What a refreshing meeting I had the other day with a young salesman just starting out. Instead of the usual over-confidence and conviction that he already knew everything, and there was nothing he could possibly learn from someone like me, he listened intently, asked questions, and above all took notes. At the end he was very appreciative of what he had learned, and hoped that we could do more training in the future. With this sort of attitude, he will go far.
Of course the older we get, the more knowledge we accumulate, and the more we think we therefore know everything. However, as soon as we make the assumption that we know the answer to something, then we stop listening to other’s advice, and stop looking for possible better ideas. This is a very unwise place to be, because things are constantly changing, and something which used to work and be entirely appropriate may well no longer be the best solution.
So are you someone who knows it all, or are you open to further and continued learning? Sometimes we may need to swallow our pride, and realise that the world and business generally are dynamic, and that we constantly need to learn from others to keep abreast of the latest developments.
How often do you read a book? How often do you go to a seminar or workshop? How often do you ask for advice from your peers? Many people will perhaps cite lack of time as a reason for not developing their own knowledge, but I could argue that it is time well spent. Like a business, if you are not growing you are dying, so why not plan to expand your knowledge on a regular basis, and keep ahead or at least abreast of the latest business developments.