Open Mind vs. Open Heart

Posted on June 11, 2016 by Nate Regier / 0 comments
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Openness is a big thing for us at Next Element. As one of the three Compassion Skills, Openness is a critical leadership competency, and the starting point for healthy conflict. Many people who are initially exposed to our model believe they are open and later discover the difference between an open mind and an open heart. Consider the contrasts below.

Open Mind

  • Receptive to the ideas, opinions and perspectives of others
  • Withholds judgment on ideas and opinions
  • Willing to share ideas
  • Demonstrates a spirit of curiosity
  • Focused on helping problem-solve
  • Recognizes intentions and effort
  • Affirms that people are capable
  • Validates thinking
  • It’s a “head thing”
  • Captures the compassion skill of Resourcefulness

Open Heart

  • Receptive to the feelings and emotional world of others
  • Discloses needs, feelings, and wants
  • Willing to be transparent
  • Accepts people for who they are as a person
  • Withholds judgment on people’s feelings
  • Affirms that people are worthwhile
  • Focused on just being present with someone; there’s nothing to solve
  • Validates emotions
  • Empathizes with others
  • Encourages sharing of emotions in a spirit of safety
  • It’s a “heart thing”
  • Captures the compassion skill of Openness

Which is more open, your heart or your mind? How is this an asset for you? What benefits could you gain from developing the other one?

Empathy, validation and disclosure are three strategies for building your Open Heart. To learn more, here’s a recent blog post.

If Resourcefulness is something you want to work on, here are three great strategies.

Copyright Next Element Consulting, 2016

Conflict without Casualties BookStart your journey with our latest book, Conflict Without Casualties: A Field Guide for Leading With Compassionate Accountability. This book is the foundation for our Leading Out of Drama program, a comprehensive system for building cultures of compassionate accountability.


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