Not knowing what you don’t know

A great medical story makes the point about why it’s important to know what you do know and what you don’t know. It is hard if your ego is all tied up with Being The Boss or being a  BSD. It is hard if you feel your ego is on the line while you are training and it becomes difficult to admit what you don’t know, even when you know that you don’t know it.


One thought on “Not knowing what you don’t know

  1. I totally agree with this. I gave a talk recently and included some new developmental regulation that I am no expert on. Someone asked me something that there was no way I was going to be able to answer. So I just said I have no idea, that I am not a developmental person and that by presenting the data, I was hoping for a bit of help/collaboration. And I got the help. A junior investigator came up and said that he had never seen anyone admit that they didn’t know in front of such a large audience and how refreshing that was because there is a lot that he didn’t know.

    You can’t be an expert on everything. and you can’t let your ego get in your way when you are trying to bring your project forward. And you can’t be scared to enter into a new path of research simply because you are not an expert. Both are terrific lessons to learn and to teach.

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