No-one likes sounding stupid. We would never communicate something that we knew to be incorrect or biased. The reality is that I cannot be informed about everything. When I am young and inexperienced, I have opinions about everything, untainted by the world and reality. When I am more experienced it will be so within defined subject matters. I cannot be experienced in everything. This leaves me with two choices:
- Keep quiet. It’s the safe option. Even fools seem intelligent when they keep their mouths shut. Listen to the wisdom of those who know more than I do. Learn in the process becoming less ignorant as we go.
- Speak from inexperience. Raise your voice. Offer your opinion. Give us your take. Risk looking like a fool.
Perhaps the hurdle that trips us up is thinking that we should always be right. If that was the point of conversation it would always be a debate. If the point of conversation was to explore the many different ways we can view the world and translate experiences, the outcome is not victory, but expanded thinking, less ignorance and more balanced understanding.
Keeping quiet removes your unique perspective from the conversation. Everyone walks away poorer as a result.
Offer your contribution.
Gives others space to do the same.