In his blog post Listening is difficult
, Seth Godin notes…
"Hearing happens when we’re able to recognize a sound.
Listening happens when we put in the effort to understand what it means.
It not only requires focus, but it also requires a commitment to encountering the experience, intent and emotion behind the words. And that commitment can be scary. Because if we’re exposed to that emotion and those ideas, we discover things we might be avoiding."
On the heels of Seth's comments, I would simply add...
... and we just might realize that we need to change our minds. This will require emotional maturity and a willingness to let go of beliefs that no longer serve us well.
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
, Dr. Robert Cialdini notes that we humans have a "nearly obsessive desire to be (and to appear) consistent with what we've already said or done. Once we've made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment."
This is why it can be so darn difficult at times to change our minds.
Dr. Cialdini goes on to say, "We all fool ourselves from time to time in order to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with what we have already done or decided."
This is dangerous - especially when a situation and the facts surrounding it require a critical shift in thinking to elicit positive change.
Intelligence is the ability to change your mind when the situation and the facts surrounding it warrant it. Maturity is keeping your ego at bay while allowing yourself to do so.
Now, more-than-ever, we must consciously choose to resist this innate urge to remain consistent with previously stated thoughts, beliefs, and actions so that we can engage in critical thinking and problem solving with the confidence and courage to change our minds whenever necessary.