IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO:
One day ash starts falling from the sky, covering everything around you with a thin white blanket.
This is unexplainable. There’s no reason for ash to fall from the sky. There’s no volcano in the vicinity or anything else that could produce ash in this capacity.
Nonetheless, you are open to the idea that somehow, ash may be falling from the sky.
The person standing next to you, also witnessing this phenomenon, is mentally rigid.
He looks at you and says, “It’s snow and that’s that!” not giving it another consideration.
ARE YOU RIGID?
- Do you try to find explanations, or are you the one giving them?
- Do you ask questions because you genuinely want to know the other person’s answer, or do you keep pushing your own opinions back at them to ensure you are ‘right?’
- Do you let others finish what they are saying or do you stop listening (or interrupt) when what they are talking about contradicts what you already ‘know?’
- Do you feel anger or frustration when others don’t agree with you?
- Do you focus on being understood, rather than understanding others?
WHICH DO YOU USE – ‘BUT’ OR ‘AND’ TO CONNECT SENTENCES?
Using ‘but’ to connect two phrases together dismisses the first phrase altogether. By using ‘and’ you are including the prior sentence with the next thought.
Consider these examples:
“You did a great job on that project last week, but…”
“You did a great job on that project last week, and…”
“I could be wrong, but…”
“I could be wrong, and…”
If rigid is defined as being unable to change or adapt, then the opposite would be defined as being open minded and flexible.
ARE YOU OPEN-MINDED?
- Do you look at disagreements as a way to gain knowledge and correct your misperceptions?
- Do you listen to truly understand?
- Do you ask a lot of questions and allow people to expand upon their ideas?
- Do you try to see things through others’ eyes?
- Do you approach things with a fear that you may be wrong?
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO OUR INDUSTRY?
IT IS OUR INDUSTRY.
There is no room for rigid-mindedness in marketing; we are forced to constantly adapt and evolve. Creativity is built on the foundation of experimenting, exploring, and questioning. Design and creativity are dynamic processes which are nourished and improved by criticism, critique, review, opinion, assessment and judgment.
Open-mindedness is the quality that allows us to entertain a variety of ideas, even ones that contradict our own beliefs. We are receptive to ideas that are odd, unfamiliar, and possibly even offensive.
Open-mindedness is the wings which a butterfly grows to flutter off and explore new places.
Open-mindedness is the river that encounters obstacles along its path, and flows over and around them gracefully, without interruption.
Circling back around to the ash falling from the sky…
One day ash starts falling from the sky, covering everything around you in a thin white blanket.
You know it is ash, although it can’t be explained.
The person standing next to you, also witnessing this phenomenon, says, “It’s snow, and that’s that!”
You look at him and say, “It could be snow, imagine that.” (Then gracefully walk away.)
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald