I listened to an amazing example of confusing the cause and the effect. A woman called into a talk radio show to obtain their support for a campaign she was waging. She had written letters to editors, congress members, state commissions, et cetera, but was not getting any support. Her cause? She wanted to have them move the deer crossing signs off freeways and highways to pedestrian crossings and lesser traveled roads so the deer would cross at some place safer. She was serious. She sounded educated and was quite articulate…but totally clueless, even as the hosts queried her.
This would be funny, if not so sad. And maybe scary. She probably votes.
But anytime I run into something like this, I try to catch myself and use it as a mirror on myself. In this case I might ask: What don’t I know that I don’t know? Where am I clueless? Where am I confused?
I obviously cannot always answer something like that, but sometimes I can and do raise such questions in conversation with those who know me. I also make sure folks with whom I am in relationship know that it is okay to confront me about such things. I want to make the hurdle as low as possible for someone who sees my cluelessness to tell me about it, for example. Other times it could be words I misuse or mispronounce, unrecognized bias, self-defeating words or attitudes, or any number of other things that could come up.
Read up on the Johari Window model in psychology. It relates to the four combinations of things you do and do not know about yourself with things others do and do not know about you. My point is not to send you off on that tangent, but to help sensitize you to WANTING to know more about yourself and to be more transparent with those around you. Transparency breeds trust. Trust breeds success.
What can you do today to learn more about yourself or to help others know more about you?