How to Open Closed Minds


You aren’t open minded if you haven’t recently changed your mind.

Discussing, debating, and exploring are window dressing if you aren’t adapting.

Manipulators pretend to be open-minded
but they’ve already made up their minds.

Decisions lead to closed minds. That’s not all bad. Come to the place where exploring stops, decisions are made, and action begins. But don’t insult everyone by pretending you haven’t made up your mind when you have.

“Those who cannot change their minds
cannot change anything.”  George Bernard Shaw

Opening closed minds is like chipping holes in ice with toothpicks.

  1. Close-minded people believe they’re open-minded. When was the last time you heard someone bragging about their closed mind?
  2. Many leaders are hard-headed and stubborn. It’s called fighting for what you believe in. The success stories we love are filled with close-minded stubbornness. Someone should write a book about hard-headed idiots who end up failing.
  3. Fear locks minds. Fearful leaders dread looking weak, foolish, or unprepared. The result, never change your mind just bully forward.

Your closed mind closes minds around you. But, when you open up they open up.

Developing an open mind:

  1. Embrace and express your closed-mind. Some things aren’t changing. Core values, for example, express nonnegotiables. Nonnegotiable is another way of saying, “My mind is closed.”
  2. Argue for the other side.
  3. An opened mouth often indicates a closed mind, unless it’s opened to ask questions.
  4. Include those you exclude. Are the same people attending the same meetings? Your organization is close-minded and your head is in the sand.
  5. Go with someone else’s plan. Complex problems have more than one solution.
  6. Stop controlling. It feels like sitting down when I let go of control. Interestingly, when I sit, others feel respected, supported, and energized. They stand.

How can leaders open closed minds without becoming wishy-washy?

Check out the great list of leadership O’s on the Leadership Freak Facebook Page. While you’re there, add leadership P’s for tomorrow’s post.

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