I have been personally reflecting a lot on the conversation about equality and how I can support the current social movement. I have also been taking a hard look at my own beliefs and actions and how I may have contributed positively or negatively to the current state.
It is hard to look in the mirror and acknowledge the things that may not be so pretty. My eyes have opened wider to the fact that doing the right thing as an individual may not be sufficient. Just being kind, inclusive, open and accepting are the minimum actions one can take. That said, they are important actions for us each to take.
Open and accepting is the first mindset of being a Connector. I realized the lessons from my book, The Connector’s Advantage, are so relevant right now. Here’s the excerpt from the chapter that has been on my mind, and a video that goes even more in-depth for you.
From Chapter 4 of The Connector’s Advantage:
We all have our blind spots—an inability to make judgments about a particular issue or person, even though we may generally have sound judgment. Though it can be difficult to acknowledge our blind spots about others, it is even harder to realize them about ourselves. Part of staying open is to be aware of our own blind spots and be willing to reduce them.
Once you’re more accepting of yourself, it is easier to be accepting of others. When you admit that you’re flawed, it becomes easier to handle flaws in others. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. We’re all quick to jump to conclusions and judge. That’s not a bad thing—it’s our gut instinct, and that’s okay. We are not seeking to be judgmental. Most of the time, we are just being efficient. But to be truly open and accepting, we need to be aware of the possibility that we may be wrong.
I encourage people to stay in a place of curiosity rather than conclusion. It is difficult to slow down your fast-thinking mind enough to stay curious. I use four questions to help keep an open mind. You do not have to ask yourself all four questions every time; any of them will get you closer to curiosity and keep you open to evolve your conclusions.
The concept of slowing down your thinking is partially about giving your brain time to draw a more educated assessment of the situation, rather than a quick and potentially incorrect judgment. When you are in a situation where the interpretation of events and behaviors can have an impact on relationships, collaboration, or results of any kinds, consider testing that evaluation with these four questions:
- What don’t I know?
- How else could I interpret it?
- What if I am wrong?
- Do I want to be right?
I elaborate on each of these questions in the book. I share them to equip everyone with one more tool in their toolbox. I also discuss them more in-depth in my Success Shortie video on Curiosity vs Conclusion: