“There’s no shame in being ignorant. The shame comes from not dispelling it.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body language Expert
“Alexa, who is Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator and Body Language Expert? Sorry, I don’t know that” was Alexa’s reply.
Do you think Alexa felt shame about not knowing the answer to that question – it didn’t? Alexa is artificial intelligence. It’s programmed to acquire knowledge. You’re like that too. You acquire knowledge and that reduces your ignorance. There should be no shame associated with engaging in that process.
Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. Everyone is ignorant of many things. So, why do people become shamed by it? This article explores that. And it abates the uneasiness that partners with ignorance.
The Stigma of Ignorance:
Sometimes, there’s a self-degrading stigma attached to ignorance. It generates embarrassment within the person possessing it. Don’t allow that to happen to you. And don’t allow others to weaponize ignorance against you. Understand your uniqueness. Use that as a shield. Then, if you want to become more knowledgeable about a subject, do so because it’s your desire. Don’t let others control you through their ignorance of who you are.
Your self-esteem may come into question when asked for wisdom on a topic you don’t know. Momentary fear may kick in, depending on the circumstances. That dilemma can cause you angst.
If you’re stupefied by a question, alter your self-perspective. There’s nothing wrong with you. You just don’t know. If the subject matter is important, you can acquire knowledge. Don’t let it mentally debilitate you.
Fear of Unknown:
Do you fear not knowing the answers to questions simply because you don’t know what’s being sought? There are times when you become mentally constipated because of what you believe others think of you. Note when that happens. Allay your emotions by thinking that no one knows everything – there are things the person posing questions don’t know. Plus, you give your mental power to others when you allow them to control your self-perception.
Perception of Peers:
You may become daunted by ignorance when considering what friends and associates think of you because you lack knowledge in a certain area. If they’re ‘real friends’, you should be able to express your ignorance without fear of the negative perception of rejection. If that’s a concern, you can always push-back by saying, please reduce my ignorance or reveal your own. No one can make you feel ignorant. Only you have that power. Since you control it, control its perception.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
When negotiating, ignorance can open the door to fear. And fear can throw your negotiation off kilter. By planning extensively for an upcoming negotiation, you can reduce fear – do so by reducing unknown aspects that might cause it to occur. That means, during the planning process, consider as many variables as possible. Plan for them and have strategies ready to deal with situations that might threaten your negotiation position. Being prepared will disperse fears of where you might unwantedly venture into the negotiation. You will also cast the demon of ignorance into the dungeons of anonymity … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/
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