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.
- Close-minded people believe they’re open-minded. When was the last time you heard someone bragging about their closed mind?
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.”
- Argue for the other side.
- An opened mouth often indicates a closed mind, unless it’s opened to ask questions.
- Include those you exclude. Are the same people attending the same meetings? Your organization is close-minded and your head is in the sand.
- Go with someone else’s plan. Complex problems have more than one solution.
- 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.
I believe close minded people are more past focused people. They rely mostly on their past success and this make them to believe that same mindset can ensure future success. And eventually it becomes their way of thinking. They continue believing so unless they get bigger setbacks. Traditional traits without measuring on current situation becomes obsolete many times. So, good leaders despite having traditional approach of leadership, keep questioning and evaluating their style and it makes them successful.
I also believe that leaders can open closed minds by directing motivation to will power. The people who are close minded are usually motivated by what they believe in which is based on past success. Now, leaders need to infuse dose of will power which is future focused and positive in nature. It is a challenging task and it requires steps: familiarizing, knowing and discussing. Leaders need to be familiar with the close minded. Then they should try to know Who” close minded people” are from within. And then they should start discussing various things focusing on pros and cons of what they have believed and what they continue to believe. This process may take time, but surely has merit to promise success.
That opening line is powerful… closed minded is past focuses. Wow! It makes me realize the danger of living in the past. Thanks for sharing your insights and kicking me in the pants.
Liked your thoughts on close-minded leaders. They are usually egoistic, power-centric and ‘I know everything’ attitude. They would not allow anyone to question them. I strongly feel, their thoughts are more influenced by the blind faith of top brass in them and the operation freedom that they enjoy that they just undermine everyone under them.
They learn their life’s lessons with set backs only. At times, it’s too late for top brass to realize the damages done by such close-minded leaders! It will be quite unfortunate outcome what everyone will regret in the end.
Dear Dr. Mrunal,
I appreciate your comment and concern. Top brass generally do not realize such behavior and symptoms. The reason is simple. They perceive such behavior in their favor. And that is why they do not even think for adverse outcome. Closed minded people surround top brass and become shield for others to approach top brass. Alternatively, they make a coteries which is very difficult to either penetrate or challenge for others. What happens at the last is the un-managed situation. That time top brass do not have any other options rather than kicking out such people. By the time, enough damage has been done. Interestingly, such trend is very common.
Of course this is true for any strength that is overused in our lives. That’s the nature of growth, isn’t it? Unlearning what we have learned, then reapplying situation appropriate behavior to get the “better” result. THX
Top O the day Dan.
My job, get my own house in order.
Your job, none of my business.
I am called to share my experience, strength and hope, if that means sumptin to them fine, if not fine.
Guess what, if you got to ask yourself if u have an open mind you already answered ur own question.
Here is a question if u think u got an open mind….u watched Bob Chapmans Defining Moments video free on youtube?
Why, it is free and u have not seen it before so why not?
What if ya did and u learned sumptin ya didn’t know before?
What if ya coulda if ya woulda and ya didn’t????? Talk is so cheap really, wouldn’t u agree?
No you didn’t!!!!! Lol
Hope u do
Hope the world is changed one inspired mind at a time. Doing my part, u?
Own your own life…. makes life simpler! I find I get all stressed out when I try to control others. Thanks for the challenge.
Watched Stanley Mchystal on a youtube talk just now!
That is a Leader!!!!
Also watched Bob Davids this morning TedTalk. 12 minutes! Leadership without ego! Great stuff!
Control is a lame attempt to manage.
We need Leaders in my opinion, not managers.
Folks follow Leaders with an inspired vision and want to go there with them.
You push a chain, see where it goes…….hint nowhere!!!
Pull the chain and it follows you!
Suggest stop pushing, start pulling. Bob Davids suggestion but what does he know? Started out with a couple of dudes in china and built a plant with 8000 folks in it!
Think he might have a clue about Leadership? I do cause I watched his video. How would I know if I am not open to watch?
How do you get someone to look at their own life instead of picking apart everyone else’s? I feel I (wife) am very opened minded. My husband – Not so much – argues, brings up the past, talks about everyone else’s problems, but doesn’t see his own same problems right under his nose? I don’t know what to say to him to make him aware.
but, but, but I have had these ideas, they have worked before and I don’t want to change them because they still work! OOOPS #27 again. Every single letter has been the opposite of what I’ve expected. How do you do that? Even on days, i’m sure you will do the opposite, you don’t, haha. I keep trying to not learn this leadership thing and you come through with your thoughts sitting down and respecting others?
Hey Butchering….just so you know, I have tried to avoid using the words that were suggested on the facebook page. However, today’s word – open – was definitely there. Thanks for joining in. Cheers
I find that the way I can keep an open mind is by approaching others with the understanding that most people are doing what they think is right. Most people (sane people, anyway) want to do good. By understanding this I approach people differently and I am more receptive. Give people a chance, they might surprise you!
