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Keeping An Open Mind

woman walking toward a bright shining open doorI got so much “food for thought” from the listening message Margie shared last week, and while I was chewing on and digesting it, a related thought was triggered. A tiny voice inside my head was saying, “Don’t shoot the messenger!”

I didn’t understand that at first, and as that voice became louder, the meaning became clearer. Many times, I’ve actively resisted listening to what someone was saying because I already had an opinion about the subject, didn’t like the person, or rejected what was being said. With all that noise in my head, I cannot possibly listen with much objectivity, let alone ask any questions or learn from a different point of view.

Therefore, my SMART goal was to work at being more open-minded.

When I heard something new that didn’t fit into my way of thinking, I tried to be accommodating, giving time and space to reflect on it. I worked hard to let go of my own preferences enough to actually listen carefully and research the facts presented. I asked questions respectfully and asked myself questions:

  • How much do I really know about the subject?
  • How reliable is my source of information?
  • Have I considered other ideas?
  • Do I think my way is the only way just because it always has been?

I struggled to give the new thoughts and myself time before responding and reminded myself that I always have more to learn.

At the end of the week, I realized that working to keep an open mind while listening gave me a huge opportunity to consider doing things differently. I was reminded, as my Dad loved to say, “If you think you know it all, you probably don’t!”

I look forward to continuing to hone all of my listening skills.

Learning as I go, Barb

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