Post #77 There are Always Others Who Know More
Some people welcome new ideas and constructive criticism. Other folks prefer to stick with what they know and reject differing perspectives. No matter your circumstance or stature, stay open to learning from others. Here are three ways to boost your knowledge and make yourself more coachable.
Willingness to Listen
You are a smart, dedicated student. One day you will be a smart, dedicated employee. Or, perhaps you will become a graduate student. Maybe one day you will start your own business or patent an invention. Regardless of your accomplishments, you will always need a support system (see Post #04). You will always be seeking knowledge and wisdom that you don’t yet possess. One of the best things you can do for your future is learn how to listen. You don’t have to believe everything you’re told, that’s not my message. Rather, be open to hearing others’ opinions, experiences and perspectives. Then use your best judgment to decide what you are going to do with this newfound information.
Own your Mistakes
It sucks being wrong. Some people handle it well, some try to overcompensate. During our journeys, whether it be collegiate or professional, we all make mistakes. We all are subject to occasionally looking like fools, despite the efforts to hide our flaws. Since it is a given you are going to make mistakes, I challenge you to be an adult. If you know you are in the wrong, if you suspect a screwup on your part, at least admit it. Don’t hide, don’t run and don’t blame. Admitting and owning your mistakes is not only mature, it’s also liberating. To admit your mistakes is to free yourself from any negative lingering feelings. Owning up to your humanness is freeing.
What does self-awareness mean? I will tell what it doesn’t mean. It does not mean you are happy all the time or that you do everything correctly. It does not mean you strive for perfection, and it does not mean you have to put on an act. Self-awareness is about being present with who you are in the moment. It’s about reflecting on your cognitive tendencies. Self-awareness involves recognition of your thoughts and feelings. If you wish to be coachable or to be mentored, it is important to understand the thoughts you are having and why. This is not an easy practice for most. However, when you are synchronized with your thoughts and feelings, they become easier to handle. Thus, you become more apt to adjust and adapt to any coaching instructions.