“We need to change the way we feel. We need to learn how to feel proud instead of ashamed when we notice we might have been wrong about something.” – Julia Galef
What is the ‘Scout Mindset’ Julia mentions?
A mindset she describes about how we should be problem solving. It's about leadership psychology. Soldiers react passionately with their instincts, and all information passes through their ‘I am right, they are wrong’ filter. It leads to defensive behaviour in the workplace and bias towards what we already know when listening to colleagues. Scouts, alternatively, seek only to understand the battlefield… to know what’s REALLY there, as accurately as possible. They second-guess and are happy to be wrong.
There's a quote that I keep coming back to, by Saint-Exupéry. He's the author of "The Little Prince." He said, "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up your men to collect wood and give orders and distribute the work. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
In other words, I claim, if we really want to improve our judgment as individuals and as societies, what we need most is not more instruction in logic or rhetoric or probability or economics, even though those things are quite valuable. But what we most need to use those principles well is scout mindset. We need to change the way we feel.
We need to learn how to feel proud instead of ashamed when we notice we might have been wrong about something. We need to learn how to feel intrigued instead of defensive when we encounter some information that contradicts our beliefs.
So the question I want to leave you with is: What do you most yearn for? Do you yearn to defend your own beliefs? Or do you yearn to see the world as clearly as you possibly can?
Watch the full TEDx talk here.