I consider myself a fairly strong teacher. I know my strengths, and I definitely know my weaknesses. Regardless, I think teaching is the best thing I am able to do. So I try hard not to look dumb when talking about teaching.
Well, I recently found myself at a dinner where every person at the table was more knowledgeable, more educated, and had WAY more experience than I did. I work hard at not being self conscious when surrounded by smart people, but what do you do when the people around you are significantly better at the ONE thing you are good at?
I hear a lot of bad talk about millennials. We are entitled. We are rude. We don’t know how to socialize because we are always on our phones. The list could go on. (All of which I disagree with but thats a post for another day). However, the one thing I think our generation actually struggles with is trying to own the conversation in order to prove themselves.
So I try hard to NOT be that millennial.
I know I was sitting at this table because I earned my seat, but that doesn’t mean the other educators around me weren’t significantly better than I was. So what did I do?
I stopped talking, listened, and asked questions.
Perry Holley would call this “Dare to be Dumb”. (Read more here.) It is in listening that we learn, not talking. I had places where I could give honest feelings and real ideas to add to the conversation, but the rest of the time? I sat there and listened in an effort to absorb as much of them as I could. I asked questions when I wanted more. And what never happened? No one thought I was dumb. No one questioned if I should be sitting at the table.
So the next time you find yourself surrounded by people that seem better than you are?
Let them be better.
Let them push YOU to be better.
Only when we are surrounded by people that push you, will you grow.
The next time you find yourself surrounded by people that seem better than you are?
Dare to be dumb.
Interested in Influencing through Effective Communication? Peter Ford (also smarter than I am) shared an article on twitter that might interest you; find it here.
Holly Mecher. ADE. Runner. Life-long lover of books. Google Certified Educator.