I've just returned from some consulting work, helping a team improve its communication and collaboration. One thing you'll learn working with a group, especially one that has a fairly dominant leader, is the importance of being open minded.
I don't think many leaders and managers realize how important it is to be open minded, and open to new suggestions and new approaches. I think being open minded is often viewed as being indecisive. Or perhaps it opens someone up to a re-evaluation of what may have been a closed decision or topic. But even the appearance of being close minded shuts down discussion, limits the number of concepts that are generated and considered and almost always results in a less than optimal decision or result.
I think we often rush to a "good enough" decision in many cases and stop the search for any other alternative decision, since we are so focused on speed and decisiveness. It seems like once many people stumble across a feasible solution they shut down discussion rather than seeking other alternatives, or set the conditions for a discussion or meeting so narrowly that only one or two outcomes are possible from the start. This lack of intellectual curiosity and lack of investigation of other alternatives surprises me - I guess I can chalk it up to overloaded calendars and the need for quick solutions.
Here's a test - if your manager enters a meeting and immediately establishes very tight, very narrow boundaries for the discussion and doesn't allow exploration or consideration of alternative solutions, you are probably working with a close minded manager. This could mean they are a control freak, already have the decision made and want group "validation" or are too focused on speed. If your manager's first response to a suggestion or alternative is - Great, tell me more or please offer another alternative - then you are probably dealing with an open minded manager. In the long run, the open minded approach will prove to be the better one - considering more of the alternatives early in the process helps make a better decision and uncover the challenges and opportunities of each alternative, rather than discovering them later due to a lack of consideration.
When you run a meeting, try to engage people in an open minded way, seeking alternatives and feedback rather than seeking to limit and control the meeting. You'll get improved communication, discover things you didn't know, and come away with better results. Sometimes taking a little more time and being a little more open can result in a much better solution.