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  • James McPartland

Staying Open & Unbiased

“If you want to get the best out of a person you must look for the best that is in him.”

– Bernard Haldane

How we see the world – or to put it another way – how the world occurs for us, is in a dance with how we show up and how we act in the game of life.

Think about how often you arrive to a conversation with preconceived ideas of what you will see, hear, or have reinforced yourself. Even with people we don’t know, we pre-judge and then look and listen for examples to back up our assumptions. These automatic mechanisms constrain our ability to see and hear what may be really going on with the person or in the event that is taking place. In our effort to come across in a certain way, we limit who we are (and what is possible) by trying to present a particular image.

Most all of this happens at the subconscious level, and we are unaware of how we restrict our authentic self from showing up. While it at first takes deliberate practice, it can become almost habitual to find the best in a person and a situation. Here is the test drive: Target an upcoming conversation and, prior to it, take a few minutes to list (on paper or mentally) what prejudices, biases, beliefs, or filters you would normally bring to the discussion. Put them off to the side and enter into the dialogue with as clear a mindset as you can muster. Stay open to “listening” from a new paradigm, and you may be amazed at what comes across that normally would have been in your blind spot. See who people can be – not who you thought they were – and you may be quite surprised by the “gifts” that reside in them and the “gifts” that also reside in you.

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