts are only half of the conversation. What our readers have to say is equally important to us, and we're grateful for all the comments that continue the dialog.

To ensure that the discussion here is as useful as possible to all of our readers, please be respectful of our contributors and refrain from harassing, threatening and/or vulgar language. We reserve the right to screen and remove any comments from the site. If you have a question about a comment or want to discuss our policy, please contact us. We'll talk it over.

There are no comments for this entry yet.


Leave a comment



Notify me of follow-up comments?

Enter the characters you see below:

« Return to What We're Reading Now