On being wishy-washy. I think that once a direction is decided upon (no matter who’s idea) you commit to the decision and charge ahead. You don’t seem wishy-washy once a decision is made. You seem wishy-washy if you keep changing your mind and never take action.
Some great stuffs. Never understood it that manner. …would like to read more. Thanks!
Excellent view on leadership! A true leader empowers those who are following. “Going with someone else’s plan” and sitting down to let others have the wheel does just that. Thank you for posting.
Hey Garry, think it Could be a Leader is empowered and people follow them.
Empowered how? Knowing exactly who and what they are and where they are going. Being a directed specific not a wandering generality.
Then actions precisely follow their words. That authenticity inspire folks.
People see they are Authentic, say what they are gonna do and actually Do just that.
Lots of talkers, few Doers.
Which are you?
People will listen to talkers for entertainment but Follow Doers.
Just my opinion based on my experience. Anything else comes out of my mouth is just potentially entertaining temporary opinion. What good is that really? I mean anyone can do that.
This falls in place if we believe that others bring value to the table, that they have ideas worth considering.
Value people enough to let them speak, respect them enough to listen.
Open mind /broad mind..I find them receptive and conclusive for finding out through actions..whether the new theory can work as well as was perceived.
Closed mind/ biased opinions ..based on past ignoring the development in technologies and adaptive ways people have realized as an option to be.
BIG QUESTION ? What am I ?
I am open minded while finding solutions for new and old problems.
I am close mind, with my religious beliefs.
I have two minds 😉
This post made me think about perspective. We need to be mindful (respectful) of other peoples perspectives. When we give someone else’s perspective room in our own mind, we can be open minded.
Thank you, Dan! Many roads lead to an acceptable destination. It is ok not to be the driver and let someone else select the route. I believe closed minds are a result of insecurity. If it is not my way, it means that I am expendable. That is hard to accept.
Average leaders become great when they ditch the pride. Great leaders free the flow of others ideas (open-minded) leading to a synergy – everybody wins!
A good conclusion. I am in full agreement to what you have stated. Close-minded leaders are usually autocratic and feel that they don’t need anyone to interfere in their area of operations. Leaders with an open mind certainly value others and their ideas to benefit and look for win always.
THANK YOU – this brought some balance into my way of being right now. I’ve been overdoing my stances lately partly entertaining myself, partly because I am recovering from a significant loss to me (a failing you might call it), and frankly there is probably bullying involved simply because I am choosing to be inflexible in an effort to re-establish my own sense of power that I gave away. No one needed all this commentary, but I needed to express it “outloud” if you will.
And as I read the other good comments I also see that “open or closed” isn’t or doesn’t have to be a stagnant personality trait. It’s probably has much more dynamic movement than the labled will allow.
Excellent points here
Sorry folks. In the 70 years I’ve been on this Earth, I’ve never seen a single leader be “developed” by seminars, keynote speakers or on-line social sites with input from non-leaders. True leaders are born and raised to lead. They simply know what to do in most situations. All of this happy talk might make YOU feel better about yourself, and I guess there is some small measure of benefit in that….but none of you are going to become great leaders, watching free Youtube vid’s, listening to “keynote” speakers or posting on sites like this. If you are an adult and are not seen by others as a leader by now, you never will be.
So Jim, your statement that leaders are only “born” is pretty closed ended and air tight. So a higher power (I call Him … God) can’t build and shape and teach a man who otherwise might not have wanted to be a leader? Take Moses for example.
I have noticed that as one ages one becomes more close-minded. I call it becoming more Republican or more conservative. The older the person the more the person wants to live in the past and the more that person wants “status quo”. NO more changes, I saw this in my parents and I see this every day in older people. At some point they have closed their minds to the modern world and to all things new. Changes are not welcome. Younger people are a breath of fresh air and have more of an open mind. Employers are reluctant to hire older people because they are “set in their ways” and often unchangeable or un-trainable (closed minds) plus they have resistive negative attitudes toward doing things “differently”. Have you seen this in true life.
I couldn’t help to see the “fascination” with close-minded versus open-minded in the leaders of the world. They have said that the greatest American leaders were “pushed” into greatness by external events. Wilson, World War I, Roosevelt: World War II, etc. Has anyone given consideration to external events and how it affects being open-minded?? Act or die or move it or lose it situations require open-mindedness from all including the world’s leaders. Greatness is thrown upon them and situations require open mindedness. The mystery of the human mind goes hand in hand with what motivates each individual to act individually. Motivation theory has humans being motivated mentally by many motivators.
The book has been written. It’s “The March of Folly” by Barbara Tuchman. There’s plenty of material for another one, with more added daily.