There is real value in being able to admit what you don’t know.
The ability to fess up to ignorance on a topic allows you to ask questions, explore new areas, and appreciate others.
There are people that achieve great things by projecting an air of confidence and authority. We have all seen people excel in areas that they are totally ignorant by faking it until they make it. It can work.
I prefer to embrace the things I do not know by revealing holes in my knowledge. It allows me to learn, grow, and be a better person.
I used to work with a number of small businesses. While they came to me for my expertise in financial matters, it was always fascinating to find out more about how they ran their business, why they made certain investments, and how they handled different decisions.
I could have pretended to know more about these topics, but by asking questions, I gained so much more out of the interactions.
The best way to learn is by asking questions.
Some would argue that the best way to learn is by teaching. But to be able to teach, you must start by learning. To learn you must ask questions of an expert, another novice, or the internet. You have to start somewhere.
Learning always starts with a question regardless of whether it’s implicit or explicit.
Try New Things
Along with learning new things, humility can open doors to new experiences.
I recently tried out an improv class and found out I loved it. I would not have had this experience without acknowledging that I knew nothing about improv but was willing to give it a try.
If I was worried about posturing or looking uninformed, I would not have had this opportunity.
The same openness to new things can lead to learning experiences at work, at school, and in your daily life.
Avoid Appearing Foolish
We all know that guy that sits in meetings and hijacks conversations while opining on a subject that he knows nothing about. Sometimes he’ll start with “I’m not really sure but…” while the…