It can be tempting to cling to long-held beliefs that may have served us well in the past, but to progress and stay current in a changing world, it’s essential to get out of the echo chamber and seek out new perspectives. Having an open mind can set you on a path to realizing your true purpose.
What does it mean to be open-minded?
Open-minded people are willing to consider new ideas and strive to be unprejudiced. By actively seeking out new experiences and engaging with different viewpoints, they allow their beliefs to expand beyond their own perspectives.
Am I open-minded?
How willing are you to listen to other people’s ideas? Ask yourself, “When was the last time I changed my mind?” and if it’s a rare occurrence for you, it might be time to rethink your assumptions.
Being open to revising your beliefs takes intellectual humility, that is, setting aside your ego to take a more objective view. Shane Snow of the Harvard Business Review puts it this way: “If openness to experience means you’re willing to try pickle-flavored ice cream, intellectual humility means you’re willing to admit you like it, even if you initially thought you wouldn’t.” i
Benefits of keeping an open mind:
- Increased flexibility to adapt, boosting resiliency
- Improved ability to solve problems and conflicts
- Learning from your mistakes becomes easier
- Discovering new ideas that align with your purpose to move your business forward
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Listening while leading
Effective leaders strike a balance between being persuasive enough to get people to do great things yet have the flexibility to empower their team to think differently. It takes effort to separate ego from intellect, embracing humility, but making decisions in isolation can lead to becoming overly focused—unable to discover less obvious solutions. Everyone has blind spots, and that’s okay if you take steps to overcome them:
- Find your advisors: Surround yourself with a diverse group of people who are open to sharing different perspectives.
- Listen: By being curious and actively listening to different views, you’ll discover a wealth of ideas that may not match up neatly with your worldview.
- Look: Seek out opportunities to improve and expand your perspective. With practice, you’ll become more open to new experiences.
- Question your beliefs: You might uncover perspectives that may never have occurred to you otherwise. That’s okay, too!
Reveal your purpose
When partnering with Sandbox to reveal your true purpose and that of your company, taking an open-minded approach will lead you on your authentic path. You’ll be prepared to get to the core of what truly makes you and your business great.
Purpose as a guidepost
Collect ideas like a sponge, then evaluate them based on your guiding purpose. It’s not about believing in every outlandish view you hear but setting aside your own preconceptions and welcoming new possibilities. Assess incoming ideas using purpose as your filter. What aligns and what doesn’t? What ideas can you set aside for later consideration?
The path forward is open
If you take a mindful approach, setting aside your ego and embracing humility will become easier with practice. Become a curious explorer who is receptive to new perspectives and you’ll be well on your way to becoming more open-minded.
Senior Graphic Designer, Sandbox Brand Inspired Marketing
i Harvard Business Review, A New Way to Become More Open-Minded, by Shane Snow