Seeking Growth

The word of the day is na·ive·té:  lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment.

I used this word in a post, and wound up checking the spelling, since I constantly want to include an “i” instead of an “e” in middle of the word. As I saw the definition, I started to think about what this really means.

We all experience this at times, after all, how can we gain experience except by working in a field where we lack it. The wisdom and judgment, hopefully come with experience, time, and (not too large) mistakes.

The thing I’ve found often for myself is that I try to avoid situations where I am naive. I lean towards those places where I have some confidence, some wisdom, and experience. I work on my strengths most of the time. Certainly I’ve seen lots of people embrace that. We polish those things we enjoy, we have success with, and from which we get good feelings.

When I coach, I see this often. Arguably, this is not the best use of most of your time. You ought to work on those things you don’t do well, those weak points, the places where you are naive. Improve the lower end, and the entire finished product is better.

Or is it?

I think you need a balance here. It pays to continue to refine you top skills, but it’s also good to grow and embrace things where you have little skill. Step into areas with the acceptance that you may make mistakes. Grow and learn, and embrace new ways or working, or even refinements to your skills.

Steve Jones

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