What does it mean to get better at thinking together?

Most of us would likely agree that it is pretty easy to think with people who hold about the same set of thoughts we hold. Yet, truly thinking with others means thinking with those who might look at things very differently from you.

When you effectively engage with others who think differently than you, you can learn a lot. To do this – to engage – means you will listen and probe with the intent of increasing your understanding of beliefs or points of view differently from your own.

When you engage with this kind of sincerity, it is wise to be ready to potentially experience a sense of disequilibrium.

Disequilibrium is a potentially productive platform for learning.  Obviously, not the kind of imbalance that is shattering.  More, the kind of creative disequilibrium that pushes us to ponder our own current thinking and consider changes in our thinking.  From this kind of experience – new thinking may develop.

And, if the person who shared their thinking with you is willing to listen to and probe your thinking – and go through the same reflective process – then each of you may benefit from new emergent thinking.

As you face the challenges of today and the future – intentionally thinking with others who think differently from you is a good thing.


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