As the visionary musician Frank Zappa once said: “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” This is as true in the workplace as it is in life. Taking an open-minded approach to different situations and people at work does more than endear you to them (and vice versa).
So, how does open-mindedness benefit you?
- It enables you to be more creative – in the way you think, and approach and solve problems.
- It teaches you new things – about yourself and others.
- It helps you grow and discover new things – within yourself and others.
- It fosters more supportive, harmonious and communicative working relationships.
- It can help you to be less possessive over your ideas, and work together as a team to find the best solution as a collective.
An open mind opens doors
It can help to imagine your mind as a door – when it’s open you can see the world before you and multiple possibilities. You can move forward in any direction, responding to the unfolding of things and the newness of each moment. If your mind closes, even a little, the view becomes narrower and narrower – maybe even completely obscured. Limits, labels and preconceptions have a habit of kicking the door shut – getting in the way. To help you step over that threshold, keep challenging yourself – new places, new people, new activities, new ideas. Curiosity and openness go hand-in-hand.
Remember your very first day in your profession – perhaps as a junior, a graduate or an apprentice? Chances are you were eager to learn and open to the newness of the situation – you had no particular preconceptions. Buddhists call this attitude of openness “the beginner’s mind”. Your mind is not already full of all you ‘know’, of ideas of how things are or how things should be, but rather is genuinely open to what may occur. There is a recognition that this particular moment, this particular situation has never arisen in this particular way before. There is a freshness of outlook. It can be helpful to attempt to bring ‘beginner’s mind’ to a situation, even as (especially as?) an expert in your field. What insight can you gain? How can this help you move forwards?
“Too often we let our thinking, our beliefs about what we ‘know’ prevent us from seeing things as they really are.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress ReductionIf you’d like to look at your mindset, attitude, outlook, Tall Spaghetti can help you make really powerful changes, benefiting you as an individual and the work you do – call me on 07876 495 968 or get in touch via the quick contact form.