Learning from everybody

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My wife is my foremost critic when it comes to my writing and I am aware of a little dance I play with this. If I don’t want to have her look over something I’ve written it usually an indication it isn’t very good. Subconsciously I know that if I share it with her, she will confirm to me what I fear – that it isn’t very good – and I will have to do it over. On the other hand, when I want to share something with her, it usually means I don’t need to because I know it’s good.

Which leads me to one of the biggest mistakes of my life: Thinking that I am smarter than my wife.

Here’s why this is no good:

1) It’s not true. I’m not smarter than my wife; I merely think I am.

2) It wastes time. Think of all the times I’ve had to do something over because I didn’t listen to my wife in the first place. (Of course I knew better.)

3) It discounts another person – in this case it happens to be my wife – the last person I would want to discount. To devalue someone’s opinion is to devalue them. 

4) I lose her valuable input. This is probably the most costly. Going it alone does just that.

Actually, it’s probably a good idea to not think of yourself as smarter than anyone. Then you can learn from everybody. Isn’t that a better way?

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2 Responses to Learning from everybody

  1. TimC says:

    When you put it that way, that is clearly a no-brainer. However, that should be a two-way street.
    This also depends on the area of expertise that is involved and the people that are involved in the conversation.
    But what do you do when you’re dealing with someone who thinks they are smarter than you, but they are clearly not? Depending on the situation, you can’t defer to them. There has to be an understanding among the people involved as to who has the better insight in a given situation.

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    Like Today’s Catch – it reminds me of what I learned in College: “The more you learn, the more you understand how little you know!

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