Byron's Babbles

Accessing Our Own Ignorance

Posted in Global Leadership, Humble Inquiry, Humble Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 12, 2021

Many times our own knowledge, or love for our own knowledge gets in the way of our ability to grow and learn. We must always remember that we may need to know what others know in order to solve our own problems. I am reading an advance copy of the second revised and expanded edition of Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art Of Asking Instead Of Telling by Edgar H. Schein and Peter A. Schein. The book reminded me that when we want to influence others we need to “access our own ignorance.” It helps to come to the conversation with a genuine desire to learn; a belief that the other person has information we need in order to be successful. This gives us the potential for new knowledge to emerge that just might enhance our decisions.

If we can open ourselves to learning from others, we can collaborate to help each other. When we access our ignorance we come to conversations both confident about what we know, and humble about what we don’t know. To me, accessing our own ignorance is like becoming a sponge and soaking up all the knowledge and wisdom from those around us. In order to learn through collaboration we must acknowledge that we all need each other to accomplish our goals.

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