When life throws you an obstacle, how do you react? Are you willing to learn about how to overcome it, or do you dig your heels in and stick to your guns?

The way you react to these obstacles defines if you are open-minded or closed-minded.

Closed-mindedness comes with a very negative connotation, so people tend not to admit that they are in that category and actually perceive themselves as open-minded… that’s the problem. The way in which you learn and progress depends on how willing you are to adapt and contemplate new ideas.

So how can you tell what category you fall into, the genuine open-minded bunch, or the wannabe’s? Ray Dalio has discussed seven ways to tell the difference….

1. Challenging ideas

Closed-minded people struggle when having their ideas challenged, they are more interested in proving themselves right than allowing others to question the decision. It causes them frustration. On the other side, open-minded people see questions as a chance to explain their knowledge, they are curious about it, they take the time to hear the other person’s views

2. Statements vs. questions

Closed-minded people are more likely to make statements than ask questions, while open-minded folk believe they could be wrong, so ask questions that are genuine.

3. Understanding

Closed-minded individuals focus on being understood, rather than understanding others, they tend to repeat what they have said until others agree. Open-minded people ask as many questions as needed to see through other peoples eyes.

4. I might be wrong, but…

The classic closed-minded statement… I might be wrong, but here’s why I am right.

5. Just shut up

Closed-minded people tend to block others from speaking, they don’t want to hear others thoughts or opinions. Open-minded groups tend to be more interested in listening than speaking.

6. Only one sperm gets in

It’s natural to focus our minds around something that we like, our favourite idea, and then block out the rest. But this is not an open-minded way to learn.

7. Humble pie

Closed-minded people tend to lack a sense of humility whereas open-minded people approach everything with a feeling they could be wrong.

Do you recognise some of the closed-minded behaviours in yourself? Don’t worry you are not alone. We are all somewhere on the field between the two.

To read the full article on Farnam Street Blog – Click here.

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