August 3, 2007

Life-Long Learning

Or, the beginner's mind.

One of the problems I have with many experts is the unwavering position they take without being open to other possible ideas. Very few experts are willing to say that their way may not be the best way. Perhaps it's a demand in our society that if an expert does admit they could be wrong, we don't trust them. And in order to get people to trust them, experts have to be diligent and steadfast.

But is there a way to be an expert and still see things from a novice's point of view?

Tobeme asks this question and gives us a really good explanation of the importance of empathy when we become experts.

Teachers and mentors who are experts in their fields, yet hold the same wonder and acceptance of new ideas as their own students - those are the best teachers. These are the people we can identify with and trust, because they understand where we are. They haven't forgotten what it's like to be a novice.

1 comment:

Mark said...

You said this so well! I agree, many experts are afraid to admit that they may be wrong or that there may be an equally correct way of doing something. The ego is a strong motivator for this behavior. A fragile ego worries that one might be discovered for what little they really know.
Thanks for the link! I appreciate it!