Open-minded With Strong Opinions

Apr 15, 2013, Written by Sue Miley

InterconnectedCan a person be open-minded and have strong opinions?

I would say that I am open-minded.  In that, I mean I am not judgmental, and have broad views on what is, can be, and should be.  At the same time, I know that those who love me and are close to me, and some that are just around, would unanimously echo that I have strong opinions.

Are open-minded and strong opinions mutually exclusive?

With the element of time mixed in, I don’t think so.  Let’s relate it to business.

I believe, strongly, that there is more than one way to run a business, solve a problem, and/or create opportunities.  I like to approach the challenge or opportunity with an open mind.  Open to the ever-changing variety of creative options to achieve a single objective.  That is fun.

But given time….the time after the idea generation, bantering collaboration, and various problem solving interventions, I form an opinion.  How much time depends.  Sometimes, as my husband describes, I put it on the back burner, simmering, until solidified into the eclectic mix of ideas, options, and resources combined for the chosen path.

The Chosen Path

It isn’t the only path.  See the open-mindedness.  It is however, the chosen path.  Once chosen, in order to get to the place you are headed, you must commit.  If not you will get lost and may never achieve your destination.

Thus the need for a strong opinion.

One that builds your confidence so that you can set off on the journey to solve the issue, change the course, or capture the opportunity that has not been tackled before.

Confidence overcomes fear.

A strong opinion, percolated through the process of open-mindedness, results in confidence.  To me, confidence is very different than arrogance.  Confidence comes from good.  Things like lifting up the idea, choices, and opinions to God for His wisdom and discernment.  It comes from a foundation in your life and work that is based on Christian values, which by definition require humility, submission, and obedience.

Confidence Comes From God

But it is okay to be confident in God.  And I know that in my heart, lost as I may be in a moment, I seek and desire God’s Will in everything.

He, the Ruler of the World, but more importantly, my life, knows that’s my desire.  So I trust.  I trust that His Will breaks through my limitedness and shines through in the form of both open-mindedness and strong opinions.

Without a strong opinion, my fear would be that the choices would overwhelm and no decisions would be made.

No Opinion Leads to Indecision

In business, and life, no opinion, no decision, and no confidence leads to a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.  For you and for your team.

And to me this means I am not trusting God. (Link is to a prior post What The Bible Says About Trusting God)

God is bigger than our understanding of space and time.

Being open to the concept of the One True God gives me confidence that I, and you, can be both open-minded and we can have strong opinions.

What is your opinion on the subject?  Do you believe you can be open-minded and have strong opinions?



Reader Interactions


  1. Sheila Edeliant says

    Thanks, Sue.

    This was a really good read! It is interesting that my first thought was along the line of: I tend to have strong opinions, but I am open to re-evaluating them when given a reason to. I appreciate how you pointed out the need to be open-minded in forming an opinion, but confident in following the path once chosen.

    I think the two together make a good, well-rounded attitude.

    Passing this on!

    ~Sheila 🙂

    • S_Miley says

      Hey Sheila, I agree that we need to continue to evaluate our opinions and move forward with new direction if something isn’t go well; but have enough time to really know if something will work. When I first began thinking about this concept, I was trying to decide if I was one way or the other. I came to the conclusion that I was and it worked to have both! Maybe my own wishful thinking, but that is why I want to generate the discussion! Thanks for passing it on…I really appreciate it!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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