“In a turbulent world, success depends not just on cognitive horsepower but also on cognitive flexibility. When leaders lack the wisdom to question their convictions, followers need the courage to persuade them to change their minds.” – Organizational psychologist, Adam Grant, PhD
Great leaders and managers rely on their knowledge, skills, experience, and intuition, and it serves them well. However, they will also be the first to tell you that there have been times when they regret rejecting the opinions and ideas of others in favor of their own, let’s just say, unwise ideas.
When asked what led up to this, some will point to blind spots, or hidden bias. But others confess to simple over confidence: they wouldn’t listen to others and held fast to what they believed to be true.
It’s not uncommon for leaders. After all, their expertise often catapults them to where they are today. But, have you noticed how truly great leaders have the wisdom and courage to question their own convictions?
They do this with three key tactics:
- Accept that everyone has limits, including you.
- Surround yourself with a diversity of experts and empower them to ethically and courageously persuade you.
- Practice flexibility, collaboration, and compromise.
Sounds simple enough, but…why don’t we “just do it?”
A rapidly changing world requires a certain amount of thinking, and rethinking. This requires cognitive flexibility and effective persuasion.
This article and Article Nuggets explore cognitive flexibility and persuasion, and offers tips to effectively persuade the seemingly unpersuadable.
This is a brief synopsis of a 1,100-word article and 3-Article Nuggets*, suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences and perspectives.
The complete article includes these important concepts:
- Why we believe everything we think
- The Power of persuasion
- Persuading the arrogant
- Persuading the narcissist
- Effective persuasion is a process
- Persuading the stubborn
- Persuading the disagreeable
And references to the following sources:
Adam Grant, PhD, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know (Viking, 2021)
Adam Grant, PhD, Harvard Business Review (March-April 2021) “Persuading the Unpersuadable”
Request This Content:
Send us an email and let us know if you’d like to receive this article, Article Nuggets* or Newsletter (as applicable.) It is available in the following formats:
- The Power of Cognitive Flexibility and Persuasion – 1,100-word Article, $57
- The Power of Cognitive Flexibility and Persuasion – 3-Article Nuggets*, $64
*Article Nuggets: The same article broken up into 3-5 blog-style sections suitable for a series of blog posts or shorter newsletter articles.