The danger of arguing with someone of higher intelligence

… and of course the danger is even greater if that person can fire you. Edward de Bono has pointed out why someone with higher intelligence may be trapped by that very same intelligence.  He dubbed it the intelligence trap.
Unfortunately, many people with a high intelligence actually turn out to be poor thinkers. They get caught in the ‘intelligence trap’, of which there are many aspects. For example, a highly intelligent person may take up a view on a subject and then defend that view (through choice of premises and perception) very ably. The better someone is able to defend a view, the less inclined is that person actually to explore the subject. So the highly intelligent person can get trapped by intelligence, together with our usual sense of logic that you cannot be more right than right, into one point of view. The less intelligent person is less sure of his or her rightness and therefore more free to explore the subject and other points of view.
If you must work with such a leader, what should you best do.  In my business career, I have been faced with that choice twice on major issues and each time I got fired.  It happens often.  People feel they must stay on the boss’s bandwagon.  Why rock the boat? Now in a must-see TED video, Margaret Heffernan says that despite these consequences we must Dare to disagree.
Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counter intuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree. The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead managers and organizations astray.
I strongly encourage you to spend the thirteen minutes which it takes to watch this video.  You will not regret it.
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