The Unbelievable Freedom In Changing Your Mind

changing mind
I traded fame for love without a second thought
It all became a silly a game some things cannot be bought;
I got exactly what I asked for, wanted it so badly
Running, rushing back for more, I suffered fools so gladly;
And now I find …. I’ve changed my mind”
-Madonna

 

I was watching a video that shared a Top 10-type list of good leadership and self-awareness traits. I’ve heard most of them before (be true to your strengths, you must execute, etc.).

One of the suggestions was the simple missive it’s OK to change your mind. For some reason this stood out to me and hit me over the head. I don’t believe I’ve seen this on a standard list.

Let that sink in. It is OK to change your mind.

I had to ask myself why this simple suggestion impacted me so much. Upon reflection, in my career I’ve noticed professionals have a very difficult time backing up a point of view with, “You know what, I’ve changed my mind”.

Why? Because in our profession, one where influence is king and successful pros demonstrate innate leadership skills, we can spend a lot of time trying to convince others of strategic recommendations, technological recommendations, and the most impactful one – people recommendations. We influence decisions where people’s lives will be impacted. We influence decisions on who to hire, who to promote and who to terminate. Some of this is heady stuff.

To get some points across, good leaders, in HR and other roles, have to research, form an opinion and in many cases be stubborn (passionate) about that recommendation. We have to continue to poke the bear until we are heard.

But what if your data changes?

What if a life event changes your perspective?

What if a business event changes your perspective?

What if you determined your original recommendation was just plain wrong.

Many are afraid to go back and unveil their new “truth”. I mean, “What will people think if I backtrack after defending my point of view for the last 5 years”. It’s easier to keep beating your old drum for fear of losing credibility. It’s really easy if the status quo you are defending doesn’t impact you directly.

However, doing what is right is often hard. Admitting you’ve changed your mind can be. But it’s not anathema and it’s not something you need to overthink.   You do need to still explain why your mind has changed with examples.

So I charge all of you to practice saying, “I’ve changed my mind”. It feels weird, doesn’t it? But it is freeing, shows some courage, and can be a powerful demonstration of authenticity. Maybe in the next 5 years all top-10 leadership lists will incorporate this simple trait. Of course, by then I may change my mind on that suggestion.

FOT Background Check

Dawn Burke
Dawn Burke (PHR) is VP of People at DAXKO. That's right - the very DAXKO that our very own KD is an alum of because there are only so many people (okay, just one) in the big B'ham who are worthy of that VP of People title. Dawn would be it. Former actor/singer/retail guru, her HR career has spanned the last decade. A true Generalist she’s done a little bit of everything, but recruiting and training is where she gets her mojo. She's based in the good 'ole blogging capitol of the south, Birmingham, Alabama, where you can frequently find her listening to the Beatles and REM, watching tons of Sex in the City reruns, drinking copious amounts of coffee and wine, and wondering how in the world this theatre grad ever got into football or HR…. Talk to Dawn via emailLinkedIn, or Twitter...

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