When you introduce a new idea, start by asking “how open-minded are you? This will naturally entice people to do the very thing you would like them to do: support your idea. After all, everyone wants to be open-minded.


How open-minded are you?

Almost everyone feels that they meet this criterion, which is quite easy to understand when the alternative is to be seen as closed. The moment your question about being open-minded or not is asked, the interpretation in the listener immediately follows: ‘I don’t want to be seen as closed-minded’. That means your listener is guaranteed to make a choice, in this case the vast majority choose open-minded.

The perception of choice almost certainly makes you steer others in the direction of your idea. If you know that people like to think of themselves as open-minded, you can give yourself an advantage in your conversations quite easily. When you present a brand new idea to a stranger, friend, prospect, or team member, use the words “how open-minded are you? This helps to get people to listen to the idea you are seeking their support for. Chances are that instead of the usual 50-50% chance of support for your idea, you will suddenly get 90% support. Finally, everyone wants to be open-minded.

Until the mind is open, the heart stays closed. The open mind is the key to the open heart.
– Byron Katie

A few sample questions that you can apply in practice:

  • Are you open-minded enough to try this as an alternative?
  • Would you be open to giving this a shot?
  • Would you be open to seeing if we could work together?

Each of these options makes it very difficult for the other person to reject your idea. In any case, you have a good chance they will feel “morally burdened” to say no. It seems like you are giving them a choice, which in fact you are. But meanwhile, the wording of your question gives you great assurance that the other person is willing to consider your idea. The other person’s willingness to listen to you and engage in conversation with you is the basis of cooperation.

The first step has been taken. How to further use effective communication can be learned in our program “The Leader in You!” which covers all facets of communicating with impact. How open-minded are you about learning to be more effective?

This is the first blog in the series: Influencing with impact

courtesy of P. Jones

Want to learn more about effectiveness and personal leadership? Watch: The Leader in You!