We don’t know what we don’t know.
I heard this phrase a few times earlier this month while being with a team. They were were trying to understand what was working and not working across their particular organization.
There was a moment when someone said, “But did you know that…” and proceeded to share something that no one else in the room was aware of. The whole conversation shifted. At that moment, the entire room had to reorient to this new knowledge. More importantly in that moment, they became aware that there were things that they as individuals did not know.
When we start to understand that there are things we do not know, we start to ask better and broader questions. We start to listen. Not just hearing words and putting in them into our well worn categories, but we start to deeply listen. Listening becomes a way of finding out and knowing what we don’t already know.
The beauty of working with a team is the gaps that we have as individuals are filled in with the gifts of others. Others, in their gifting and experiences, help connect the dots that we can not connect our our own.
A team allows us to see things that we do not know that we do not know. When we walk into team meetings, knowing that we do not know all there is to know, then and only then, do new things emerge.
We are ready to learn when we realize that we are not complete.
We are ready to lead well when we lean into our team to help us see the full picture.
We are ready to move ahead when we embrace ‘the reality of our blindspot’ and not run away from it. But instead we run to the team and say, “We can do this together.”