Today I meet with three strategists. They are bright, committed, and interested. There is no question that they already know more than most people give them credit for. They have committed long hours to a project that is gaining momentum. My job is to share a high level overview. The ideal outcome our meeting is for me to fill in their gaps in thinking.
Frankly, I am amazed that they are willing to imagine that there are gaps in their thinking. The natural process, at least for me, is to imagine that I already know what somebody is trying to tell me.
I know there is much that I do not know. I know, at least that is what I want them to believe. In reality, I know that I do not know. However, I do not let the person presenting ideas know this. It is a strange game played in reflection of my competitive spirit and ego.
There is a powerful alternative. Today I will spend if with individuals confident enough to say they may not know. While I find it puzzling, I also know that there are direct outcomes of their transparent statements. Being open creates a door for more.
Noting is too obvious or should be considered assumed. There is a sincere desire to get on the same page. They want to be able to speak in my language. They are hoping that I am willing to learn theirs. It is a pattern all great students adopt. Teachers start from the beginning. Colleagues meet on equal footing. It is process of learning and leveraging our diversity.
Communities have practice it, although not as much now as in times past. When someone said, “Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program.” (1 John 3.5) It was not a put-down. It was part of a conversation where every question was without bounds. Answers were given because they were wanted.
It is a model for today.