I witnessed something amazing this week.
I was facilitating a group making a big decision. Before the official vote, I called on everyone to see where they were. Of course they had done some dialoguing and sleuthing beforehand and everyone was hearing what they expected to.
Until we came to one member who said, “I’ve spent all week doing research, and I realized how much I didn’t know. What I learned changed by mind. Because of that, my vote tonight is going to be different than I had planned.”
We all got quiet. When I looked around the virtual room, I could see people smiling. Not because he was the deciding vote, but because it was so amazing to see someone learn in public, to see someone change their mind and let us into their thinking. I realized it had been a really long time since I’d seen someone do that.
Sometimes, consistency is a virtue. Certainly when it comes to how people experience us, we want them to have a consistent experience of us as emotionally regulated, thoughtful, kind, curious. We want them to know what they’re getting when they’re with us.
But consistency isn’t the highest virtue. I’d argue that curiosity is higher.
Too often, we make up our mind about something and consider it some kind of failure or weakness to change it. If you want to grow in your self-mastery, being open to input is a trustworthy way to get there. Wisdom is knowing when you don’t have enough data to make a decision, or when you’ve been ignorant of another viewpoint. When you learn in public, when you share that you’re changing your mind and why, it builds trust. It creates transparency. It promotes curiosity. Try it!