"Granted" Newsletter, May 2018 by Adam Grant


In this month's "Granted" newsletter, Adam Grant brings us articles about: the top traits of the best problem solving teams, how to pick the career you are best fit for, the importance of curiosity, and personality quizzes that are actually based in science. Click on each article title to read more. You can subscribe to the "Granted" newsletter here.

Granted: May 2018

The next time someone criticizes you and says, “Feedback is a gift,” resist the temptation to ask where the returns and exchanges department is. And now, some articles worth keeping:

1. The Two Traits of the Best Problem-Solving Teams

You want teams that are cognitively diverse and psychologically safe. A variety of thinking styles—coupled with the freedom to take risks without being punished—enables groups to generate, test, and implement creative ideas.

2. How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You) The drop from naive overconfidence to realistic humility rarely feels good, but it’s a necessary step toward wisdom.

3. Is Curiosity As Good at Predicting Children's Reading, Math Success as Self-Control? Study Says Yes The joy of discovery matters as much as self-control, and matters even more for low-income children. We need to encourage kids to ask novel questions, not just give familiar answers. 4. Most Personality Quizzes Are Junk Science. I Found One That Isn't

"The MBTI is astrology for nerds." Say it with me again: personality types are a myth, traits are on a continuum, and the major dimensions include extravert-introvert, agreeable-disagreeable, reactive-stable, open-traditional, conscientious-spontaneous. (And there’s growing momentum for a sixth: honesty/humility.)

But this article on what your MBTI type says about your willingness to take the MBTI is absolutely hilarious…

  • INTJ: instead of taking the MBTI, you write a long post on why you refuse to take it.

  • ENFP: you set up a GoFundMe campaign so Honduran schoolchildren you’ve never met can experience the joy of discovering their Myers-Briggs types.

  • INTP: you take the Hogwarts Sorting Hat Test and the BuzzFeed quiz “What kind of potato are you?” then analyze the patterns in Excel.

From My Desk:

5. The Little Psychological Tricks That Will Make Your Marriage HappierIf you know someone who's always late, stop trying to convince them to show up on time. Instead, follow my wife Allison’s lead and ask: "Will you be late today?" Intention questions set the stage for people to persuade themselves. Which is why I'm now on time at least once a week.

6. My Debate With Malcolm Gladwell

My first question: what occupation has the most insight into human behavior? He makes the case for teachers and principals, but I stand by comedians: I've learned as much about psychology from watching Seinfeld and The Office as from 15 years in the classroom. We spar on what makes ideas interesting, how to avoid undesirable tasks, and why he insists on rooting against the underdog.

Cheers, Adam

Adam Grant, Ph.D.

Author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE, coauthor of OPTION B, and Wharton professor.

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