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Things to Think About - The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.

By Pepper de Callier

"The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it."  P.B. Medawar

I have long believed that the most important element to personal development is to understand what the deficit is that needs to be worked on, and why, in fact, one has the deficit.  For those who have a sincere interest in personal development, the above quote identifies something that exists in the vast majority of people I have worked with (including myself) and is relatively easy to deal with once we understand it.  It also is of critical importance to success in the 21st century.

First, we must understand that to resist new ideas is normal behavior and there is no reason to feel badly about it.  It’s what happens next that separates the contributors from the obstructionists in any process.  Here’s what I mean. Someone comes into your office with a new idea. You realize that it’s human nature to resist new ideas so you withhold pre-judging the idea and listen.  Once you have listened, with an open mind, you remind yourself that the most important thing is to discover the truth, not to validate your prejudice, if any.  By doing this, you demonstrate respect for the other person, which increases the chances for a meaningful discussion.  And, who knows, as a result you both may improve the idea and come up with a break-through.  Think about it the next time a new idea comes your way.

Till next time…

About the Author: Pepper de Callier is one of the most respected senior executive coaches and authorities on leadership in Europe. Learn more about him at