“I already know!”
So then, are you seeking to understand… or just to confirm your hunch?
If we truly wish to learn, we need to adopt a “beginner’s mindset”. We need to be open to many possibilities. Those of us who consider ourselves “experts” and assume we already know “the” answer, often truncate our opportunity to learn anything new.
Too frequently, I find that I enter in to a situation chock full of preconceived notions. It’s not that these notions are without basis… in fact, I am often convinced that there’s very little that can surprise me after 35 years in my profession. Therein lies the problem. I think there’s little that can surprise me – so little ever does. Great formula for stagnation…
When this occurs, I should ask myself why I’m even bothering to pretend to look in to the situation. If I’ve already made up my mind about the problem or solution, I’ve condemned myself to learning nothing new.
On the other hand, If I allow myself to be truly curious… to inquire without preconception and genuinely listen, I may hear something I didn’t expect. I might learn. There’s even a chance that I could bring greater value to the situation.
I’m not very good at this… and need regular reminders.
Experts aren’t those who know all the answers… Experts are those who are curious enough to ask all the questions.
What don’t you already know?