Experience – Creativity – Close Minded

Our wealth of experience gives us the ability to be creative, but it also makes us vulnerable to accumulated preconceived ideas which we then use when making our decisions and choices. We may be aware of some of these, and if so, we can compensate for them in the decision-making process. But we also accumulate unconscious thinking patterns, and since we are unaware of them, we of course cannot compensate for those. We would all better decision makers if we had more open minds, but many of us do not.

The best we can do is be aware that we are affected by preconceptions that we may not be aware of. Therefore, we should never be completely sure of our decisions, and always be open to the opinions of others, especially others that may not share our own way of thinking. To only ask for advice from others who usually agree with us may help confirm that we are right. But we really should be looking to others that see things differently than us to us learn why we might be wrong.

Too often we spend too much time proving we are right and way too little time searching for why we may be wrong. Balancing the process will help everyone make better decisions.

The following is an urban legend that is a wonderful example being able to hear why your decision may be wrong.

“The famous El Cortez Hotel in San Diego provides an excellent example of the advantage of listening intently to employees at every level. The hotel management decided to install an additional elevator to better serve their guests. Engineers drew up plans cutting holes through each floor of the hotel. A janitor, who was concerned with this, made the comment that this would make a great deal of mess. The janitor was told not to worry because the hotel would be closed to guests during the construction. The janitor suggested, “You could build the elevator on the outside of the hotel.” At the time, this architectural concept had never been done before, but after investigation by the engineers, it proved an idea that was worth developing, and is now commonplace in buildings today worldwide. The janitor’s idea saved the El Cortez thousands of dollars in guest revenue, employees from losing salary, and major clean-up costs related to the construction of the new elevator.”

Someone was open to hearing why their decision to put the elevator inside was not the best decision.

Are you open to hearing why your decision might not be the best one?