From Angie McArthur and Dr. Dawna Markova at Change This: The most significant gift our species brings to the world is our capacity to think. The most significant danger our species brings to the world is our inability to think with those who think differently. It is clear that to stay competitive in our global economy, we must learn how to think collaboratively and innovatively. But if you have ever sat through a mind-numbing meeting or tried to influence a colleague’s view on a project or had a recurring argument with a family member or struggled to participate in a community project, you have recognized that most of us actually don’t know how to think well together.
We take for granted that intelligence occurs within our own minds. We don’t realize that it also occurs between us. What keeps us from tapping into that intelligence and communicating effectively is that most of us don’t know how to think with people who think differently than we do. We habitually misread people and therefore miscommunicate with them.