The Connection Between Open-Mindedness and Resilience

The connection between open-mindedness and resilience is based on how resilient staff use open-mindedness to adapt to change. Psychologists have identified three sets of reactions to change that use open-mindedness to overcome.

open minded

Resilient staff uses open-minded responses to work through problems and recover quickly from setbacks.

  • Predict vs. Project
  • Universal vs. Selective Exposure
  • Inclusiveness vs. Polarization

When faced with an obstacle at work, your staff has the choice of how it will react.  Resilient staff chose open-minded responses to find ways to achieve success, regardless of difficult circumstances.

Predict vs. Project

Your staff becomes resilient partly because they have experienced difficulties in life and know how to learn and grow from these situations.  When faced with a challenge, resilient staff predicts the outcome based on their goal and plan.  When a setback occurs, they revise their plan to find another solution to the problem.  Open-mindedness is needed to monitor and assess how their plan is working and make adjustments as needed.

Less resilient staff project their feelings, beliefs, and abilities into a situation.  They assume that because they feel a certain way, other people feel the same.  Their belief in their abilities and their projection of their capabilities onto others clouds their judgment of how other workers may react.

Consider a resilient worker whose goal is to have an undisturbed commute to work.  Their plan may include leaving a few minutes early, so they aren’t bothered by traffic delays, parking far away from the door to get some exercise and smiling at everyone they pass on the way into work.

If there is a traffic delay or no open parking spaces near the door, it doesn’t affect their goal. If they smile at someone who frowns and walks past them, they are open-minded enough to understand that the other person may be having a bad morning, and their reaction doesn’t reflect on the resilient employee achieving their goal.

Another, less resilient worker, may want to start their day out well but doesn’t have a plan to achieve it.  When there is a traffic slowdown on their way to work, they get angry because they assume everyone else left late that morning and are in their way.

If they feel they deserve a better parking space, they will become upset when others park closer to the door because they project their belief that the best employees park closer and feel they deserve more than others. If someone isn’t friendly towards them, they assume the person doesn’t like them or is out to ruin their day.  Open-mindedness is the difference between getting through the morning with resilience.

Universal vs. Selective Exposure

Lawyers have found that in most court cases, the jury forms an opinion based on the first information they hear.  After a case has been presented, many people take that as fact and find it hard to form a new opinion if other evidence is presented.  This type of close-mindedness doesn’t take universal information into account.  Instead, people become selective about what they are willing to believe and only accept the information that reinforces their first opinion.

Resilient workers stay open-minded and look for the best information possible to overcome obstacles.  Because they aren’t selective to their thoughts and opinions, they can incorporate new ideas into their plan.  When things don’t work the way they want, they don’t insist that their first option is the only way to achieve success.

Inclusiveness vs. Polarization

Resilient workers allow themselves to learn and grow from others.  They are open to new ideas and ways of doing things, even if they are different from the way they might do something.  Resilient workers are open to including different plans to find ways to tackle challenges.  Closed-minded staff form set beliefs and only accept ideas that reinforce their bias.

In the example above, the resilient person may check the traffic and weather to determine when to leave for work.  A polarized person might only check their street, and if traffic is good, assume that traffic will be like that all the way to work.

A resilient worker is willing to add a few extra steps to their day for exercise, while a less resilient one believes that going to the gym is the only good way to stay in shape. When encountering an unfriendly person, resilience allows that other people may be facing different issues that make them upset.  A lack of resilience is seen when a worker uses an unfriendly response to decide that their day is ruined.

Resilience depends on open-mindedness. With open-mindedness, staff can adapt and find new ways of facing challenges and achieving success.

Need Assistance Hiring Resilient Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more resilient workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew Today.

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