George Bernard Shaw said: “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
Being able to change your mind is a quality of good leadership. It means listening to other points of view and, where appropriate, moving in a direction that differs from your original course. Being openminded is a way to gain the trust and respect of your staff. And it certainly can lead to new ideas to help your business grow.
What do you need to do in order to be openminded?
Ditch old habits
Thinking in a certain way is a product of doing things routinely. Get out of your rut and look at things from a different point of view. For example, if you follow the same schedule every day, shake things up and re-order your tasks (to the extent you have the flexibility to do so).
Listen to others
Solicit input from employees, customers, and other business associates to get their perspective on an issue. Be proactive about this. You can do this informally through conversation or in a structured way (e.g., at a meeting).
In order to be openminded, you need to be curious about other options. You may not have thought about possibilities that may turn out to be preferable to what you’ve been thinking and doing.
It’s wise to keep learning new things to satiate your curiosity. The more information you have, the more likely you’ll be to accept new ideas.
People in leadership roles, such business owners, should remember that it may not be easy for others to express their views. They may fear being ridiculed. They may fear reprisals. It’s up to a good leader to show acceptance of other people’s opinions and ideas by listening respectfully and considering carefully what’s been communicated.
If you want to see whether you’re openminded, take a 10-question quiz from Brainfall. The results may surprise you.
Last month’s blog concerned grit. Next month’s blog on developing leadership qualities addresses patience.