The Essence of Open-mind­ed­ness

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“BE­ING open minded helps us grow”. This state­ment I heard from a re­source speaker in a sem­i­nar I at­tended made me re­al­ized that ac­cept­ing changes in our lives and em­brac­ing new ideas that came from ex­po­sure and ex­pe­ri­ences will make us an open-minded in­di­vid­ual. Be­ing open­minded also means you have a will­ing­ness to lis­ten to other ideas and opin­ions and con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity that you are wrong or may change your own per­spec­tive. I also learned that hav­ing an open mind will help us gain a strong sense of self. If we will al­low changes in our point of views and we won’t be con­fined of what just we be­lieve, we are able to gain con­fi­dence as we learn more and more about the world around us, thus mak­ing us grow.

As a teacher, rec­og­niz­ing your own lim­i­ta­tions and look­ing for­ward to in­fi­nite pos­si­bil­i­ties is open­mind­ed­ness. You don't know ev­ery­thing. Stu­dents may have keener in­sights into ma­te­rial than you ex­pect. That is a good thing, not a threat to your au­thor­ity. Learn­ers of this gen­er­a­tion have dif­fer­ent be­hav­iors and learn­ing styles. A teacher who caters to mil­len­nial learn­ers must ap­ply diver­sity in teach­ing modal­i­ties like us­ing au­dio and video clips, di­rectly re­late ma­te­rial, and open up a di­a­logue with stu­dents and let their in­quiries and cu­rios­ity lead the way to fur­ther dis­cus­sion.

Open-mind­ed­ness is gen­er­ally con­sid­ered an im­por­tant per­sonal at­tribute for ef­fec­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in man­age­ment teams and other groups. Open­mind­ed­ness is usu­ally en­cour­aged in group set­tings, within dif­fer­ent cul­tures and new en­vi­ron­ments. This can be an im­por­tant qual­ity in the work­place. In­creased em­pha­sis on work teams has made open-minded em­ploy­ees even more valu­able. With­out a spirit of lis­ten­ing and co­op­er­a­tion, it is hard for groups to com­plete projects and op­ti­mize qual­ity. Stephen Covey dis­cusses the im­por­tance of open­mind­ed­ness in his chap­ter on “Syn­er­gize” in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Ef­fec­tive peo­ple”. He in­di­cates that open­minded team mem­bers learn things they wouldn’t on their own and par­tic­i­pate in greater so­lu­tions than they could come up with alone. Be­ing open-minded helps you work through in­ter­per­sonal or in­trateam con­flicts that arise when peo­ple work in close quar­ters.

Open mind­ed­ness brings a lot of ben­e­fits. It may be tough to be­come an open-minded per­son es­pe­cially when we are all brought up with the set of be­liefs, re­li­gion, and cul­ture but hav­ing thought of the ben­e­fits of it in our lives will make us strive to be one. Be open-minded! Wella T. Copero

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