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Leadership

Assume you know nothing when searching for solutions Add to ...

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being tops, what is your usual state of not knowing about the matters facing you? Eight? Ten?

If so, educator Craig Coggle says you’re missing opportunities, since in education and creativity the starting point is what you don’t know.

“Not knowing is a key ingredient in change and growth. When we loosen our grip on what we expect, we are more open to the feedback we get. Once we let go of being so damn certain, we open up to new possibilities. Being open to new possibilities means that we become more adaptable, and that means that we are more likely to cope with unpredictable change and uncertainty,” he writes on ChangeThis.

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So practise the art of not knowing. Aim to hit a a two or three, instead of nine or 10 on the scale. In a conversation with a colleague, instead of assuming that you know everything about the subject, imagine you don’t. Not knowing can be uncomfortable, but over time you’ll become more at ease in that unknowing state.

He says that in time, it will become as exhilarating as a roller coaster ride, as your openness takes you to unexpected heights. You’ll become more creative. You’ll discover more imaginative solutions to challenges. As a problem solver, you’ll be comfortable with a wider range of possibilities. Not knowing – adopting what in Zen is called the beginner’s mind – can be a start to new knowing.

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