Blank Fridays: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know!
+|| Knowledge +| Work + | Philosophy + | Thinking + | Perspectives + ||
+|| By Olivia Nghaamwa
As a graduate entering the work place for the first time, armed with what I thought was all the knowledge I needed, the statement or question “well, why didn’t you ask?” or “you should have asked”, irked me big time. My internal response has always been that had I known that I had a knowledge gap, I would have asked, but since I wasn’t aware of my knowledge gap, there is no way I would have asked for guidance. Till this day I believe in this theory, much to the irritation of some, that you don’t know what you don’t know. I am unapologetic for believing in this theory as it enables me to become aware of my knowledge gap, learn and grow.
I recently attended a talk where someone else said the same thing and of course i got very excited on discovering that someone out there believes in the same theory.
She however took it a step further and said you don’t know what you don’t know and there is no medicine for not knowing what you don’t know, so the only thing you can do is at least open yourself up. She said that as one moves up the ladder it is very easy to start believing that you know it all and that is a mistake. She believes that at any point in time one should open oneself up to the fact that you may not know everything.
There have been many times in my career that I did not know what I did not know. But by “accidentally exposing myself” through my errors or clear lack of knowledge I became I aware of what it was that I did not know but needed to know.
We live in an era where there is a constant need to sound smart, to appear smart and to outsmart each other. It’s through these pressures that we miss the plot. There is no shame in not knowing, but there is shame in pretending to know when you don’t know.
You don’t know what you don’t know but open yourself up to the possibility of learning through exposure.