Okay, stupid is probably not the nicest word to use, but it is amazing how often that judgment is made about others. A better word to use is ignorant, we all have the capability to learn new things, whatever the subject, it is a matter of where we are on the learning scale. I was reminded of this while reading Seth Godin’s post about skill acquisition. All of us, every single person is an expert at some things and a novice at others.
It is good to know where you yourself are on the scale for a given subject. If you are a novice, be humble enough to tell everyone that you are a novice and need help in understanding the subject at hand. Set the example that it is okay to not know everything. When you pretend that you know everything, and that is really all it is – pretending, you will find lots of people trying to prove what you don’t know. On the flip side, if you are an expert, view it as a gift to share with others, always in a respectful way.
An even better skill is being able to evaluate where other people are on that scale. It is a leadership opportunity for you to encourage that person as they attempt to learn more and telling them it is okay to not know everything, it is a great chance for them to be challenged and discover something new.
Just another example when you look at things the right way, how every person has strengths and weaknesses that they bring to a team, which makes every person valuable. Attitude and poor behavior is a topic for another time, but knowledge, we are all equal there.