You are partly wrong. You are partly right. Context influences your perspective and that of others. By listening to many points of view, you stand to gain a deeper understanding.

Humans have a tendency to pay attention to ideas that support what they already believe. It’s called the confirmation bias.

Charlie Munger, says that he “never takes a stance on anything unless he can argue the other side better than the other person.” That means he’s looked at the issue from a variety of different perspectives and understands it well.

Have you been in a situation where you argued about something you believed in, but the opposing point of view, was a complete unknown to you? This lack of acceptance that other perspectives exist, keeps you from seeing other explanations and possibilities. It also prevents you from learning.

After developing his theory of evolution, Charles Darwin shared it only with a few close friends; he was afraid of how it would be received.* During this time, he thought about all the things that would be questioned and challenged in his work. Darwin searched for disconfirming evidence and then prepared responses and explanations for each one. It took Darwin over twenty years to finally release his theory to the public and by that time he was prepared for the criticism he’d receive.

People who work in sales have scripts with responses to people’s objections. This increases their chances of closing a sale. A good salesperson will be able to continue a conversation with a customer, despite all their objections, and eventually convince them to buy. They do this by preparing responses beforehand to all the possible objections. To understand what those objections are, you must consider other perspectives, especially those that disagree with yours.

Paul Arden puts this in an interesting way in, It’s right to be wrong,

“Start being wrong and suddenly anything is possible.

You’re no longer trying to be infallible.

You’re in the unknown. There’s no way of knowing what can happen, but there’s more chance of it being amazing than if you try to be right.

Of course, being wrong is a risk…

Risks are a measure of people. People who won’t take them are trying to preserve what they have. People who do take them often end up by having more.

Some risks have a future and some people call them wrong. But being right may be like walking backwards proving where you’ve been.” *

Things to try:

  • Argue the other person’s point of view. Try this when you’re in a conflict.
  • Come up with different perspectives, research evidence for them, and be able to argue them.
  • Always consider the opposing viewpoint and study it. What can you learn from it? Does it help prove or disprove your beliefs? What did you learn that you didn’t know before?
  • Consider all the possible objections and then come up with responses for them.
  • Learn from your enemies. Get their opinion. You may learn something about them, or yourself that you didn’t know.
  • Question everything you believe. Ask yourself why you believe that and what evidence you have. Is it true?
  • Understand what people think and why they think that.
  • Be curious and willing to challenge yourself. Be flexible in your thinking.

 

  • Try using Byron Katie´s questions: *

1- Is it true?

2- Can you know that it is absolutely true?

3- How do you react when you think this way?

4- What would life be like, if you didn’t have this thought?

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