What do you do when someone says something that is the opposite of your own point of view? Do you run in the opposite direction or do you listen closely? It’s easier to
keep your mind closed when a co-worker, family member or friend starts discussing an idea that challenge your beliefs or assumptions. While it’s harder to bring an open mind to a conversation, bringing a closed mind sacrifices the gift of the friendship. Bringing an open mind says you want to understand the ideas and beliefs that are important to the other person.
Being open-minded is easier when you understand that people are more than their way of thinking. When you bring an open mind to a conversation, you’re saying, ‘I value our friendship. I value you as a person.’ You’re also showing that you recognize you don’t have to agree with him in order to listen to him. You’re showing you don’t have to agree with everything he says in order to be friends.
It takes effort to keep an open mind. The reward is that your relationships are stronger. If in listening with an open mind you let go of some old ideas, perhaps in light of new information or a new understanding, that’s okay too.
An open ear is the only believable sign of an open heart.
Your Personal Appraisal
How open-minded are you?
- Do you listen more than you talk?
- Do you get the facts first or do you make snap decisions?
- How do you react when someone does or says something you did not expect?
- What do you feel when someone voices an opinion that is opposite of your own?
- Do you thank others for their suggestions, even when you don’t agree with what they’ve said?
Life Is Honest, Open and True
Today, take time to:
- Honestly admit you don’t know everything and your way of looking at a situation is not the only way.
- Make an effort to openly embrace one new idea today.
- Truly listen to an idea that challenges your way of thinking and consider what might happen if you accepted that idea as true.
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How do you keep your mind open? Have you experienced the rewards of a deeper relationship when you separate the ideas from the person? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!