Renowned organization psychologist Adam Grant and Carey Nieuwhof have a pivotal (and surprising) conversation about what’s wrong with preaching today, how to reinvent it and how to rethink apologetics for the 21st century in a way that connects with people who don’t go to church.
Adam also discusses the ideas behind his new book, Think Again, including why conspiracy theories are so popular and how to get out of your echo chamber.
Welcome to Episode 405 of the podcast. Listen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.
Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey shares five shifts he thinks every leader needs to make when it comes to evangelism.
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Insights From Adam
1. Your personal character and professional competency are linked together
So many young professionals in Adam’s university classes say things like, “I’m going to go out and do whatever it takes to make a bunch of money, and then I’ll be generous once I’m rich.” Adam strongly disagrees with this belief.
Data is beginning to show that your character has a direct impact on how effective you are at work. If you have a terrible home life, you are more than likely going to have a rough work life, as well.
2. People are much more excited to learn with you than they are to learn from you
For too long, churches and religions in the West have had the reputation of beating people over the head with a specific set of beliefs that “you just need to believe or else.” But in his research, Adam has found that the best way to lead people into a certain set of beliefs is to ask them questions and actually listen thoughtfully to their answers.
Based on their conversation, Carey and Adam conclude that if you want to reach people in today’s world, you need to take their objections to Christianity very seriously and thoughtfully respond to them. You need to learn with them, rather than forcing them to learn from you.
3. Most of us should “think again” about our deeply-held positions more often
As more algorithms fight for our attention online, people will continue to be sucked deeper into their own echo chambers of belief. As a researcher (and a human), Adam is very concerned about this trend.
In his new book, Think Again, he encourages everyone to actively listen to people who think differently than us and confront their objections to our ideas and beliefs often. When you do this, even if you don’t change your mind, you are actively learning about the world around you.
Quotes from Episode 405People are much more excited to learn with you than they are to learn from you. @AdamMGrant Click To Tweet Learning is not about the knowledge I accumulate in my head, as much as it is the skills that I gain for how to learn. @AdamMGrant Click To Tweet So many people think that knowledge is a weapon to wield when, in fact, it's a resource to share. @AdamMGrant Click To Tweet You can't claim that people are the most important resource in your company, because people are your company. @AdamMGrant Click To Tweet We should be quicker to rethink our beliefs than our values. @AdamMGrant Click To Tweet If you want to change what someone believes, you almost always have to start with understanding what they want to believe. @AdamMGrant Click To Tweet The truth has a way of standing up to scrutiny. Click To Tweet Leaders who started their careers during a recession actually pay their employees more generously, and they're less likely to cheat. @AdamMGrant Click To Tweet You don't get to say, 'I have integrity at work, but I'm a terrible person at home.' @AdamMGrant Click To Tweet There was a study that came out recently showing that men who cheat on their wives are also more likely to cheat on their taxes. @AdamMGrant Click To Tweet If you want to repel anyone under 40, lead with arrogance, lead with smugness and lead with superiority. Click To Tweet Certainty and self-righteousness are often frequent companions. Click To Tweet Being open is more effective than being certain. Click To Tweet Embracing the question is as important as giving an answer. Click To Tweet Arrogance is only attractive to the arrogant. Click To Tweet
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Next Episode: Steve Cuss
Steve Cuss returns to the podcast to discuss how to manage leadership anxiety. Steve talks about how anxiety spreads in a group, how to diffuse it, managing your personal stress during a prolonged crisis, and how to handle angry and critical voices so they don’t add to your long term anxiety.
Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 406.