Disruptive Thinking and Donald Trump

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-7-02-17-pmI was asked yesterday if I have written anything on disruptive thinking. My initial response was that my blog contains many articles about Disruption including Our Relationship with Disruption, then I asked myself “What is disruptive thinking and what value does it have?” Well, the simple answer is: disruptive thinking has little or no value, if it does not result in questions, and even more so, questions that will disrupt the status quo and conventional wisdom (whatever that may be).

Once your thinking has disrupted you, then you need to ask yourself why you think like you do. If, however, you are unsure, then you should start a dialogue with others. If this dialogue is to be effective then we need to release the idea that we must share our ideas. We should rather allow our question to disrupt the people we are in dialogue with, so as to speed our learning by listening to the thoughts of others. The more direct, open and honest we can be with asking our questions, the better the reactions of others will be. All we need to do is listen, observe, and learn to ask more questions, without necessarily adding our opinion or response until we are sure that the ideas and thoughts of the other person have been exhausted.

You may want to ask the following question …

Why did Donald Trump become President of the United States?

Be careful here –  don’t ask questions like journalists, who tend to want to confirm the ideas that they already have. This type of questioning is what we have been taught by the propaganda machine of mass media. Rather listen and learn, ask good questions. Try to understand what the person is trying to tell you, rather than what you are needing to know. After all, if you ask questions about what you need to know means you probably know it already; the only people who ask questions that they already know the answer to are lawyers. The reason they ask those type of questions is that they are trying to evoke an emotional response from you, and are checking if you are consistent in your answers. When we are trying to understand something, we will often speak around in circles, and we usually come out with a definition we are happy with if we are given enough time. This is how we as humans often discover new ideas, and this can be called disruptive thinking, but this can only happen if we allow ourselves to think.

Allow people to share why they think Donald Trump became the president. Take no notice of those who have been swayed by the media into thinking Donald Trump may not be the right candidate. The real question that needs to be asked is Why did Donald Trump become President of the United States? The answer you are looking for is the actual reason why the person you are questioning thinks Donald Trump became president.

I need to remind you of my saying: Don’t look for the ideas that will confirm your thinking, rather look for the ideas and the trends that will disrupt your thoughts. Never has this been so true, and the opportunity to learn is now bigger than ever.

When we can hear the answers that other people are giving us and when we can truly allow their answers to disrupt our thinking – disregarding what is useless, and keeping what is valuable to our own thinking – this is when we can honestly say that we have Disruptive Thinking.

Image : AFP / http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

About RichSimmondsZA

Retired but still Disruptive
This entry was posted in LEADERSHIP, Social Communication and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Disruptive Thinking and Donald Trump

  1. Rich

    An interesting article. Your point about ‘not situating the estimate’ is critical to learning root answers to disruptive questions. My experience tells me that many people ask emotional questions and don’ t really want to hear a counter answer to their view. It is tough to debate with these people because their mind is closed. Not sure on the solution to address this challenge, but generally it must come from within the person who is actually seeking knowledge. Thanks for making me think today.



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