Tag Archives: openness

Honestly Speaking

Some people find it hard to give constructive criticism in a way that is effective, particularly to someone who is just learning a new skill.

black and white keys of a piano

When we offer both praise and criticism, sounding each clearly, yet beautifully, our words are powerful and effective.

It’s tempting to praise everything, or find fault with everything. Neither one is honest, but for different reasons.

Calling everything good, when it is not, is dishonest for obvious reasons. Doing so labels you as either ineffective or ignorant. Worse, most of us can at least intuitively sense when we’re not performing well, and when we’re told we’re doing better than we think we are, we correctly distrust the feedback as false and come to view the giver as uncommitted to our success. Continue reading

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Do You Climb a Steep Learning Curve, or Do You Turn Around and Slide Down?

People ask me why I moved from Iowa to New Jersey. I did it in part because I knew that compared to Iowa, New Jersey is far more diverse in economic strata, religious affiliations, ethnic backgrounds, careers, cultures, customs, native languages, foods, clothing styles, values and traditions.

bookshelves filled with books

Life offers many opportunities to acquire new information. We can turn away, or we can be open to learning, a little bit at a time.

I have not been disappointed in that regard. I have found it exhilarating to be regularly challenged by so many different points of view and by people whose life experiences are so different from my own.  

What do you do when exposed to new points of view?

Do you look at as an opportunity to learn something new? Do you eagerly ask questions to help your understanding? Or, do you throw up the barricades to protect yourself from a challenge to your way of thinking? Do you furiously marshal your arguments, ordering them into strategic position so that they can return fire at the first opening? Continue reading

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Can You Be Open to This?

When we open our minds, we break down the barriers that keep us isolated from others. Being open-minded requires that we recognize others can

blue sky with large puffy cloud in the center

Clouds respond to shifting winds while maintaining their fundamental weather purposes. We can respond to new information while maintaining our values and our relationships.

believe or act or live differently than we do and yet still be in our lives.

When we are open-minded, we take the time to understand the point of view, beliefs and experiences of others. To be open is to show respect, even when we do not agree, or even necessarily approve of the other person’s ideas or actions. To be open is to accept others for who they are, not for who we think they should be. To be open is to love the person, even when we cannot love the actions.  Continue reading


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