How to be Open-Minded?
Open-mindedness at work — about new products, strategies, business models — is one key to success. But how do you develop it? Research has found there are several things you can do. For one, travel, whether it’s to another country or somewhere closer to home. As you encounter ways of living that differ from the ones you know best, your brain will get better at accepting new approaches and ideas. For a cheaper option, read fiction. Books can train your brain to be curious about others’ experiences and opinions. Another low-cost option is mindfulness meditation, which has been shown to help people be willing to revise their ideas. And if you’re someone who tends to get stuck in their ways, there’s a simple trick you can try: Start sentences with “I could be wrong, but…” This conveys your openness to others and forces you to start conversations with a willingness to change your mind.
Sometimes, embracing or not embracing new products, strategies, business models, has nothing to do with open-mindedness.
There can be numerous factors, such as budget restrains, schedules, timelines, relocation, personal status, etc, which might affect, restrain or even block the possibility or the willingness to adopt new things; we're not living in a void, and all factors are inter-connected and should be taken into account.
Exposure to different culture and diverse experiences is definitely one of the ways to expand our horizons and become more open minded. Usually it means more than just travelling. Ideally, it is about living in another culture or working with people from different cultures for a longer time.
For me the most powerful methodology is to monitor people and situations which trigger our emotions and deeply upset us. These are definite signs that we have idealized some aspect of life and we cannot accept its opposite. That in effect means that we are not being open-minded. Seeing the world as binary, i.e. right and wrong, with me or against me or black & white is a sign that we need to expand our horizons. The best way is by constantly exploring opposite to our beliefs concepts and people. That prepares are to enjoy life with all its colors.
I come from an R&D background and have a passion for innovation. This means that I naturally have an openness to new ideas. Some people resist change as they see it as a threat to their position. If they were told about the benefits of a new idea, they might be more accepting.