By: Lior Zoref
Author Lior Zoref has written a book about Mindsharing.
Is this a book about mind melding? No.
Is it about allowing a group consensus or “conscious” make a decision? No.
What in the world is Mindsharing?
Glad you asked.
Mindsharing is simply seeking input from groups (usually your own professional or personal networks) to help inform decisions you make. Have you ever seen a Facebook post from someone asking for advice about buying a new car or computer? This is a simple example of asking the crowd to give you input before taking action on your own.
However, Mindsharing is different than asking a person for advice. When you seek advice from someone, you are usually very discriminate about the source. You trust the person you are asking advice from, and you expect that the person is a reputable source. Mindsharing is more inclusive—ask everyone what they think, and analyze the feedback you receive. You typically disregard the outlier responses, and give consideration to the answers that are repeated. This does not mean you act on the most popular response. You make the decision, but you listen to common responses from the group first.
Zoref shares stories about people who have trusted the crowd to provide input and have had great results. He shares about a mother was concerned about symptoms her child presented that doctors could not diagnose, but after one of her Facebook friends recognized the symptoms the child was accurately diagnosed. A woman made a Facebook post about wanting to meet men to date, and the post had over 8,000 shares; another man set up a blog to help him look for the love of his life. Zoref even tells the story about how he chose a new career based on feedback he received from his friends when he asked them what he should do next.
You may be wondering: Is Mindsharing a form of groupthink? Not at all. In fact, Zoref says that it is the exact opposite. “Leveraging crowd wisdom through Mindsharing doesn’t mean following the herd. … The crowd isn’t making the decision, we are. But through the process of Mindsharing we gain access to information, insights, and knowledge that will improve our thinking and lives dramatically.” Later he states “Mindsharing allows you to go to a big crowd and ask them to think with you. It bears repeating that Mindsharing is not about going to crowd and asking them to think for you.”
Mindsharing is actually a form of crowdsourcing—using large groups of people to gather ideas, complete projects, or render services. Crowdsourcing is very popular online. Some examples are review sites such as Yelp!; fundraising sites such as Kickstater or Indiegogo; and the example most familiar to many of us, Wikipedia. Large groups of people make small individual contributions which other people use in the conglomerate.
By harnessing the capability of groups, Mindsharing helps individuals make informed decisions. We have all felt ‘stuck’ when trying to making a decision—none of us individually has as much insight as a group of people. When we carefully apply the wisdom of others, we are capable of doing more and making better decisions. Zoref tells us:
“Having access to collective intelligence is a very powerful asset. Just as the president always has his expert team of advisors by his side, you too can have wise advisers within reach whenever you are faced with a problem or dilemma that is beyond your own knowledge or expertise.”
The applications of Mindsharing are endless. Consider the insight you can gain from your existing networks, whether you are considering a new career, trying to meet you future spouse, making a major purchasing decision, or simply want to try a new restaurant. Our networks have valuable insight we can tap into when we ask, but their wisdom won’t be shared until we ask.
Thank you to the author for a copy of this book for review.