Train Yourself To Be More Open-Minded
Throughout generations, we’ve been hardwired to form opinions and beliefs for just about everything. To many, it’s an “us-versus-them” framework. We either align, or we don’t. Far be it to ever consider the other may be “right”, or, have at least a considerable point. Look, there’s being a traditionalist, and then there’s being a stubborn piece of sh*t.
Studies show that open-minded people may live in a completely different reality. Researchers found that your openness to foreign ideas and mood impacts how you visually perceive the world, which, in turn, affects creativity. Your patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaviour impact how you experience relationships and realities in the workplace.
Long story short, it’s better to be open-minded–that is, willing to consider new ideas and thoughts, rather than be close-minded. It makes you more creative, intelligent, and aware of the people and cultures around you. Without further ado, let’s go over how we can be more open.
Get Curious, Really Curious
Develop a habit of aiming to learn something new from every exchange. Without realizing it, many of us don’t bother digging further, we don’t ask “why” we think things. We take comfort in sticking to what we think we know and finding data that supports it, instead of exploring information that perhaps contradicts our beliefs. This is a cognitive tendency called confirmation bias–the urge to actively seek data that confirms our beliefs while “ignoring” information that challenges our preconceptions
Instead of being stubborn to your beliefs, think like a child. No, really. You’d be surprised at how much the seemingly “stupid” questions uncover. In newton’s time, the “why the hell did this Apple fall downwards” question undoubtedly triggered laughter. Who asks that? It just… does, okay? Now, knowing about gravity, it doesn’t seem like such a stupid question, right? See, if we get genuinely curious about everyone and everything around us, we become open to content that widens our perspective.
Get Out There and Explore
Do crazy things, it builds confidence. When you’re outside your comfort zone, you get to know yourself better and the things you can handle.
Sure, you may be stuck at home. But, you don’t have to pack a bag and move to the Philipines to “try new things”. “Exploring” can mean building new online relationships, virtual experiences, side hustles, or a digital/at-home hobby like gaming or cooking. When you explore new lands, you showcase a willingness to experience the world in a new way. Thus, you open yourself up to different perspectives, live new experiences, and have great stories to tell.
Assume Someone is Always Smarter
Don’t be a “know-it-all”. And, even if you are an expert on a topic, you are never the only expert.
Usually, when people are in a position of authority or are an “expert” on a topic, they’re less open to accept new information or entertain new ideas. This phenomenon is an example of a cognitive bias known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. It’s when people overestimate their own knowledge of a topic, get cocky, and become blind to their own ignorance.
Don’t fall victim to this. An intelligent person will admit that they still have to learn and will consistently find value in foreign thoughts. Contrary to what you may believe, people won’t think you’re incompetent for it. Instead, they’ll appreciate being heard despite your expertise, leading them to like you more.
Now, you don’t have to adopt every new idea, but welcoming every exchange as a learning opportunity will only result in a more fruitful exchange.