How do you know that you’re right? Modern business, politics, and even culture, tend to favor strident opinions and decisive action. To “flip flop” may then be construed as ineptitude, or even weakness. So it behooves us to “stick to our guns, “stay the course,” and adhere to other well-trodden idioms of the English language. Of course that approach may be limiting. And what if you are actually wrong? How will you know? What means testing can be involved in your thinking when to waver or even change your mind might undermine what you are ultimately trying to accomplish? Ray Dalio, an American investor, billionaire and the founder of the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, has spent a lot of time thinking about this quandary. Countering its pitfalls is something he actively encourages, not only in business, but also in his personal life. In this wide ranging interview, Dalio sat down for a conversation with Intelligence Squared host John Donvan to examine what it means to being open to changing your mind, precisely how to do it, and what’s at stake if you don’t.
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