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July 8th, 2018
If we have been branded with the title of ‘expert’ it comes with the fear that our lack of perfect expertise will be discovered.
This creates teachers and professors who sidestep shots at the holes in their knowledge by belittling, demeaning, insulting and generally being aloof and basking in the aura afforded by the phenomenon Jaque Lacan termed: ‘the subject presumed to know”
We presume the doctor knows what health means.
We presume the programmer knows what all code means.
We presume the politician knows how a country should be run.
We presume a therapist will… know our own mind better than we do ourselves?
(It is interesting how such knowledgeable people can still be subject to such childish emotions and complementarily childish ways of dealing with those emotions. Think of that math teacher who made you feel stupid when you asked a question.)
We presume people will expect us to know the answer since we’ve been given the title.
The title can be a good thing.
When people are ‘thrown’ into a new role, they often surprise. The ‘role’, or ‘title’ becomes a new way that they see themselves, giving rise to a new way their mind can think.
How are the trappings sidestepped?
With the very root that began the process: the perspective of the newbie.
The best teachers and professors are not intimidated by questions that probe the edge of their knowledge and understanding. In fact, they seem to hunger for such questions, exuding gratefulness to the student that asks, that helps them on their own drive towards better command of their subject, toward greater satisfaction of their curiosity.
That’s one side of the act, the other side is taking things less seriously.
A true newbie knows that they’ll screw up and make mistakes. So such mistakes aren’t taken seriously when they happen.
The expert fears making the mistake.
But learning is largely achieved through mistakes.
The result of a mistake gives feedback that can clue someone into what might be a better way to operate, proceed, attempt.
Remember: Titles don’t mean much.
Taking them seriously only defeats their purpose.
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