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  • Writer's pictureJeff Tu

📚 Book Summary: Seeing What Others Don’t

Updated: Mar 17, 2022


[Excerpt from Goodreads]

"Insights -- like Watson and Crick's breakthrough discoveries about the structure of DNA -- can change the world. We also need insights into the everyday things that frustrate and confuse us to more effectively solve problems and get things done. Yet we know very little about when, why, or how insights are formed -- or what blocks them. In Seeing What Others Don't, renowned cognitive psychologist Gary Klein unravels the mystery."

My Takeaways:

  1. In this book, the word "Insight" wasn't defined as just a snippet of ideas, but a change of the story we are getting, living, and telling ourselves and others.

  2. In an error-avoiding society fueled with perfectionism and shame, humans had created systems and values to reward error reduction. Still, they sacrificed the chances to gain insights, which is crucial to innovate.

  3. There 3 main paths that lead to insights:

  4. Contradiction - Being open to embracing beliefs and ideas that are different from your existing ones.

  5. Connection - Linking different ideas to uncover new ones.

  6. Creative Desperation - The need for solutions and breakthroughs in the environment and situation cultivate a new way of thinking and doing.

  7. Attitudes that blocks insights:

  8. Disrespect and presumptions towards the people who bring out new insights. It will shut down your curiosity to ask more questions. Those new ideas might be seeds of transformation when we dig deeper.

  9. Lack of a playful mind. A rigid mindset sticks with the old, "already working," and an accustomed way to see and do things, whereas a playful mind tends to experiment without having an overly high stake.

  10. Passivity. Acting on an idea, including asking more questions, doing more profound research, and experimenting with it clarifies, solidifies, and purifies the findings.

  11. To gain insights from others or help others to embrace insights

  12. Be empathetic. Lecturing often doesn't work. Try to understand pain points and blind spots.

  13. Be curious. Ask open-ended and guiding questions to unlock minds. The key is discoveries, not proving who is right.

  14. A few things to probe the person to unpack the insights for them (when they got stuck) or from them (when they know something we don't):

  15. Knowledge - What do they know?

  16. Beliefs and Experiences - Something more subconscious and imprinted in their habits is usually beyond what they know.

  17. Motivation and Competing Priority - Maybe their companies' incentives encourage them to remain the same instead of change.

  18. Constraints - What has been limiting them?

Finding insights is the beginning of growth. Unlearn and relearn is the way forward. This book provides insights to help us gain insights to keep growing more effectively.

Author: Gary A. Klein

Buy the Book (Affiliated Link)

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