As some of you will recall, a recent Tip had to do with understanding the difference between manipulation and influence. My point was the meaning of the word manipulation does not necessarily have to be bad; it could also have a positive meaning. One of my readers helped me have a more clear understanding of that word.
One individual sent me the definition of manipulation from the Merriman-Webster Dictionary. It is defined as: 1: to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner 2a: to manage or utilize skillfully b: to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage 3: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose.
One of the most important things that I learned in graduate school, as well as in life, is that a truly well educated person is always open-minded to learn and receive good, true information from any and every source possible. I learned that a well educated person can learn to see an issue from every side, even if they do not always agree with every point relating to that issue. Being open-minded actually helps you to be a better person.
If someone wants to know the real truth about any situation, they should be open- minded enough to look into it from every angle. As one of our political leaders once said, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste!” Being close-minded will make the possibility learning anything new more difficult, if not impossible. This could be a simple as saying, “I cannot afford that item”, rather than saying, “How can I afford that item?” One way closes down your thinking ability. The other way opens up your thinking ability.
Now, I realize that there are some things we should be closed-minded about. For example, it is never right to steal someone else’s possessions nor is it right to unjustly take someone’s life. But, those are extreme examples. In almost every other area of life, we should be open-minded to learn a new point of view so that we can become wiser, more productive individuals.
I have personally been trying to grow in the understanding of how different businesses operate. There have been many books written that explain how some businesses have started and grown while others have started and failed. Therefore, I want to know as much as possible about that topic. While my business continues to grow and experience success, there are daily challenges. The more open-minded I am about the different points of view concerning business issues, the healthier my business will be and the wiser I will become. I am always open to receive helpful advice from anyone as it relates to business success.
So, in trying to be open-minded to my reader’s point of view about last week’s Tip and having had some time to reflect on it, I would like to clarify my thoughts. I believe that it is always better to be a positive influence on someone rather than to negatively manipulate them. Manipulation can occasionally be used in a good sense, as trying to influence someone, but more often than not, it seems to carry with it negative connotations.
After reading the Tip from last week and then this one for this week, I hope you and I are both better educated people when it comes to understanding the difference between influence and manipulation. This week, I got to both teach a Tip and I got to learn from a tip, from a reader like you. By practicing the concept of being open-minded, we are all better and wiser for the experience! And, that is what the purpose of these Tips every week is all about!
Tip: It is important to be open-minded if we want to grow!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm