I believe in life long learning. Life long learning is challenging as we get older because we have the illusion of knowledge. Of course, we have gathered a lot of knowledge over the years and we are shaped by what we have accumulated but a library full of old dusty books doesn’t lend itself well to learning new things. All said, I still have books on fixing things around the house that absolutely apply.
Learning new things and understanding that “I may not know” is one factor or key to learning. Curiosity is also important but something many people don’t talk about is courage. It takes courage to say “I believe I know but I recognize that I may not know and have much to learn.”
Having courage to expose this concept which may seem like a vulnerability could be a super power.
While it is very possible to master many things and be the subject matter expert. I’d argue that an expert mechanic for traditional oil and gas based automobiles, might find themselves scratching their heads when the Tesla rolls in for a check up. Not to say, they can’t learn but if they assume they know, the result could be less than stellar.
What are a few things you can do practically?
- Use tools like https://degreed.com/ to manage your learning outside of work. This enables you to keep track of your learning regardless of your work status.
- Start practicing the mindset from “I know” to “I may know but I recognize there is more to learn”
- Practice expression outwardly of conversational learning vs conversational telling.
- Conversational learning is where you express a position but build in flexibility to adjust your understanding, attitude, comprehension and reflection.
- Conversational telling is where you believe you are the expert in all layers and the only aspect of the conversation which you are willing to acknowledge is the other persons acknowledgement of your expertise and position.
- Have courage and faith that people around you will listen and participate. Educated people say “I don’t know” all the time. In fact, go to any doctors office and they will tell you they can’t guarantee results. Doctors are advisors and consultants, they are “practitioners” they aren’t “guaranteed.”
If you have the courage to be open about your learning and open about your knowing, the results and outcomes have a higher likelihood of success.
What do you think?
The one thing I can say I KNOW is that I have a lot more to learn and I don’t believe I’ll ever master it all.. except hugging, I think I have a good handle on that..