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How can open-minded thinking help you in your career, and how can you develop it?

Open-minded thinking is thinking based on an unquestioning openness to everything new. To get closer to such a model of perception of the world around you, you’ve got to develop an open mind, learn to adapt to any changes and abandon conservative attitudes.

After all, open-minded people are willing to change their perspective at any time under the right circumstances. They will not stand their ground if they realise they’re wrong or if a more profitable and reasonable option appears on the horizon.

How will open-minded thinking help you in your career?

Imagine that you are interviewing for a position you have long dreamt of. You’ve monitored the company’s vacancies, written to the head of the department on Facebook, spent three days preparing for the interview, and carefully rehearsed your personal story. However, instead of an individual interview, you suddenly find yourself at a group interview, and not just any interview, but about a case study! The HR manager does not ask where and who you’ve worked for. They want to see your skills in practice. What would an open-minded person do? Joining a group with other candidates, this person will work with them to develop several solutions for the case, explain on behalf of the group the choice made, mention his work experience, and, undoubtedly, get the coveted offer. But why? Because the open-minded candidate demonstrates the ability to think on one’s feet by adapting to circumstances, solving problems exponentially and efficiently, and juggling competencies.

Open-minded thinking is leadership thinking. That is the flexibility of mind and ability to absorb any information without evaluating it. Such attitudes help in any area of life because you won’t develop a wide network of professional contacts without them. Moreover, you won’t achieve excellent results in training, and you will not create a product that will be the best in its niche. You will also fail to build strong relationships. On the flip side, those with an open mind are hungry for knowledge, practical experience, and new experiences. Do you think that only superheroes with twenty-five hours in a day can cultivate such a mindset? We are ready to prove that this is not the case.

How do you develop open-minded thinking?

  1. Fight the urge to react angrily to other people’s opinions. That can be challenging at first, as you are probably used to “there can’t be two winners in one argument.” Keep a lid on such thoughts and cut them out. Yes, not all people will hold the same opinion, but that’s why you’re open-minded - you see and understand more than others.
  2. Don’t close yourself off. Change is scary, but you must agree, it’s also super exciting! Every event in your life can teach you something, however unpleasant it may be for you. Every new acquaintance (colleague, teacher, even a friend of a friend) can become your “elevator person.” That is the name given to people who can teach you something, whether it’s how to negotiate, build a career or resolve conflicts with close friends.

Lectera’s experts and the International Academy of Management will tell you more about “elevator people” in a series of free online sessions about the rules of life in the VUCA world.

  1. Try to do things that provoke fear.  For example, voice your opinion in a meeting or take on new responsibilities. Always ‘facing fear’ is one of the best methods for overcoming insecurity and cultivating an open mind. Additionally, this principle of behaviour will also help you essentially get rid of anxiety arising from a lack of control over the situation.
  2. Ask as many questions as possible.  Not sure that you have enough information to make a decision? Ask, clarify, and find out details. Don’t be shy about your ignorance, and don’t be ashamed. Look for even more ways to change to an “open-mind” mentality in Lectera’s free course “Changing Mindsets. Program Yourself to Succeed.” In just two hours, you’ll learn how to get rid of your fear of change once and for all and learn to live in the open mind paradigm.
  3. Avoid speculation. Don’t gossip or judge others based on stereotypes.  Understandably, this isn’t easy to implement immediately.  Nevertheless, constant practice and conscious rejection of labels will bring you a much fuller relationship with those around you – including with colleagues whom you might have previously considered to be your main competitors and not at all helpers on the path of professional development.

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