It Takes Intellectual Humility to Adapt to Change
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It Takes Intellectual Humility to Adapt to Change

Posted on Jun 21, 2017 by Jim Peake

It Takes Intellectual Humility to Adapt to Change

As is the case with most industries, change is coming fast to the drug rehab space. To be clear, that’s a good thing. It means patients are getting better care, and in some respects makes it easier for people to more quickly find the treatment options most appropriate for their circumstances.

But this doesn’t mean that change is any less wrenching. Like every industry, we have professionals who have enjoyed success by doing things their way, year after year. As these “proven” principles stop working, many professionals express a willingness to change but… they only will change so far or so fast.

Change Your Thoughts and Watch What Happens

This is like putting down 80 percent on a new house, then walking away from the deal because the sellers insist on receiving 100 percent of their purchase price. Going 80 percent of the way is no better than not moving at all.

Science Daily recently reported on research, conducted at Duke University, about the concept of intellectual humility. What exactly is it? And when intellectual humility brings change, do we have the tools to recognize it? Researchers define it as having an awareness that one’s own beliefs may be wrong. Lead author Mark Leary, a professor of psychology and neuroscience, said that intellectually humble people can have strong beliefs but also recognize their fallibility and are willing to be proven wrong on matters large and small.

For example, if the internet has changed the ways that families find the right clinics, then clinics have to change the way they attract the right patients. This is often a process that takes many months or even a few years; it is not something your rehab business can accomplish in a matter of weeks. To be successful in the process, when intellectual humility brings change, you must accept it.

Shift Perspective and See with New Eyes

“If you’re sitting around a table at a meeting and the boss is very low in intellectual humility, he or she isn’t going to listen to other people’s suggestions,” Leary said. “Yet we know that good leadership requires broadness of perspective and taking as many perspectives into account as possible.”

Broadly speaking, this means recognizing that widespread change forces all of us to do things differently. It requires us to learn new skills, test new approaches, and – mostly importantly – open our minds to new possibilities.

This is not something you can do cautiously or in tiny increments. The hardest thing for successful, accomplished people to do is to recognize that they need to adopt new strategies and consult outside experts. Even more importantly, it takes courage to stick with a new program while your old instincts are screaming, “This is not how we do things!”

The Three Stages of Truth

Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher, said, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

The most successful people use intellectual humility to get to stage three before everyone else. Are you ready for some constructive ridiculing? Are you positively eager for success? Contact Jim Peake, founder of, a marketing and advertising provider to the drug rehab and mental health industry.

Get Your Intellectual Humility Started

Trust Your Rehab Brand with an Industry Leader

Jim Peake

Jim is an Internet Oldtimer, literally, and he was making a living online before Yahoo and Google were incorporated and even before Al Gore “invented” the Internet. Jim was the catalyst for putting the internet on the front page of every newspaper around the world in one day when he sold the website design and development to IBM for the Kasparov vs. IBM’s Deep Blue chess tournament in 1996. Jim has been in the direct response and advertising industry (printing) since the early 1980’s. Jim’s primary focus is the healthcare and addiction treatment field where he is a management consultant as well as an analytics and digital marketing consultant. - Learn more about Jim Peake, President

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