The character strength of open-mindedness involves judgement and critical thinking, where one thinks things through and examines them from all sides. It involves a willingness to consider evidence against one’s beliefs, plans, and goals and revise them if necessary. Open-minded people faithfully adhere to the standard of considering evidence fairly. This strength counteracts the pervasive “my-side bias” that prevents many people from considering views other than their own.
How to demonstrate this Character Strength:
Movies: No Man’s Land (2001-Bosnian)
Suggested strategies that correlate with this strength:
- Identify the reason from your last 3 actions that you are not happy with (not following through with a goal) and brainstorm better alternative ideas for the future.
- Ask a trusted and wise friend to critically appraise your judgment on your last three significant actions.
- Play devil’s advocate on an issue that you have strong opinions about.
- At least once a week, practice the common themes across races and religions on an important issue.
- Identify the last three actions you did not think your way through.
- Start an activity and ask yourself – Why? When? And how?
- Attend a multicultural event and crucially evaluate your views during and afterwards.
- Identify causes of a perceived failure of activity in the past. Are there any patterns? Take some time to think deeply about how you can improve.
- When deciding on an important issue, write the pros and cons and repeat them while taking breaks.
- Mentor someone of a different ethnic or religious background
- Monitor if you often find information to confirm your opinions or seek new information to expand your view.
- When you face the next challenge, imagine the best and worst scenario and decide the most realistic course of action.
By monitoring the above, you can catch when there is an incongruence in this personal strength. An incongruence will compromise you and cause inner conflict, so the above will help you keep on the right track.
Niemiec, R. M, 2017, Character Strengths Interventions, Hogrefe, Boston
Tayyab, R., Anjum, A., 2005, 340 Ways to Use VIA Character Strengths, University of Pennsylvania