Open and Closed Mindsets
I wanted to write something with the work ‘Woke’ in the title, and not being sure whether Woke was a noun, adjective or verb, decided to start with the blues classic “Woke up this morning…”
What’s it to do with Carol Dweck ?
I woke up this morning wondering how Authoritarianism is connected with the work of Carol Dweck on open and closed mind sets. Authoritarians want everything ‘my way or the high way’, and appear to be scared of trying something new in case they fail. So I guess they have a closed mindset. Equally, as we celebrate 100 years of Modernism, said to be founded in 1922, (the birth of Now? ) do we guess these folk, such as Bertolt Brecht, T.S Elliot and Louis Armstrong had open mindsets?
Hitler and Franco and ???
I understand that at least 40% of the world prefer to be governed by authoritarians of, presumably, the same closed mind set, not allowing others to be different. Classic authoritarians are the dictators such as Hitler, Stalin and Franco, and there are many today who I won’t mention. But they made sure that their fellow countrymen had the same views by ‘eliminating’ the opposition. The totalitarian state being enabled by initial indifference of the masses.
Listening to different people
Having worked in 22 countries, and lived a long time, I could still be of the opinion that ‘my way or the highway’ is still the right approach, broad as it is. However I have developed a team covering four continents, eight languages with diversity claims at least covering age, sex, sexuality, race, language, religion and education level, though we fail on neurodiversity. From this we are able to listen to each other and become stronger together than the individuals. I do not have an inclusion case for boring/not boring and entertaining/not entertaining and liking the wrong kind of music.
A collection of Cognitive Biases
We all have cognitive bias, recognise it, but at least we have different ones. There are many so set in their ways, insisting on the language of hygiene and political correctness, that they are no longer able to listen to discussions or anything which doesn’t affirm their beliefs. And personally I have often abandoned the challenge -after all what’s in it for either of us when dealing with closed mindsets. Especially if they cannot spell.
The same values as your mother?
When teaching coaching, I teach that one skill to have is to be able to coach people with different values than yours. I start with the questions ‘do you have the same values as your mother, when did you last change them’. And if the answer is ‘Yes, and Never’ then they wont make a good coach. And this then begs the question:
“If you have a learning and open mindset are you able to tolerate the views of others whether they be traditional religious zealots (of any variety) , privileged white supremacists, or of the politically correct snowflakes of the black/white/LGBT+/old/young/female lives matter brigade?” If so, you may have a future in coaching if you are not trampled on by the authoritarian majority from any one of those categories.
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Written by David Rigby © 2022 Smart Coaching & Training Ltd