The two most dangerous words you can say or think when someone is speaking are “I know”. By responding to someone with these words whether you are actually saying it or just thinking it, what is happening is that you are thinking more about how you are going to reply than actually listening to them, formulating a response in your head while they are speaking. Unfortunately what this does is causes a shut down of you opening your mind to the possibility of learning something new from that conversation.
Number seven on ActionCOACH’s 14 Points of Culture is Education. “I learn from my mistakes. I consistently learn, grow and master so that I can help my fellow team members and clients learn, grow and master too. I am an educator and allow my clients to make their own intelligent decisions about their future remembering that it is their future. I impart practical and useable knowledge rather than just theory.”
In the vast world of knowledge, there is a sliver of information that we know; like riding a bike or making a sandwich. There is another sliver of what we know that we don’t know; like how to do brain surgery. That means that there is wealth of information that we don’t even know that we don’t know.
We can always address what we know that we don’t know by going to school, reading a book, viewing a webinar or listening to a CD. However what we don’t know that we don’t know can only be learned by opening our mind. This is the world that we need to explore through proper listening as we all will learn more with our two ears than we ever will with our one mouth. Accept the information that is presented to you and strive to better yourself by surrounding yourself with people and tools that can help you to learn and grow.
Consider hiring people who possess skills and education that you lack. By acknowledging when a person has taught you something, you boost their self-confidence and morale in addition to paying them a huge compliment. Remember that school is never out for the pro. To discover more ways to expand your knowledge base, talk to your ActionCOACH. He can recommend listening strategies and other ways to free you mind.