It happens all the time. Almost every day. I don’t get something, and everyone else at the table seems to get it just fine. So I think I’m a moron. Don’t you hate to look stupid? Me too. So I take a deep breath, and admit it anyway. Most of the time.
And nearly every time I do admit that I don’t get it, it turns out that nobody else got it either. And in fact, they were trying to hide their own inner morons too.
Here’s what happens. I admit that I don’t get it. Then everyone else says “yeah – I didn’t really get that either” and then we can actually identify and solve the problem.
I currently work with some people who seriously don’t like to admit when they don’t know things. But by doing it myself, I think some of them are starting to get more comfortable with their own inner idiots. It helps to set a tone of trust, of mutual respect – I can admit what I don’t know, and so can you, and together we’ll figure it out.
You see the irony is that I’m generally considered to be clever and smart, even though I don’t always feel that way. And the real irony is that its when I face my inner moron and admit that I don’t get something – that’s when other people seem to think I’m smart.